Elephant Next Door ~ Bend OR Photographer

I was recently introduced to an organization that I feel is an inspiration to our community and feel that the story of how this all began is something that should be shared. The Elephant Next Door helps people with gambling problems, who are in recovery and supports them during difficult times in their lives. Below is some information on how The Elephant Next Door was created and how getting the word out about gambling is so important.

In November of 2012, Pete started a Kickstarter campaign to produce a documentary film to show the devastation caused by gambling problems. The video project was not funded, so Pete self-funded a documentary short with Robert Mcguigan, a Wisconsin man who dedicated his life to speaking in schools about the dangers of problem gambling. Robert’s son had been murdered over a bet gone awry. Shortly after the filming Robert died from brain cancer. Prior to his death, Robert expressed gratitude that his story would continue to help people. “Robert McGuigan: Tragedy to Inspiration” will be entered in film festivals showing next summer. Pete also collaborated with Toby Allen, A British artist who created the Real Monster Series to make information about mental illness accessible to children. Toby, with input from Pete and his clients, created a Gambling Disorder Monster in 2013. As a testament to Toby’s belief in Pete’s work, Toby donates a portion of the proceeds of the sale of every Gambling Disorder Monster print to the Elephant Next Door. Pete has also addressed national audiences via podcast and live presentation for The American Counseling Association and The National Council for Problem Gambling. Regionally, he spoke at Oregon State University, Volunteers in Medicine, the Oregon Counseling Association, and the Evergreen Council for Problem Gambling. Pete’s continued effort resulted in bringing together seven supporters who incorporated The Elephant Next Door (The END) in 2014 as an Oregon non-profit corporation. In 2015 the IRS determined The END was a public charity and was granted tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Check out the Elephant Next Door on their website at: http://www.elephantnextdoor.org/ or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/theelephantnextdoor. It’s a great resource for people who are in recovery, want to learn more, or are in the program. We’ve received referrals to the program from people sharing posts.  We’re really working to get this out there. Every like or share is a huge victory! Thanks so much for helping to Break the Silence!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Photos by: Creative Images of Life ~ Stacie Muller. Should you have an upcoming event, please contact me for your photography needs at 541-948-3195.


Planning an Event ~ How to find your vendors ~ Bend, OR Photographer

Any event takes planning, time, money and energy. Some events are small, some rather large and in order for them to be successful, it depends on the chosen vendors, location, day & time and a few other key items. I have photographed dozens of events and have seen their success and failures. I always want the event to be a success and it can be with a vision in mind! Details of what type of event you are having is important, who your guests will be, along with a timeline of the event, such as social hour, sit down dinner or buffet, speakers, dancing, photos, live auction, entertainment, etc. There are lots of key areas to decide and with that you need to choose who will be your vendors for the event. This is another important element to the event being successful as choosing people who were referred to you versus someone unknown, what type of packages do they offer, will they be reliable, professional and flexible? It is so important to meet with your vendor(s) before the event, to get to know them and how they operate. Will they be the ones on hand at the event or will they send their staff? In the event of a last minute change, who is available to talk to from their company? Will you provide a time-line to your vendor in order to ensure their success as well as yours? All so many reasons to start planning your event as early as possible!!

Now…we all know that there are some events that can be put together very quickly…and with these, the planning is not as vital, however…even small backyard barbecues are nice to have some semblance of organization!!

So, how do you put this all together ~ make a list of the things that are going to be a part of the event ~ food, entertainment, guest list, etc, then write a timeline (even if it is not set in stone), ask those that you know for referrals of local vendors, look up the vendors for reviews, set up some volunteers to help with the event, set a schedule for getting things done and before you know it…your event will be all planned,  invitations will be sent and the event will be a huge success!!

Below are a few photos from some local events that I have done recently!! Enjoy! Should you be in the need for an event photographer, I would love to be considered.

Contact me by phone at: 541-948-3195 or visit my website at: http://www.creativeimagesoflife.com

My Facebook page ~https://www.facebook.com/creativeimagesoflifephotos



Shaping Your Business ~ Bend, OR Photographer

I feel lucky….lucky enough to photograph the wonderful people who come to me for all kinds of photography needs. My plan is to start sharing more of these sessions and featuring one or more of them each month. This month I am highlighting a really great lady who has become a friend to me in the short few months we have known each other. I met Dar Macy earlier this year when she contacted me about business photos for her website. We really connected and realized that we have common values and business sense, so with that we created a fun session and photos that she has been able to use for all kinds of needs in addition to her website. Below is a little snippet of what Dar does and how her bookkeeping business could help you. Also, there are a few featured photos from our session that have really helped take her to the next level of her business. In addition to these photos, I have become a client of Dar’s and now have time to start focusing on other areas of my business, such as creating a more consistent blog and newsletter and sharing these with you! Enjoy & should you know of anyone looking for a great bookkeeper, please keep Dar in mind. Should you know of anyone needing a photographer, please share my information with them! Ask me about Creative Image of Life’s referral program ~ a really great way to earn a session just for you and help shape your business!!

Darlene Macy is the owner of Encompass4U, a Bend, OR based bookkeeping company, which brings 35 years of bookkeeping experience to the table. She assists small businesses to thriving entrepreneurs.  Her favorite thing is providing business owners with work flow solutions that allow them not only long-term success, but a peace of mind.  And in the end, this allows them to focus on what they do best.  It is a great feeling to see that realization on their faces!
Website Link: www.encompass4U.com <http://www.encompass4U.com>   (contact form on website too)
P.O. Box 9791, Bend, OR  97708



A Lucky Client & A Photographer’s Luck ~ Bend OR Photographer

We often wonder how we get so lucky….such as beginners luck or lucky that person came by at the right time or lucky in “love”!

Another sort of luck ~ my clients, who I am so lucky to enjoy and photograph, share a story about or be part of a special celebration. I have been so lucky with my clients who have fantastically given me their smiles, their warmth, their spirits to photograph and share with others. Lucky for me, so many of my clients have become my friends who support me, guide me and cheer me on every step of the way! With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner (Tuesday March 17th)..I thought I would share some lucky finds with you when searching for your photographer!

~ Ask questions! Photographers love to answer questions and educate about their services, products and making the session a great experience for you.

~ Vision & Style! When envisioning your session seek out a photographer that has your same vision and style. Share with your photographer what you have in mind and together you will come up with something creative and stylish.

~ What to Wear! Finding the right outfit and color for your photo session is so important and something that should be thought out and discussed. Depending on the type of session you are having, will determine what clothing you will wear. If you are doing a business session, then more formal tops and bottoms will be worn. Should it be a family session, maybe you want to coordinate your colors together or perhaps everyone wears the same color top. Share with your photographer what you have in mind and then you can decide how it will work in your session.

~ Location! The location of your session is personal…and by that I mean, sometimes there is a favorite place that your entire family goes to all the time for picnics, hiking, gatherings, etc. This place may be sentimental to you and may be the perfect location or background for your photos. Think about what you want to see when you look at your portraits over and over when they are hanging on your walls, or what others will see when they walk into your home and see your beautiful images. Your images are a symbol of you, your family, your life and home.

~ Wall Art! Photos are the ultimate wall art that we as photographers are lucky enough to share with you. When your photographer asks what you have in mind for wall art, they are talking about portraits that can be displayed around your home. So when booking a session, ask your photographer what portrait sizes they carry, what type (Framed, Canvas, Metal) and if you can ask to see a sample.

Use these lucky finds when setting up your next photo session to have a successful and stylish experience that makes you feel so lucky that you found a lucky photographer!!

Please visit my website ~ http://www.creativeimagesoflife.com

Or my Facebook page ~https://www.facebook.com/creativeimagesoflifephotos

Thank you so much of your continued support & have a super St. Patrick’s Day ~ Stacie




Why is February National Wedding Month ~ Bend, OR Photographer

Why is February known as National Wedding Month ~ Not because it is the month of love, but February is the month that couples are putting together the details for their Spring & Summer weddings!! So much goes into a wedding and making your day amazing, beautiful, memorable and magical means lots of planning and preparation. Below are just a few things that a couple may include in their preparations and perhaps if you have a family member or friend getting married sometime soon, these could be helpful for you when chatting about her big day!!

Bridal Showers Or Tea Party Showers ~ 

For many family and friends of the bride, planning the Bridal Shower is a key component of the wedding process. What’s the latest trend in these celebrations? Tea party showers! There are more opportunities to create a unique event with a bridal shower. For example, you could plan a casual gathering among close friends, or an all-out formal event. The great idea behind tea parties is that they can be either. For brides with simple, more laid-back tastes, having a tea party in one’s home might be best. If this is the case, there are great tips all over the internet on how to pick out tablecloths, china and even where to order some genuine British scones! If your bride has more extravagant tastes, it might be a good idea to look into tea rooms in your area. Tea rooms can offer larger spaces, more variety and a more formal atmosphere.

Will Your Wedding Be Over A Holiday Weekend ~ 

Sometimes a couple may want their wedding over a holiday so more people are able to attend and others avoid it. Should you be able to set aside a block of rooms for your guests will make it easier, but remember to book them early as they will fill up fast.

Designate A Person For All The Tasks ~

Are you working with a wedding coordinator or planner? If not, you will need to designate your family & friends to help out with certain things! Being really organized is a great way to make sure everything runs smoothly and provide a list of your day to the wedding party so everyone knows exactly where to be and when. Utilize your maid of honor and your bridesmaids for help along the way. And don’t forget to ask the groomsmen for help too.

Choosing Your Vendors ~ Caterer, Florist, Photographer, DJ, Videographer, Musician(s), etc

Getting referrals is always a good choice and should you have already met these vendors at another wedding, that can be especially helpful. Or if you have a wedding coordinator or planner, be sure to ask them for their advice on people they may already know or have worked with. Sometimes the resort or venue has a list of vendors too!

These are just a few key areas to focus in on, but know that whatever you do for your wedding, making it fun is the most important part. It is your day to create and cherish for many many years. I wish you only the best!! Happy planning and celebrating & should you know of anyone looking for a wedding photographer, please pass my name & number to them. I am booking for 2015 & 2016 weddings and would love to talk with them about their special day!! http://creativeimagesoflife.com / 541-948-3195.


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