Yes, it's that time of year - where photographic enthusiasts everywhere are asked to work miracles by friends and family and shoot in some really odd lighting without the requisite experience. I have been asked to take some nice portraits of my niece and nephew together in front of the Christmas tree, which is fine…it's the in front of the tree part that scares me. I've been thinking myself through this and want to know if I'm on the right track. The lit tree will be, of course, several stops brighter than the children, so I would either get a nice tree with dark kids or nicely lit kids and an overpoweringly bright tree. Luckily enough, I have two really nice 400 watt second studio strobes with large rectangular soft boxes at my disposal. My idea is to get the kids a good distance in front of the tree so that I can control only the lighting on the children and put a strobe off both sides. I could set the power output to normalize the exposure level between foreground and background and use a slow shutter speed (~1/60th?) so that the ambient light of the tree gets in the exposure. Is this line of thinking correct? Am I over thinking this? To those members who have done shots like this, what did you do?