This is Katelyn, newly graduated from high school (Natalie from Chapman University).
The first is “the usual.”
But in addition to the “safe shot,” I wanted something a little more.
I had those books (The Harvard 5 Foot Shelf of Books) used in a previous shot lying around, and wanted to use them in this. Harry Potter-ish. I lacked a period step ladder but improvised.
Basically the same lighting setup as with Natalie, albeit a different modifier. Very similar results, which is what I was trying to gauge. Directional, yet soft, to give shape to the face.
It’s never too late to have that portrait made of your graduate. Maybe with that twist to make it even more memorable.