Clay Cook I've found that starting with one large light source is a good start. Create the ambiance then add drama. Canon 5D Mark III 70mm (24-70mm f/2.8L II) 1/160 f/14 ISO 160 Ambient Key: Profoto D1 | 9.0 Power | 6x6' Lastolie Skylight Rapid | 60" Photek Softlighter Kick: Paul C Buff Alien Bee B800 | 1/1 Power | 10x36" Stripbox w/Grid Fill(Behind Camera): Profoto D1 | 4.0 Power | 65" Profoto Deep White Extra Large Umbrella Background: Oliphant studios
Artificial lighting can be overwhelming, there are thousands of options to modify one single light source and there are dozens of companies that claim they have the best product and best bang for your buck. Regardless, photography equipment is expensive and I know I'd rather not waste money on a gimmick product when the same result could be achieved with just the right strobe placement or accessory.