Rome, August 2009: 25 years after being awarded the World Press Photo medal for "Daily Life Stories", Bill Frakes again photographed Missy Koch. In 1984 Missy was an athletic university student who lost her right leg to a terrible cancer. She now lives with her composer husband, Todd Billingsley and three children--Joey, Lukas and Abbey--in Rome and is dedicated to making life better for everyone she comes in contact with.

Her story was described as follows by Bill himself:

"Missy Koch, my dear friend. I knew Missy before she found out she had cancer. Like all of her friends I was stunned, paralyzed when I found out. For the next year I was with Missy documenting what she was feeling, how she was coping, just being there. She promised me from the start that she would beat the cancer, that even after she lost her leg that she would walk again, and she did. We've stayed in touch through the years and I've watched her work through the challenges surrounding being a cancer survivor. She is right where she always said she'd be, exploring the world with her family --happy and healthy. When things get tough I only have to look to Missy for inspiration."

Manfrotto together with Gitzo, Kata, and Elinchrome supported Bill in this new Missy Koch Billingsley reportage, and we are very honored to be the ones to talk to you about it, and present the final result.

The images were produced with the Nikon D3 and D300S with the Nikkor 14-24, 24-70, 200 f2 and 400 f2.8 lenses.

The grip equipment and the light stands are all Manfrotto products. The tripods used were the Manfrotto High Hat 519/526 combination, and the Gitzo GT5561sgt with G1380 HD Fluid Head. The equipment was carried in Kata OC97 bags, and in Kata DR-467 and RL-302. backpacks. The studio lighting was done with the Elinchrome Quadra.

"Multimedia production is my favorite form of storytelling, combining the best of HD video, still imaging, ambient audio, a well crafted script and music. The cameras are capable of producing amazing
images, both still and video and you have to use them intelligently especially shooting video by using proper supports to eliminate shake and help with consistent compositon and by adding light to accent and explain." -- Bill Frakes

Todd Billingsley, Missy's husband has written a book, BORN TO RUN, the Missy Koch Billingsley story which will be available in Fall 2010.

© Bill Frakes - All Right Reserved

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