Creight’s Day | McKinney Family Photography


Disclaimer {These are NOT my images.  Property of Samarie Lei Photography, Houston TX}

And here begins my part in a fabulous heart wrenching play.

I received a call from a friend asking if I knew anyone who was a photographer in Houston.

We chatted about the possible urgent need for a storytelling session for a very special family.

I was intrigued and wanted to help.  So I immediately thought to call my pal Monica.

She is a gem and a storytelling photographer here in Dallas.  She quickly posted to her forum regarding that need…

and here is the stream of people it took to get this arranged.  Lucky me got to be a small part.

The Family {fb page}

Teresa {great friends of the family}

Vicky {Teresa’s best pal}


Monica {Dallas}

Colie James {Boulder storytelling photog pal of M}

Jess {Photog who took a course from CJ – Samarie Lei}

Can you even believe that?



And in conversation, I was trying to figure out a way to get my self to Houston, all the while pretty certain God didn’t want it be me….

to wait, and see it all unfold.  CJ and Monica offered to go just for travel fees only.  Thats huge and so uncommon.  I was floored.

And then we contacted Jess.

Be still my heart.

After contemplating the situation…she offered to gift this time to the family.

I cried.

I couldn’t believe it.

Good kind people exist…that don’t even know me, or Creight, or his family.


So after calling Vicky and just sitting down, I praised God.

For providing again.

This family needed images.  They need someone professional, and caring.

They had a bucket list.  A list of things they wanted to do with him in the short days he had left.

The zoo was on the list.  So Jess agreed to document that time.  And the images are gorgeous.

They are so amazing.  She shows their beauty, some of their obvious pain, their lives.

And I am forever grateful to her for showing up and just being downright amazing.


I don’t understand a lot of their pain & struggle.  I cannot understand.

I call them ‘knowing eyes’.  When you know or have experienced a situation life has thrown your way, you get knowing eyes.

And I don’t have these eyes yet.  I have no idea.

Yet, I know that images are all we have.  Pictures, life stilled.  That is it.

So I am pretty passionate about documenting our days.  The every day.  That’s the good stuff.


One of my faves.  How his hand rests on his wife.

After all they have been through together, he is right there.


I mostly admire the family for allowing someone to come in and tell their story.

Because our stories need to be told, the beautiful ones, the hard ones and the altogether unimaginable.

May we be so brave to do so as well.  This is a glimpse in their life.  I do not imagine to know them.

But I am thankful to have known them even here.


I hope you are encouraged by this story.  Sweet Creight passed away last week due to cancer.

His life reminds us to be so grateful for each moment, each day, each person.

To tell others how we love them and care for them.  Forgive them.   Move on.

Thanks for stopping by to read….and being so courageous to read this.

When you get an opportunity to be a part of something, just say yes and show up {as my great pal says}.


A huge shout out to my vendor Miller’s, for overnighting these amazing images at their cost, so the

family could have them present for their gathering to celebrate his life.



Scroll through, read the stories, learn more about them and maybe even yourself!  The coolest thing about photography is the emotion that is taps inside of you.  I get the best perspective in many situations...the new mom in her hospital room, the married couple sharing their baby news, a senior on the brink of all that life has to offer!  So grab a coffee and scroll around a bit!  Cannot wait to meet you!