Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful clients and blog readers. As you might know, my photo season for the year always ends at Thanksgiving so that I can then concentrate on Christmas. This year I ended the season with a better understanding of how it is for my clients by having our own family images taken. 🙂  It’s been years since we’ve had our family picture taken other than snapshots of us doing what we do when we do it — and I always treasure the spontaneity and memories of those snapshots for sure — they fill my g-babes playroom after all. But after photographing others for five years now I wanted to do it this way. I didn’t want to do the tripod thing and run in and out of the picture so asked Cassi Johnston, both a friend and client, if she would do the honors and waala, we have some family pictures folks! Thank you Cassi, you did a great job and I am so appreciative. So it is with love to all my readers that I send my blessings to your family from ours this Christmas. May you experience the love that Jesus has for you in every way. Now as we move closer into 2016 don’t forget how fun snow pictures could be … or what about sending some Valentine’s Day love to someone you love? Remember, any time is picture time! Love and keep smiling, Mary


Above: MJ (aka Matthew Jr who turned 6 in October and is in Kindergarten), Jayden (3.5), Danielle (happy stay-at-home mom), Matt (my son who is an electrician), me and Mike (Co-owner of Mouser Machine Shop), Cole (now 7 months), Simone (3.5), Megan (my daughter and happy stay-at-home mom), Robby (Edward Jones Financial Advisor), and Sydney (turns 6 New Year’s Day and is in Kindergarten)


Mike and I celebrated 40 years of marriage this past August.


Check out Cole’s helicopter hair … it is what remains of the hair he had at birth. The wind and the streak of light caught it in flight.


Tracey - December 24, 2015 - 8:09 AM

Oh Mary such nice Pictures. I can’t believe how time flies. Your Grand Babes are growing and changing and they are so cute and handsome. Such a pleasure to see your family. Merry Christmas to you all and have a Happy New Year. Hope you all are well and able to enjoy the season.

Fairly Candid - December 24, 2015 - 8:38 AM

Tracy, Merry Christmas to you my friend and thank you for always being so nice. I so enjoy working with you. Yes, I think the flu is gone from the kids homes finally so onward we go to a joyful Christmas. Mary

Linda - December 25, 2015 - 12:07 AM

Such sweet pictures of your lovies. Merry Christmas.

Kathy Webb - July 7, 2016 - 10:20 AM

Great photos! Glad I looked here to catch up on your family. Pretty sweet having them all around.

Fairly Candid - July 7, 2016 - 10:44 AM

Hey Kathy, thank you! Nice seeing you and some of your family Sunday at church too. Mary

The Busacker Family

So Mike and I were out to dinner with friends last week and one of them brought up a comment about if you were a punctuation mark, which one would you be? Two said questions marks and my friend said I would be an exclamation mark. I had no idea what that meant, nor did I ask, but doing this post explained it to me. I get excited about some things — photography being one of them — and the fact that I use too many exclamation points in my writing is not lost on me. This family — my last clients of the year — was the final exclamation point. I was looking forward to seeing this family again (our third year) and Maren, now 15 and in 10th grade, Lydia, 14 and in 9th grade, and Sydney, a sixth grader at 11 have grown more beautiful than last year if that’s possible. Carston is a handsome 4th grader and is 10 and little Rimini, now 4 cabooses the family. I love photographing high school seniors and I made Siri promise that I would get to photograph Maren in a few years. While the younger kids eventually went for the warm car, the two older wanted to get more pictures and I was happy to comply. Such fun this family, and an hour-and-a-half in the freezing cold flew by too quickly. It’s bitter-sweet that my photo season is over for the year. I’ve met some wonderful new clients and looked forward to seeing my returning ones, but alas the holidays are upon us and I have to redirect now. Siri and Bret, I had a blast with your family as you know. Thank you for the opportunity! Exclamation point. Exclamation point. Exclamation point. 🙂 Love, Mary


Megan - November 25, 2015 - 10:09 AM

I’m giggling over here. I would have said you were a question mark! Maybe you’re both!

What a gorgeous family to end on. A slew of beautiful blue eyes, the best matched family of the season, and sweet smiles.

I expect that tree to be up asap now that editing is done. Exclamation point. Wink wink. Love you.

Fairly Candid - November 25, 2015 - 11:47 AM

I can always count on you Megan to try and figure your mother out. Thanks for always reading and chiming in now and again. Versions of blue and red or burgundy were definitely the colors of choice this season and I thought each family looked great! This one included. Nice work Busackers!

Vince - November 25, 2015 - 6:05 PM

What a gorgeous, color-coordinated family. But about that 7th shot down . . . What exactly am I looking at?!

Siri - November 25, 2015 - 7:28 PM

We can’t pick our favorite!!!! Thank you so much for capturing all of my kids so well! They look forward to this now and will not let me forget to book early next year!

Fairly Candid - November 26, 2015 - 8:00 PM

Vince, that’s a reflector. One side is white to reflect light into the eyes but Maren was having a hard time holding it so Sydney jumped under to help, then Rimi just thought it looked like a fun place to be. Getting photos taken is a family production. 🙂 Mary

Fairly Candid - November 26, 2015 - 8:03 PM

Siri, thank you. Such nice words. I like to tease you about waiting till it’s freezing cold but I can only imagine the activities you have to schedule around. It’s still just as fun to me freezing or not. Mary

Beth - March 4, 2016 - 12:17 AM

Happy Holidays (very late) Mary!! Great pics. Loved looking through them and catching up with the family. Hope all is well!
Love to all,

The White Family

I had never met Abby and Dave before even though we’ve attended the same church for years now — three services can do that. But I had heard about them when a group of First Baptist ladies bought a gift certificate from me for a Newborn Session about 7 months ago. You see, the White’s were blessed with the gift of adopting little Ava this past June. It was a God orchestrated plan for sure. Now, you did read that right — I said Newborn Session and this is obviously not that. Turns out they have a newborn photographer in their family so chose to wait and get some family images when Ava was a little bigger. She’s 5 months old now and could handle the crisp November morning, and what a beautiful one it was. I almost think November might be better for the fall colors than October (if you can handle the cold) but either way, it was pretty out and their outfits couldn’t have been more perfect. What a joy to witness the love they have for this precious little girl. Congratulations to all! Mary

Becky - November 21, 2015 - 9:53 AM

I can feel their happiness through your pictures. Great job.

Fairly Candid - November 21, 2015 - 10:35 PM

That is a really sweet comment Becky considering you don’t even know them. Thank you.

Vince - November 25, 2015 - 6:07 PM

Is fall the best time of year for outdoor shots or what?

The Johnston Jr. Family

Our friends have the nicest kids! Here’s James and Cassi and their twins Paige and Cooper, now 2-1/2. They had to reschedule their first appointment, we were weathered out the second one, and this one turned out to be very c-o-l-d so we went for four (found in the second half of this post). For the first part we met early one cold Sunday morning before church. The only thing I knew to do to warm these little bodies up was to have them run, run, run! The cold didn’t seem to affect Cooper as much, but little Paige was shivering in her pretty pink boots at times and when she ran, her little bloomers would fall down. If you look closely at the fourth picture, you will see them hanging down. Oops! None of us caught that! Her mom said she had a brighter pink dress picked out for her to wear, but when Paige saw her boots, she was dead set on wearing her light pink horsey dress instead. Hey, kids have opinions too!

For the second half of the post, we are at a location where Cassi shot a few family pictures for me. We did a little camera flip-a-roo and I invited her to bring her family to the same location so we could get more of them after ours was done — a two birds with one stone kind of thing (poor little birdies — they never saw it coming). It was a warmer afternoon and what a difference it made. More smiles and just all around fun for both of our families. I have to admit it was weird being on the other end of the camera, but Cassi did great and I am so excited to have a few new pictures for our Christmas card and walls! Thank you Cassi … and thank you Linda/Grandma Hon who came along to help. Love to you all! Mary 🙂



Linda - November 16, 2015 - 7:57 AM

Love my sweet little Johnston Jrs, and my big ones too. Great photos of my sweethearts, Mary, as usual.

Cherie - November 16, 2015 - 10:08 AM

All I can say is WOW….I love them…The photographs brought a huge smile to my face and filled my heart with joy. You captured their little personalities. I believe we will need a bigger house instead of down sizing for more pictures of our sweetpeas! The pictures of the big kids were beautiful too! Fabulous job Mary

Mary Mouser - November 16, 2015 - 11:06 AM

I could be wrong, but I think I have two proud grandma comments on here. 🙂 Mary

Cassi - November 17, 2015 - 7:50 AM

Wow!!! We are in love with all of the pictures, Mary! I love how you captured Cooper and Paiges little personalities.
Thank you so much!!!

Fairly Candid - November 17, 2015 - 9:09 PM

Thanks Cassi, it was a collective effort!

[…] it this way. I didn’t want to do the tripod thing and run in and out of the picture so asked Cassi Johnston, both a friend and client, if she would do the honors and waala, we have some family pictures […]

The Severns/Wielenga Family

Well, one thing I know for sure is that Christmas is near because Barb and her family get their pictures done every fall without fail for their Christmas cards. This year they said the girls were wearing dresses and heels so I immediately thought I needed to find a place with hard surfaces instead of soft grass where heels wouldn’t poke in the grass and stairs would be an option over posing on the ground. I had a place all picked out that would be perfect. Let’s just say that best laid plans don’t always stay that way. The wind came up with a force only hours before our session and girls with long hair and wind just don’t mix so Plan B was in order. “Oh dear! Plan B. What the heck is Plan B?!” That’s what was going through my head when they called me. Luckily I have a client who is a clear thinking one because Lori came up with several options for downtown indoors — one being this cool place. Know where it is? Have you been in it since the 4th grade? If not, there’s no time like a windy day to take an adventure into the beautiful Boise Capitol Building. Thanks Lori. Phew! You saved us all! I think we all enjoyed the new experience and the history lesson at the same time (but don’t move the benches because you might get in trouble! I might know this from experience). 🙂


Above back row: Jud and Nicole, Barb, Lori and Craig    Front Row: Connor 10, Rylan 9, Ella 5, and Landon almost 8.

_MG_5395_web_MG_5555_web_MG_5557_webProps to these boys who were so good. They didn’t have any silly faces this year – just big ol’ smiles! Swack!_MG_5387_webCongratulations to Craig and Lori who have tried for so many years to have a baby and God has blessed them. Little baby (Christmas reveal) is coming in March and Lori is beautiful at 22 weeks. Ella just turned 5 a few months back and got to spend it with all her extended family at Disneyland. Lucky girl! She sees a camera and just beams and has a spirit that reminds me of my Sydney.


Lori - November 11, 2015 - 7:57 AM

Mary, these turned out beautifully! We love them! Thank you so much!!

Fairly Candid - November 11, 2015 - 8:40 AM

You are welcome so much and thank YOU for the suggestion! I loved doing something different.

Kathy G - November 11, 2015 - 12:11 PM

I love the way the lighting and color tones came out. Looks like Plan B was an A+. This is the most photogenic family I’ve seen of all your pictures. Well, next to your family and mine, of course.

Fairly Candid - November 12, 2015 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for the great grade Kathy! Can’t get much better than that! Woo hoo!

Vince - November 16, 2015 - 12:33 PM

Capitol idea, Mary!

[…] probably the hardest part of booking a session — trying to figure out what to wear! Last year’s session turned up with gale winds so we took to the indoors, but this fall’s photo season has been […]

The Gerichs Family

So my daughter asks me (a little frustrated at her middle child) during this session … “does any other kids act up or is it only mine?” I hear that question almost every session that involves children and every time I laugh and simply say “yes other kids act up.” Kids will be kids but I love their antics, energy, and multiple personalities if you will. I find a connection and such value in each and every child I photograph and I love that about photography. Same holds true for my own g-babes and big kids that I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. They give me “Joy Rising” as Oprah used to say … especially when I am looking over the images on my computer and say (as I do with every client) “phew, I actually got a couple with every kid smiling!” 🙂 LOL. It’s weird in a way but being on a photo shoot with my own kids is just like being on one with a client. We run, we play, we do stupid things, and we all go home pooped. It’s fun. You saw my son’s family a few posts back and now here’s my daughter’s — Megan and Robby at 33 and 35 and married 9 years, Sydney at 5-¾ and in Kindergarten, Simone at 3-½ and in pre-school two mornings a week, and one charming almost 6 month old (who dominates this post – but you understand, right?), Cole Isaacs who laughs and giggles and tolerates all the loving’ his big sisters can throw his way. Love you all!



Becky - November 10, 2015 - 8:04 AM

We are smiling this morning. Beautiful, fun pictures of a beautiful family.

Lori - November 10, 2015 - 8:13 AM

Mary, these pictures are gorgeous! I love Megan’s color scheme! They are so lovely!

Kathy G - November 10, 2015 - 9:48 AM

When I looked at Sydney’s picture, I thought, wow, it looks like a preview of her senior picture. It won’t be long. She looks so grown-up!

Fairly Candid - November 10, 2015 - 12:09 PM

It is crazy Kathy how quickly they look older when they start Kindergarten! I suppose it will go faster than we all think too. 🙁

Fairly Candid - November 10, 2015 - 12:10 PM

Lori, thank you! I thought it resembled your extended family color theme as well … which will be coming up next should you be waiting! 🙂

Fairly Candid - November 10, 2015 - 12:11 PM

That was sweet Becky. They make me smile too.

Aubrey - November 12, 2015 - 10:43 AM

I think I look forward to these almost as much as Megan! Love this family, every one of them. But I will single out two things: Cole has superior skill in the cute baby department. He is making me all heart-eyed. And Megan’s hair, perfect color, cut, oh and I guess a beautiful face helps, too.

Fairly Candid - November 12, 2015 - 11:09 AM

He is pretty cute I must say and such a happy baby. Yes, Megan’s hair is pretty. Danielle gave it some color a few weeks back and I love it too. Thanks for visiting Aubrey!

Casey – 2016 Senior

Meet Casey, a handsome blonde haired, navy-blue eyed, seventeen year old LaCrosse playing, Cross-County loving Patriot attending Centennial High and set to graduate 2016. Wait, there’s more. He’s also the youngest of three in the family and the first who will go on a mission after his graduation — destination unknown at this point. Wait, there’s even more. He’s the son of my other half at work! Cody, my job-share wonder woman, is his mom and I couldn’t be more excited to have had the opportunity to photograph him and show him off here on my blog. I love photographing seniors, and I love so many of these images — and I’m not even his mother! Casey has a killer serious smile and while his mom says he is a more serious kid (thus the AP classes and high GPA), she loves loves loves to see his big smile. So to appease mom, him, and me, we have lots of serious and lots of smiles. What’s your favorite?



This next one is a favorite just because of this photo bomber. BSU was having a fun race to support autism, and seeing the camera and a cute young man, this cute young woman stopped to pose with him and wish him the best in his senior year. Too fun. He should have gotten her number! (Just kidding Cody.) 🙂





Cody loves her baby. Very proud momma here as she should be.




My best to you in all your adventures Casey. Enjoy your senior year.

Aubrey - November 12, 2015 - 10:38 AM

CASEY! Parker played lacrosse on the same team last year! What a small world. Casey is the sweetest kid but on the field, watch out! He was the only player on the team to out-score Parker. I love these pictures. Perfectly handsome and masculine and even some love for mom.

Fairly Candid - November 12, 2015 - 11:13 AM

Small world is right. I’ll be sure Cody reads your comment. She’ll beam even more than usual. Casey will love hearing that too and congrats to Parker for being so aggressive on the field too. 🙂

Cody Myers - November 16, 2015 - 1:41 PM

Oh Aubrey it is a small world! I will tell Casey about your nice comment! He and Parker were sure fun to watch in lacrosse 🙂 Can’t believe we have a senior, boy does time fly! :)Mary does such a great job, she is very talented indeed 🙂

The S Family

Well, this session was a real treat in many ways. First, I got to meet a new family who I found very friendly and welcoming, so thank you Drew and Jenny! Two, I got to photograph their adorable and somewhat shy little girl Sydney who is 2-½. (While I’m not complaining, I’m just saying 5 of my last 6 sessions were of busy boys so I didn’t do much running with this session. Ha!) Three, I didn’t have to pick the location as I was invited to the Southard home for this occasion which was in the foothills where they had a beautiful home with a view, a fun chicken coop, and cool doors. Four, we attend the same church yet have never met. (It’s a small world/big world kind of thing.) I was invited inside and was immediately struck by the warmth of two large bookshelves that flanked the fireplace each holding lots of framed photos and mementoes of their lives and family. I can hope some of these images will end up there as well. 🙂 Drew and Jenny are both doctors who met in medical school and both practice in Boise so they stay busy, but Jenny is four months pregnant with a little sis for Sydney, so come spring, things are going to get a whole lot busier in a really great way! Congratulations to all! Mary


The J Family

The J boys — Beckham 4-½ and Asher 2-½ — have been on my blog twice before. The first time when Asher was over for his newborn session and the second time when I did a little mini-Valentine session (with three families) when we lived in our apartment while building our house. I haven’t seen them in over a year-and-a-half and yet Beckham looked exactly the same to me with the same sweet calm disposition. Asher’s hair has gotten lighter and obviously he is much bigger, but his little cute face remains the same. The thing about kids and photo sessions is you don’t always know what you’re going to get. They can be quite unpredictable and the normal funny jovial kid can be other than that at times. Take Beckham for example. He was asleep in the car when they pulled up so of course he was groggy and maybe a tad bit grumpy for the first while. He didn’t misbehave by any means, he just didn’t have much expression. Asher on the other hand was Mr. Talkative when I first met him, but shortly into the session he flipped a switch and decided he didn’t want to be in the picture, or walk down a path, or play peek a boo behind a tree, or run, or well, much of anything. The beauty of this session was watching TaeLynn and Chase work their magic. They never got angry, or impatient, or frustrated. Instead they just loved on their boys and brought those sweet personalities back out. It’s a special thing for me to get to have that connection with my clients. A sweet sweet thing. Thank you TaeLynn and Chase for being the awesome, beautiful, fun parents you are. Enjoy. Mary

Happy Halloween!

I know … it’s a lot to take in. Take your time. When you think you’re ready, move on. If I had any vanity, it’s gone._MG_4863_web

As with our family tradition that I started with my kids, the girls and kids make the rounds to loved ones offices, passing out treats and getting some in return in the process. We have a Halloween Parade at Hawley Troxell where those who want to participate put a pumpkin on their door to say come Trick or Treat me. They’re lawyers — they want future business — so they treat the kids real well if you know what I mean. I take pictures of all the families that come and it’s just a fun time. Here’s my group picture taken by Danielle. 🙂 I love Simone’s pirate stance as a gum ball machine. Nothing says “want some gum?” like “Shiver me Timbers Matey!”_MG_4861_webI am enjoying the kids still wanting to be something cute before the time comes that they want to be more ghoulish. Seriously, how cute is a Grim Reaper when you can’t even see his or her face?! And you know how hectic the actual Halloween day becomes when everyone just wants to get to the good stuff of Trick or Treating, where they can find pieces and parts of their costume, or their make-up has rubbed off … that’s why a good photographer (is my head growing bigger?) always gets pictures before the big day. So here comes more of my favorite little people.

MJ’s costume is one I made for his dad when Matt was 4 (oh yes I did, every single piece of it and I couldn’t be more thrilled that MJ was beyond excited about wearing it). The boys stayed with me two nights early October while their folks and Grampa went elk hunting, and the three of us went to MJ’s Monster Mash at Morley Nelson School as pirates. That event created lots of pirate play the whole weekend between the boys and even the girls when they were over (I have a homemade pirates costume also). We’ve added a few pieces since this picture … a red earring and pirate teeth … a new sword and pirate powder gun … all the stuff that makes a matey go “grrrr“. 🙂


Jayden — forever silly this boy. I refrain from saying what my mom used to say to me … “if you do that to your eyes they are going to stay that way!”


_MG_3519-1_webMorley Nelson Monster Mash-Kindergarten-Oct 9 2015

Simone was more than tickled to wear the Gumball Machine she wore last year and that Sydney wore the year before that. It was a complete creation of Megan in honor of Sydney’s complete love of gum at the time … wait, she still has a complete love of gum … but anyway, it is darn cute.
_MG_4264_webSydney has wanted to be a peacock for two years now, so this year Megan made it come true making her costume after finding the awesome mask on clearance somewhere. I could be wrong, but I think she’ll be the prettiest peacock out there on Halloween night! Probably the only peacock too. Nice work Megs. Way to strut those tail feathers Syd!

Little duck here is a third child duckie. Both girls wore it before him so it was only appropriate. He’s pretty duckalicious if you ask me. I just want to eat him up!


And this little number was on the last post with Cole, but it certainly bares repeating. There’s no butt’s about it that this boy is harvesting some good memories for all of us. Butt wait, this can’t be the end of the post! You are right, there is more!


I got the opportunity to photograph my girlfriend Gloria’s two granddaughters as well, so here’s Lily and Addi. It’s been my opinion that there is never too much cuteness that can be shared!


Yep, that’s the same pumpkin we used for Cole and yep, it’s too big for Addi too.


Can you believe Lily is sitting inside the pumpkin on her knees?! That was one big pumpkin! As Lily waves, I’ll say ado, farewell, and goodbye till the next post. Love, Mary


UPDATED HALLOWEEN NIGHT: The pirate boys came to Trick-or-Treat our neighborhood (because we all know retired people give out more candy because there aren’t as many kids) so I snapped a few before we headed off. Friends of our kids came to go with us and little Maks here was the best Buzz Lightyear ever. To infinity and beyond! His momma made his costume and she duck taped the wings on. Pretty ingenious don’t you think?_MG_5067_web

At dinner beforehand the boys wanted to know what I was going as. I told them Crazy Gramma because that’s what MJ always calls me (meant in the best way of course) and honestly I had no intention of dressing up. At literally the last second I decided to really go as “Crazy Gramma” and threw this get up on. The really crazy thing is I’m actually not a Halloween junkie but I have collected quite the random stuff for the Halloween box over the years since I used to make the kids costumes or help them bring their ideas to life. Mike and I did go to a few costume parties in our younger days, but other than that, it’s not a big deal to us and we don’t decorate or anything like that. There’s just something to hearing your g-babes laughing hysterically at the surprise of it all that keeps me coming back for more. I had a fun few days and now it’s over. I’m tired and ready to box it up till next year. I hope you had some laughs and giggles with your own family this Halloween, but if not, thanks for stopping in for a little bit of our crazy life. Love, Crazy Gramma


Megan - October 31, 2015 - 7:22 AM

Oh my gosh, Mom. I laughed so hard at the first paragraph! The only way this post could be better is if you had a recording of how your voice sounded in that costume. I LOVE it, and your grandkids love it. Cheers to you for being awesome enough to do that, even if was a fancy meeting going on at work! Thanks for all the thoughtful non-sugar treats!

Vince - October 31, 2015 - 11:12 AM

Everyone looks adorable, but that gumball machine kills me. (Will she be collecting quarters tonight instead of candy?) I want to know what Mike is wearing.

Fairly Candid - October 31, 2015 - 12:52 PM

Oh gosh, at times I do get rather lost in myself when the kids are around. Perhaps that’s why MJ calls me his Crazy Gramma.

Fairly Candid - October 31, 2015 - 12:54 PM

Hey that’s a great idea Vince … earn that money Simone! Mike is wearing his BSU clothes for the game today, his chef hat since he is cooking tonight, and his best “oh you look so cute … or so scary … or so whatever” as kids come to the door tonight. I’ll be out with the g-boys and Matt and Danielle tonight gathering the harvest. Like lawyers, old retired folks who don’t have many kids come to the door in our neighborhood gives out lots of gold coins and diamonds … or lots of candy … one or the other.