Here’s a family portrait taken in our backyard on Christmas day. As you can see, we had no snow. Maybe next year.

For many years, Lori and I, and then Wynn, spent Christmas with Lori’s family in Scranton but in an effort to take the strain off of Lori’s Parents, we began hosting Christmas at our house.

By default I’ve become the Salamida Family documentarian. Not only did I want to record the gathering but I wanted to keep myself sharp at a time when assignment work slows.

That’s me, far left, and my wife Lori. Continuing left, in the back row, My brother-in-law Rick, his son Evan and his wife Susan (Lori’s sister.) Far right is our son Wynn, holding our new cat, Pantalaimon, “Pan” for short. Seated in the front row are the Matriarch and Patriarch of the Salamida Clan, Mary and Marty. Absent from the photo are John Salamida (he lives in Colorado) and Chris Salamida, (lives in Pittsburgh) who were celebrating the day with their families.

I used two 2000 Dyna Lite packs, one head each, into 3×4 softboxes, one on either side of the camera. To keep the lights from blowing over in the wind I attached the power packs to the stands with ball bungees, to act as ballast, then tied two cords to each softbox and staked them into the ground with tent stakes. I mounted the camera on a tripod and used the self timer so I could into the shot as well.