Bill Frakes


Bill Frakes is a Sports Illustrated staff photographer based in Florida. His production company, Straw Hat Visuals, produces content that is cross-purposed across multiple platforms reaching maximum viewers.

Bill has worked in all 50 states and in more than 125 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients, including Apple, Nike, Manfrotto, Coca Cola, Champion, Isleworth, Stryker, IBM, Nikon, Kodak, and Reebok. He directs music videos and television ads. Editorially his work has appeared in virtually every major general interest publication in the world. His still photographs and short documentary films have been featured on hundreds of websites as well as on most major television networks.

He won the coveted Newspaper Photographer of the Year award in the prestigious Pictures of the Year competition; he was a member of the Miami Herald staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of Hurricane Andrew; he was awarded the Gold Medal by World Press Photo. Bill has also been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for reporting on the disadvantaged and by the Overseas Press club for distinguished foreign reporting. He has received hundreds of national and international awards for his work.

Bill has taught at the University of Miami, the University of Florida and the University of Kansas as an adjunct professor and lecturer. During the last five years he has lectured at more than 100 universities discussing multimedia and photojournalism. He is on the faculty of Kelby Training. In 2010 and 2013 he served on the World Press Photo jury.

Many years ago, a young American mother named Agnes Frakes pointed out images all around her tiny Nebraska town to her four-year-old son Bill: a cat’s shadow, a pool of oil beneath a car, his own name etched in a cookie tray of caramel popcorn. The boy looked at the objects and saw nothing. ‘Look again,’ she said. ‘There is always more there than what your eye sees…’ Twenty-five years later the boy became one of the most accomplished sports photographers in the world. 

—James McBride, part of his introduction in the book “Family: A Celebration of Humanity.”

If you can fall in love everyday, that's the first step to being a great photographer.

Welcome to the NEW
Nikon Learn & Explore

We've redesigned the site to make it easier to find
stories you care about, get tips and advice from pros,
learn new shooting techniques, discover classes and
workshops—in short, help you find new inspiration
every time you visit. (And we hope you visit often.)

Get the Learn & Explore iPhone App

Access all the photography techniques, advice and inspiration of Nikon's Learn & Explore anytime, anywhere with the free app for iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad®.
photo of two iPhones with the Nikon L&E app on the screens

Take Today's Poll

Along with the new look of Learn & Explore, we've added polls. Make your opinion count and check back often to participate in new polls.

Attend Nikon School

Take your photographic knowledge to the next level; get a working understanding of your camera's features; learn how to create DSLR videos; discover how to edit your images using Capture NX2 software and more.

Check out a Digitutor

Learn more about the Nikon DSLR or Nikon 1 camera you own by watching an interactive product tutorial!
image of a Nikon DSLR and Digitutor screenshot illustration

Subscribe to the
L&E e-Newsletter

And get great tips and techniques to try next time you go shooting!

L&E e-newsletter examples graphic

Learn new photo and video terms!

Learn & Explore features an expansive glossary of over 800 photographic terms. Visit the L&E glossary to learn about specific Nikon camera features or more general photographic or video terms and definitions. Browse the glossary by letter, number or icon.
glossary terms graphic