Here's a lighting plan for my portrait shoot - thanks to Kevin Kertz for making the psd. freely available online - click this link to the source) Kevin Kertz's Set Up Plans (psd. file).
Two beauty boxes were used to create soft light and soft shadows. The plan to produce composite images to support the 'women in business' campaign meant that and long, hard shadows would cause problems when I came to create the composites (I'd end up removing them in PhotoShop).
The boxes were positioned one above the other - to provide the option for just lighting head and shoulders or full body. The latter is required to when the model poses in full traditional dress, to bring out the colour and produce some highlights and reflections off of the gold embroidery.
A Canon EOS 5D camera fitted with an EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens was used on the stand that was also used for my product shoot (which was shot before this one). The camera belongs to the college and the lens provides better quality images than my Nikon D70 and Nikon 28-50mm lens combination. The longer length of the Canon lens provides a softer image, which is great for model / wedding and portrait shots.
The shots were mostly taken at 90mm (although planned at 100mm). I am still in the habit I learned from reading Cartier-Bresson "don't crop in the darkroom, take the picture as you want it". It's a hard habit to break, learning to take a wider shot and crop later.
Shutter speed was set at 1/100 sec - a fairly standard setting in the studio, fast enough to minimise tungsten (although all tungsten are off and only modelling lamps used) and not so fast that it closes down before the flash has fired (yep I've read about that shutter sync problem). Aperture at f5.6 gave a narrow depth of field - again helpful with the composites. The light at this setting is the driver of the aperture and was at f8 - previous history with this camera - lighting combination suggested and opening the aperture a little further to avoid the background becoming too dark (and it still doesn't burn out).
ISO 100 allowing sharp images and minimising noise.
The Model is c8' away from the background so that light does not hit it with any significance.