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Photographers take family portraits during coronavirus pandemic in exchange for donations to Houston Food Bank

"I think that when we look at these pictures, it’s going to show that we’re all in this together," said Lori Craft.

CYPRESS, Texas — Members of a Cypress neighborhood are donating to the Houston Food Bank in exchange for a professional family portrait.

The portrait captures this moment in time and shows what so many of us are going through right now.

The one thing we do have during the coronavirus pandemic is each other. We are relying on our family a whole lot more these days. The unconditional love is so comforting, even comical at times, that sometimes you just have to take a photo.

"It’s a different type of picture, isn’t it," asked Karen McConaughey. "There’s a family we went to this morning who had made signs that said, 'Home sweet home' and 'School and office.'"

McConaughey is a professional photographer. Her 9-year old daughter, Anna Grace, is now an honorary KHOU employee because she helped us by shooting video of her mom at work.

McConaughey is one of six still photographers capturing what's happening in the Cole's Crossing community.

Photographers Thuvan Nguyen, Brandy Dykes, Mary Anne Heckman, Abby Colbert and Jennifer Spencer are the other professional photographers donating their time and talent so that donations for the portraits can instead go to the Houston Food Bank.

"This morning I just matched a $1,500 donation," Lori Craft said.

In exchange, Craft got a photo that she describes as, "organized chaos. That has been the theme for the house."

"You’re experiencing how each family is surviving through quarantine and isolating. I think that when we look at these pictures, it’s going to show that we’re all in this together," Craft said.

Roughly 2,600 homes make up the Cypress neighborhood. About 200 families have donated and been photographed so far.

"They’re just so grateful," McConaughey said.

The magical thing about family portraits is when we look back at them, we tend to remember the good stuff first. That we all pulled together, supported one another and we made it.

And, as these portraits pass from one generation to another, so will the stories.

"I think that the message is going to be one of perseverance," Craft said. "We are the epitome of perseverance, this city. I mean, we just manage to pick ourselves up all the time and keep going."

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