Dorrell Creightney was born in 1936 and raised in Kingston Jamaica until he was 18 years old. His parents participated in the amnesty program and in the mid 1950's, Dorrell and his siblings came to Chicago to live.
Dorrell Creightney started his artistic vision when he worked as a window designer for a department store located in the south suburbs of Chicago. He was inspired by the pictures in Vogue, Harper's Bizarre and other fashion magazines especially the photography of Richard Avedon. When his inspiration became conviction, he decided to take a trip to Sweden to learn the art of photography through the lens of a Hasselblad and Leica cameras.
The years spent in Stockholm brought about the beginning of a photography business for Dorrell as well as confidence as a photographer. He took pictures while in Europe of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Diana Ross and the Supremes to name a few. Missing family and friends he decided to come back to Chicago to start a business.
In the late 1960's, his freelance photography business began to grow, he married and had 2 daughters. Along the way met another photographer Chester Sheard who was connected in the jazz community in Chicago. Together, they were able to shoot amazing images of some of the jazz greats including John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Dizzy Gilespie.
Dorrell's freelance photography business was successful throughout the 1970's and early 1980's. He had the first Black-owned photography studio in Chicago. In the beginning of his career, he did participate in art shows because his main focus was advertising and that was how he became successful. Being a versatile and skilled photographer he took advantage of every situation and became a well rounded artist.
In the mid 1980's, Dorrell closed his business. He still did some photography for friends and associates for many years after that. January 30, 2011, Dorrell Creightney passed away from cancer. He left behind his archive which is now being handled by his wife Maxine with their daughters Samantha Creightney and Vanessa Stokes.