Nebraska photographer creates project as gift to the state

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - A Pulitzer Prize winning photographer from Scottsbluff and his team have been working on a project to preserve the stories of Nebraska.

The Grand Island Independent reports that Bill Frakes spoke to the Grand Island Rotary Club Tuesday about a website called the Nebraska Project, which he says is meant to be a gift to the state in anticipations of its 150th birthday.

The website run by Frakes and his team currently features about 15 videos and hundreds of photos that focus on the state of Nebraska. Frakes said the project started when he would shoot and share images of Nebraska when he was working on other assignments. Interest in his native works slowly grew.

After Frakes team received some funding for the project, they began to work on story features that define the state.

“I wanted to show Nebraska to the world,” Frakes said. “That was important to me. I love it; it’s home for me; it lives right in here. You know, when you make pictures, you make them with your heart, your eye, your mind, your soul, and all those things for me live in Nebraska.”

Last year, the globe-trotting photographer spent 120 days in Nebraska working on the project. Frakes, a fifth-generation Nebraskan, says he plans to continue the project for another two years.

“You don’t need to dress Nebraska up. You just try it out for what it is, and it’s wonderful. It’s rugged and beautiful and bold. It’s strong, it’s powerful, it’s honest, and I think that translates. I think it resonates in the films that we do,” Frakes said.

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