I did some fun portrait shots for Jen the other night. She was using a default graphic for her Twitter profile, which I felt needed to change. So I set up the gear, we gathered up some props and set about having some fun getting some new shots for her profile.
For this shoot I decided to use a shoot through umbrella straight on for the main light, fill (one to two stops below main) on the left, again, another shoot through umbrella, a hair light and a snooted light for a highlight on the background. All the lights were Canon 580EX IIs triggered with Pocketwizard. It's a pretty straight forward set up that yields quite good results.
As the shoot progressed we goofed around more with various props for no other reason then to see what we could create. It was fun. I was reviewing the shots quickly on my camera's LCD from time to time as we shot but I didn't have time to pull them up on the computer. We had another engagement that night so we had to move quick. I reviewed the pictures later that night. There were many really great shots from the session, however, my absolute favourite had a little piece missing. Below, on the left is the flawed favourite and on the right is my number two selection, which, by default became my number one.
Other than the slight difference in composition, the one on the left is missing the hair light. The hair light did not fire. It is a shame because everything else in that shot was perfect. The hair/rim light adds such a nice finishing touch to the portrait. The beautiful highlights in the hair and along the arm and shoulder - it brings a bit more spark to the image and nicely separates Jen from the background. *sigh* At least I got a good visual reference on the difference that one light can make in the overall aesthetic of an image.