A few months back I was asked to shoot some photos as part of a campaign about domestic violence. I acted as the photographer and my wife was the art director. The images were for a student produced book made for a local non-profit organization.
I always like to try new techniques out when I can so on this shoot I decided I wanted to play with vignetting the background and having an overall darker tone to the photos. To do this I started with my key light. For the key light I placed a 4x4 Matthews silk overhead at about a foot above the subject with a 650 watt fresnel punching through from above. The silk was almost laying flat but it had a slight angle making it lay almost at a 45 degree angle. It was also a tad to camera right, not directly straight on.
As for the background, we shot in a studio with an all white cyclorama wall. I used an Arri LoCaster LED fixture sitting low on an apple box shining up onto the cyc wall to create the background splash of light behind the subject. The subject was about 10-15 feet from the cyc wall which allowed me to blow the background out of focus therefore creating a more even gradient from light to shadow. The main thing I wanted to learn from this shoot was how to turn a white cyc into a medium grey and how to create a natural vignette behind the subject on the background. Here are some of the other subjects from the shoot and a lighting diagram of the setup.