Creating a high fashion portrait doesn't always have to involve a massive budget and an army of assistants carting in equipment. Sometimes creating a portrait is about getting back to the basics; with one light there's so many options to choose from. In the video below, one option is demonstrated by using one light to create a gradated background while still illuminating a rim on the subject to bring out his features fashionably.
First we're going to set up our speedlight on camera left, and equip it with a Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System and we're going to be using the included Strip Grid attachment. The Strip Grid attachment is going to give us beam more narrow than a traditional softbox, and the grid that is built-in will prevent spill into the camera's lens and limit the amount of light on our subject's face.
Let's rewind, it's important to keep that light out of camera frame or pointed in the camera's direction for this image. Here's an example of what happens if light hits the lens, it creates a flare and decreases contrast. For this shot, that's not the goal. However, that is a creative way to create a faded look or to decrease contrast. For an example of that, check out how Erik Valind created artificial sun flare.
After positioning the light so that it falls on the background to create a gradated effect and just slightly on our subject's nose, cheek bone, and hat's brim, it's all about posing. Get creative and have fun! Using a set up this simple, one that can fit into a backpack, let's you focus on the creativity and posing of the shot.
Camera Settings: 85mm Lens @ 85MM, ISO 100, 1/125, f/6.3