When it comes to portrait photography, soft light is often the method of choice, as it provides flattering renderings suitable for a wide range of styles and subjects. If you are new to working with artificial lighting and interested in learning more, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you how to create elegant soft light for portrait work.
Coming to you from John Gress, this great video tutorial will show you how to create very soft and flattering light in a studio for portraiture work. The reason soft light is considered flattering is because it does not reveal fine texture and contrasts as much as hard light, meaning blemishes in skin are not as prominent and shadows have finer, more gradual transitions. Soft light comes from sources that are large relative to the subject. This is why the sun, for example, produces very hard light, despite its massive absolute size, as it is 93 million miles away, making its relative size rather small. This means that besides the absolute size of a modifier, you should also consider how close you place it to your subject to control its softness. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gress.