As someone who enjoys admiring a good photograph, I have always been a fan of photos that have a lot of contrast and detail. I am also a fan of sports and of photographs that portray athletes as strong, larger-than-life characters. This is true for me whether the athletes being photographed are professionals making millions of dollars or 7 year-olds just learning the basics of their sport. My son will soon be the latter of the two as he begins his young career as a soccer star. Although he doesn't yet have his uniform, cleats, or shin guards, he has a ball. That would do just fine for his first soccer portrait.
Prior to actually setting up and taking photographs of my son, I already had an idea of what I wanted from the shoot. I knew the shoot would have to take place at one of the local soccer fields near our home. I knew that I wanted to capture the soccer net in the background. I knew I wanted the lighting I used to place the focus on my son and not on the surroundings. The lighting would have to be a bit edgy to separate my son from the background and to help give him a strong, confident appearance.
Below is one of the better shots from the shoot. I used two strip lights with eggcrate grids behind my son on either side. These were used as edge lights that provided highlights on his face and the edges of his coat and jeans. I used a beauty dish with some diffusion material slightly above his head and directed downward for fill light. I took the shot with a relatively short focal length of 24mm and a shutter speed of 1/100s. The aperture was set to f/8. I shot from a low camera position to emphasize his stature adding to the larger-than-life effect. The shutter speed was not particularly fast, but since the shot was taken near dusk the ambient light level was pretty low. This limited the light intensity of the background.
The only things added to the shot through editing were spot removal of a couple of stray leaves on the field and some detail enhancement mainly in the creases of my son's coat. I added a little detail enhancement of the soccer net as well.