Lighting Applications & Variations
This lighting and shooting angle are particularly good for women, and older women in particular. The large, soft source deemphasizes wrinkles, and the low light position, along with reflector fill, directs plenty of light into the eye sockets.
The high shooting angle forces the subject to tilt their head up, stretching loose skin around the chin line, and thus providing a slimming effect. This angle also obscures the neck, which can often be a trouble spot for older subjects.
You can substitute any reasonably large source for the soft box used here. Sources that you can place close in are best. A large, shoot-through umbrella would be a good, economical choice, especially if you are working in a large space where light spill is not a big concern. If you are worried about the spill, consider modifiers such as the Photek Softlighter (shaft removed), Wescott Halo, or equivalents from Elinchrom, Lastolite, or Balcar.
The image color was desaturated somewhat.
Lighting Diagram 2.5
Example Portrait 2.5
The Lighting Setup
The lighting apparatus used for this portrait is shown in the in the lighting diagram below. The main light was a monolight fitted with a 3' X 4' softbox, positioned vertically (long dimension vertical), and tilted down somewhat. The bottom of the softbox was just below subject chest level with a silver reflector placed immediately below. A hair light was placed above and behind the subject and tilted nearly straight down to provide lighting for hair, shoulders, and the background. The hair light was set to nearly one stop stronger than the main light for a brilliant accent.