Okay, I'm not normally a person who endorses the phrase "you're doing it wrong" when it comes to playing video games, but I have to make an exception in this case.
If you get hit by Freja's laser, you're doing something terribly, horribly wrong. From the sound of it, focusing on all the tiny spiders instead of the enormous spider clearly telegraphing a bad thing is about to happen long before the laser even appears, much less before it slowly sweeps across about a 90-degree cone in front of it.
That attack is one of the least "cheap" boss attacks in the entire game, just thinking about them off the top of my head. The spider rears back so hard you'd think it's an elephant spooked by a mouse running by in front of it, waggles its legs up in the air as if to say, "Oh shit son, I'm dancin', look at me dancin' over here, shit 'bout to get real," and then finally, eventually, gets around to firing the laser way off to its right side (lesson learned: stay to its left) to start turning leftward.
If you're so worried about killing off the tiny pew pew spiders that you don't notice a boss telegraphing an attack that hard, you're worrying way too much about the tiny pew pew spiders. They are there to distract you and you're letting them do it. Stop that. Stoppit. Stahp. You have all the time in the world to kill them if that's really what you want to do, so don't get hung up on trying to kill them right away or all at once. Prioritize not dying to the massive spider that can one-shot you. You have the ability to run, which is both much faster than killing a bunch of spiders and much safer than fighting them in front of a giant spider, so use it. Run circles around that fat fatty until you have a better opportunity to kill off a nearby little one - or, ideally, ignore them altogether and just focus on whacking Freja in the face when there's a window.
Personally, I like to bait out that laser attack on purpose because it's so slow and completely harmless when you're circling her to your right; wait for her to rear up, immediately rush her left side and run to the back, whack her rear face a couple times, run out to laser-bait range again, repeat. Real easy. Maybe I kill a spiderling here or there between lasers, maybe not.
Looking Glass Knight's auto-bounce-regardless-of-what-he's-doing-at-the-time shield is cheap. Freja's laser is "you deserve to get fried if this hits you."
That aside: I'll agree about some of the bonfires being too distant from their respective challenge points. I wouldn't say that's one of them, though. You can get from the nearest bonfires to Freja in, oh...maybe a minute? The first time through takes longer because you'll want to kill those NPC red phantoms near the spike pit area, but those don't respawn and everything else you can just run by. No muss, no fuss. (You can run by the phantoms, too, but I like to put them down just to reduce risk. They hit friggin' hard.)