Soft light is generally the preferred style for portraits, as it is more flattering on the subject. However, soft light produces more gradual transitions and requires relatively larger sources, which can make it more difficult to precisely control where it is falling in the frame. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to create a portrait using soft but carefully controlled light using flags and v-flats.
Coming to you from John Gress, this helpful video tutorial will show you how to create soft but precisely applied light for a portrait photo using flags and v-flats. Soft light comes from sources that are larger relative to the subject, and as such, the light gets thrown around the frame a lot more than it would if it was harder. For some applications or styles, this is not a problem, but if you have a very specific look in mind, you have to start thinking not just about how to add light to the frame, but how to subtract it as well. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gress.
If you would like to continue learning about how to light a portrait, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"