A Lighting Guide Using An Octabox
5' to 7' Octa
What I like about the larger Octaboxes are being able to use one light and cover the subject or subjects in a group. You don't necessarily have to worry about unwanted shadows on the model's face. Especially when models like to flow from pose to pose.
The larger Octaboxes will cover and wrap around your subject and illuminate your background at the same time. They can diffuse or eliminate a shadow on the background in proximity with your subject. Depending on the angle or feathering of light to your subject, they will have some amount of shadowing to sculpt a face. Many manufactures offer additional diffusion panels to alter the light source to minimize any hot spots. I do like the fact that I can have a large soft light and still achieve some short lighting.
For those that are not familiar with the definition of short lighting, let me define it. Short lighting is putting a shadow on the side of the model's face closest to the camera. In the cover image, I added a white reflector panel for filling in the shadow side of the face.
The smaller versions will offer more contrast of light. It will provide a certain punch and still be a soft light source. Many photographers use a smaller Octabox for a pseudo beauty dish effect. Remember, the closer the light the softer the light will be.