Frakes Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my world!

    YUP! I'm a mom and I'm totin' my camera and I'm PROUD of it!! After years of creating and learning and recreating and getting ahead of technology so I could create, learn and create some more, I found myself ready to branch out into a business where I could share my creativity with others. Just consider me obsessed...a passionate creative who is completely obsessed with the notion that beauty is alive and I have only to peek through my lens to see it...everywhere and in everyone!!
    I hope to see you here often as I do my best to post new content weekly or more!! You won't want to miss the new categories I have planned such as photography tips for hip moms (you're a hip mom whether you know it or not!) and local small business features. Lots of new plans are in the mix and you won't want to miss a single post!
    Be sure to like me on facebook for even more fun updates and photos and a (soon to come) behind the scenes look at what I do...or don't

three i’s and a powerful U

It’s been a wonderful weekend so far, to say the least…the provider of our home decided to take time off for a much needed mini family vacation!  Yesterday marked the much anticipated first day of play and OHHH BOY, did we pack it full of memories!  Even Chloe left her print on the day by abandoning all floatational assistance (including ME!!) and swimming like a dolphin discovering the great blue ocean…be still my heart!  Ah, but even a vacationer needs to eat, and what better place to eat than a kids-eat-free hot spot!!!  Insert cheers from mom and dad…  In spite of all the great fun and cheering from over half the family, one little “I” in the back seat decided it was a disastrous idea of a place to eat, seeing as how his “heart had been set on pizza” and this other location would “ruin EVERYTHING”!!  …and then it began…funny how complaining just leads to more complaining and all the fun of the past 8 hours fades to nothing in the blink of an eye…temper, temper, temper!

*SIGH* Even a vacationing parent can’t let a temper tantrum go unnoticed, especially when there is kicking involved; so the little “I”, who had previously been determined to eat his pizza, ended up with no supper at all.  ugh.  Cue the tears…buckets and buckets of tears…and apologies….and desperate promises…  For the next few semi-quiet minutes, we continued to head toward our destination with our four little “I’s” in the back, not realizing that one of them was making a very important transition to a new letter…

When we arrived, Brent and the girls eagerly jumped out of the van, having worked up a delightful appetite, and walked right in.  Being the more in-tune of the parents, as moms often are, I expected a slower approach from one of the two remaining “I’s”…but not from both…  I peered around the backseat to see what would hold up the littlest and was stopped short by the sight of big tears running down the cheeks of  little Devon…  Cautiously, I asked him what was wrong (you see, many times he finds himself on the end his brother’s angry fist).  Brokenly sucking in air, he took some time to finally be able to speak…”I just don’t want Ian to not be able to eat…can he please eat my food instead?”  One of my “I’s” had just become a “U”.  I was without words for a bit.  I had just witnessed the truest form of love take place between the two that I would have never expected…

It was a powerful moment; one of my proudest moments as a parent.  Oh, I know it had absolutely nothing to do with Brent and I or our parenting skills.  It was much greater than that…  It had everything to do with a tender heart and the willingness of a six year old to change just one little letter…

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Jan Egelston - July 3, 2011 - 7:36 pm

I really have no words to express what I feel after reading this account……just tears. Love you honey and thank you so much for sharing this. You MUST keep this account you have just written because it is invaluable!

It’s a love thing….

Who doesn’t enjoy being around a couple in love…especially in its young love days!!!  *sigh*  Well, I had a fantabulous time doing an engagement session with Tim and Kami on THE only day this week that it hasn’t rained!!!  Never mind all the broken bottles, cut feet (shudder), well used couch cushions, gawking tenants and pit bulls on heavy chains…we were just glad it didn’t rain!!  Of course, we were more than happy to see a patrol car come through a time or two too!!  I think we could all 3 say that it was an experience we will never forget, lol!  In all seriousness though, it was a joy to photograph them as they prepare to start their new life together.  It seemed as if they had already been married for several years, they fit so well…I guess it’s just a love thing….


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Jan Egelston - June 23, 2011 - 5:12 pm

I absolutely LOVE this setting!!!!! Such a cute couple!!!! We wish them the very best in the years ahead “Together!”

Peggy - June 28, 2011 - 3:06 pm

That beautiful woman is my daughter! Oh, I love this picture. Oh yea, and I like Tim alot, too! LOL!

little brother, big sister

It’s official!  My very first ever newborn to photograph is now a big sister…and you guessed it…I had the honor of photographing her new baby brother this week.  *insert melting heart here*  He was perfect in every way.  I could have sat and held him all day for no other reason than to soak up his sweetness!  Alas, I did have to put him down from time to time to capture these tiny days that fly by all too quickly…


And while little man took a moment to fill his belly, big sister Piper and I went out for a little walk and some fresh air…besides, we had some catching up to do!  She’ll be 3 by the end of the summer, don’t you know!!

I can’t help but leave off with one last image of sweet baby Chevy…

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Anne - June 15, 2011 - 5:36 pm

Laura, you’re amazing! You’ve found your outstanding talent! I soooo wish we could be up there for you to photograph our family! We miss y’all!

Laura - June 15, 2011 - 5:49 pm

OH Anne! I DREAM of coming back to Pensacola and doing some shoots! I promise I haven’t forgotten about you all back there! I keep saying…”next summer”…and then something comes up like major surgery and crazy little things like that, lol! For REALS though, you’ll be the FIRST to know as soon as we know we’re coming! We love y’all and miss you terribly! Your little family has grown sooooo much…the girls are so beautiful and your little man is a DOLL! You and Rob must be so proud of all of them!

Cindy Gillespie - June 15, 2011 - 11:50 pm

Soooooo gorgeous – can’t wait to see all of them!! So adorable!!
Love you, Laura! (and not because you are a fantastic photographer!)

meeting Erika

Wow…meeting Erika…just a couple of words that really mean so much to me now!  When I sat down across from her at our consultation, I sensed immediately that she had a lot to give of herself…to those that were truly worth the giving.  I love those kinds of people.  You don’t run into them everyday, and if you do, chances are likely that 5 min with them won’t even begin to touch learning who they REALLY are…  I knew from that first “hey there!” that I was ready to take all the time it took to get to know who the real Erika was…  We chatted about many things for the first 10 min or so but when the conversation turned to her future plans, Erika began to open up.  I was delighted as I listened to see her eyes start to sparkle and her grin begin to warm…but NOTHING made me happier than her eager hug as we parted ways until session day.  A few words to sum up Erika would be:  unpretentious, ARTISTIC, unassuming, Loyal, fun, trustworthy, shy and SURE.

This girl is going somewhere with her life and, like with Lynette, I plan to be there every step of the way to cheer her on.  Here is just a bit from her incredible session…

Erika, I had so much fun “working” with you…I am SO looking forward to completing your gallery.  Every image of you is stunning!  Your beauty runs as deep as your talent…

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Becky - June 7, 2011 - 8:31 pm

Oh Erika…you’ve grown to be such a beautiful young woman both inside & out. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you. God Bless you sweetheart!

Erika - June 7, 2011 - 11:40 pm

Thank you so much! These look beautiful and I can’t wait for the others. You are amazing as a person as you are a photographer! See you in church. God Bless You!

Jan Egelston - June 8, 2011 - 3:42 am

Outstanding pictures Laura. You get more creative with each photography session! Erika really has talent. I am wondering where she is headed to college? 🙂 Could it be Pensacola Christian College with a major in art? We wish her well!!! 🙂

the passing of childhood

Why does childhood pass so quickly for only the all-grown-ups?  I’d give anything to go back and enjoy a few days I lost as a child, thinking I would NEVER grow up…but I can’t.  My childhood is done.  It’s just a memory now.  I’m fine with that, but a couple of weeks ago, it hit me, I mean really REALLY  hit me how quickly time and the innocence of childhood really does pass.

I had the honor of spending an afternoon two weeks ago with my bigger than life hero of all time ever, my big brother, Doug, and my practically perfect in every way niece, Maddy. (LOVE that girl!)   We were having a great time exploring an incredible location when I happened to capture a moment that to me, said it all.  But I’m getting ahead of myself…

After exploring, we decided on a great place to start shooting…and that’s when it happened.  I picked up my camera, looked through the view finder and instantly became that little sister again.  It was totally unexpected…I was flooded with childhood memories, like being hauled through the house in a laundry basket, and careened through the yard in a wheelbarrow; being left to hang from the basketball goal and cuddled at so young an age to stop the tears of sadness before dropping my hero off at college.  He was always the ultimate big brother in my eyes…but then I saw one more thing while looking through that lens…  I hadn’t missed it before, I had just accepted it…it was not only the passing of MY childhood that I observed from my perspective behind the camera,  but also the passing of HIS childhood and the soon to be passing of his daughter’s childhood that I saw for the first time.  It was just a fleeting moment, but there we were…all of us wrapped up with our own memories and thoughts of years gone by.

This is the image that says it all…

Of course, with Doug around, these serious moments are all too easily traded in for the fun side…so here’s a few of those as well.  I MUST interject here and proudly state that I KNOW if have the most incredibly handsome brother EVER!  Don’t even waste your breath arguing.

Okay, who knows the rule…for every incredibly handsome parent, there is a child equal to or greater than said beauty.  Well, my niece just happens to be blessed by not only a good looking dad, but also an amazingly stunning mother.  Oh, to have Maddy’s skin and silky hair and glittery eyes!  This sweatheart of a girl is one that I can never spend too much time with.  Every word out of her mouth is spoken with an elegance and peacefulness that exudes maturity beyond her years.  I have never felt that I was in the presence of a child when in her company and have always enjoyed engaging in conversation with her…I have no doubt that her future is very bright!

So here’s a glimpse of my beautiful niece, Maddy…my little lady in the making…


I consider it an honor to call Doug my brother and Maddy my niece.  Love you both so much and will cherish the afternoon we spent together forever!

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Jan Egelston - April 7, 2011 - 9:26 pm

These pictures are ALL so beautiful and wonderful Laura. But the words you have written brought tears to my eyes. You have described so well the feelings of every adult down throught the centuries. It brings to my mind, James 4:14….”Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” The very first picture says it all. Beautifully done sweetheart. Doug and Maddie and Stacey will be so very pleased! 🙂 These are forever memories. 🙂

Theresa - April 7, 2011 - 11:10 pm

just gorgeous…..

Aunt Evelyn - April 17, 2011 - 5:09 pm

OMG! These are gorgeous pictures and the wording is profound! You are one talented girl, missy, and I am so proud of you! Love you bunches!