Honoring the Gilley Family

May 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

April 21st 2017

Location: Crossfit Vitality

Nikon D750 and D800  24-70mm 2.8 and 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art



      On April 13th 2017, there was a tragic loss of an entire family. The Gilley Family was on their way to visit family members in Ohio and were struck by a tractor trailer.  

David (48) Christine (42) Grace (13) and Jack (10)


I knew the Gilley Family through Concord Church of Christ. I was introduced to Christine first through Crossfit. I knew she was a competitor and she loved her Crossfit Family. My wife and I typically were seated near the entire family during Sunday service. They were an extremely nice family and I was very sad to hear of this loss. Knowing that they were members of Crossfit Vitality, I instantly reached out to Steve Pinkerton to see if they would have an honorary workout. Steve quickly responded and provided me the time. As unfortunate of a situation this was, it was an honor to be a part of how the Crossfit community quickly pulls together to honor a loss.


I arrived at CFV about an hour prior to the first heat. I had never been to the facility before so I needed to scope and determine want I wanted to shoot with. First let me tell you about this facility.. INSANE!!!!! Probably by far one of the nicest boxes I have ever been in. Plenty of open space .... EVERYWHERE!!! I decided that I would use the 35mm on my D800 and a 24-70mm on my D750. It was nice to see familiar faces from the community from different boxes all coming together to honor the Gilleys. Athletes started gathering together.. signing up for heats and warming up.

 The workout consisted of the following... #CWG

Steve gathered everyone together to speak on the Gilley Family and cover the WOD and standards. Everyone was at full attention getting ready to attack this workout.


There was a powerful moment when everyone had their heads bowed in prayer. There are plenty of things I have captured, however this was definitely one of the best!!!


The ladies of CFV honored Christine by wearing headbands, which was her trademark. Such a great picture.

 The WOD consisted of pretty much every movement possible... Rowing.. Deadlift...Cleans..Shoulder Press..Snatches....OHS and WallBalls.


The heats were pretty large so I had to keep moving. Once the first heat finished rowing and moved to barbell work, it was time for the next heat to begin. It was very organized so I was able to stay focused. All the athletes were crushing the row. Switching out with teammates to hurry and get to the barbell.

While athletes were rowing I was able to smiles and intensity all at the same time.


After the row it was time to move that barbell. Since there were so many athletes I had to make sure I didn't move into anybody's path. Since the box was so massive I was able to roam pretty freely. What photographer doesn't love to capture athletes tossing around some weight??

As time went on there were athletes rowing... moving barbell and doing wallballs at the same time. My goal was to make sure I got at least one shot of every athlete. Thank goodness for shooting with 2 bodies... this allowed me to get different perspectives no matter what movement was being performed.



Had to sneak in a baby shot!!!!

The last heat was wrapping up so it was full of wallballs and some snatches.....




Though this was a tragic situation that brought everyone together, it was amazing to see how the Crossfit community comes together. This also shows how much we all need to cherish every moment we have. Life can be over in an instant and we all need to take advantage of everyday. Just to know that the Gilley Family was simply taking a trip to see family and yet never made it shows how quickly life can be taken away from us. Be sure to tell your family and friends that you love them. Share laughs .. Share smiles..and Share experiences.



I want to thank Crossfit Vitality for allowing me to cover the workout. I also want to thank my continued supporters for following my work and continuing to spread the word about my services. I want to also send my prayers to friends and family of the Gilleys.  Be blessed everyone..... 

FULL GALLERY: http://www.bawphoto.net/p870413965




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