Some weeks ago I did my first portrait-shoot for a colleague and friend of mine who also happens to be a certified tenor. The images are for his sed-cards, so I aimed for a high degree of professionalism in the process. We booked our assembly hall so we had enough space and power to shoot and set up a basic lighting with white and dark backgrounds as you can see in the images below.
I used my Walimex 150W Studiolight with a shoot-through umbrella, a basic reflector (white and black for both situations) and two Yongnuo 560II speedlights with their wireless controller for the shoot. The lighting setup can also be seen in the image. The goal was to go for a dramatic, yet classy, lighting mood.
For best results I used my Olympus 45mm 1.8 (equals a 90mm f3.6 full-frame lens), which I stopped down to around f5.6 (=f11) to get more depth of field.
Once we had set up, we had a fun shoot as Nils is a joy to work with, knows his poses and generally had fun in the process. All in all, we created three moods: classic one-light on white, the same on black with a kick-light or a reflector and some portraits only with the studio lights for a very dramatic mood. We closed the session with a prop, as we happened to have a Steinway Piano standing around(!)
In hindsight I would have wanted to experiment with a couple of more lighting-moods, as my material would have allowed for some more variations, but it all went smoothly anyway. My whole lighting kit costs around €350, which is not a lot considering the range of possibilities you have with that.
Enjoy the results!