1 Set up the flash
Place your light a few feet away from the camera, aimed towards the right of the frame. It doesn’t matter what kind of light source you use; we’re using a single Speedlight which is being fired into asilver umbrella for diffuse lighting. We set our Speedlight to ¼ power.
2 Remain in the dark
The background needs to be dark to make the model’s face stand out. Putting our model, Jennifer, in front of a white wooden backdrop would reduce the effect of the white highlights around the edge of her face when posing. We’ve used a black fabric backdrop, instead.
3 Position your model
Ask your model to stand directly in front of the light, looking into it. To get that side-lit effect, have them take a step or two towards the camera. We got Jennifer to move approximately three feet from the softbox to harden the light on the profile of her face.
4 Add a flag
To stop the light from spilling onto our background, we’re using a flag set up between the light and the backdrop. A simple piece of black card is sufficient to block the light from the camera, just make sure it’s not reflective on the other side or it may throw light onto the backdrop.
5 Work in manual
With the model in place, set the camera to manual mode, dial in the flash sync speed (1/200sec in our case) and an ISO of 100. We also set an aperture of f/5.6, which ensured crisp focus from the model’s nose to the back of her head with our 70-200mm lens.
6 Wrap the light
You can now vary the quality of the light without having to change a thing. Move your model back towards the light and you’ll notice the light wraps around more of their face. By moving the model towards the camera, away from the light, you’ll get a harder edge to the profile.