I had stowed my soft box in a corner of the studio to get it out of the way. I like to leave everything assembled so I'm ready to shoot. I raised the box up quite high so as not to bump my head. When I looked at it, I had the idea that it might be interesting to shine the light close to the face and let everything else fall into shadow. I thought it might produce an intense focus on the head and face.
Here is the result. I rather like it. I was casting around for wardrobe ideas (one can only wear a black turtle neck about 1000 times before it starts to look repetitious!) I went to look at wardrobe at one of my favourite portrait photographers Timothy greenfield-sanders . I figured he had a lot of people with good taste. I settled on a black and white scheme, as I wanted the maximum contrast between the subject and the back drop. and I thought the white shirt would lead the eye back to the face. I increased the light on the shoulder in post and lightened the shadow side of the face a bit. The Canon 5d mkIII has a lot of leeway in the shadows so that was easy.
The lighting is a variation on the Rembrandt strong side-light scheme, but raised up a fair bit.