Beauty dishes are a great tool for producing nice portraits the light produced is harder than a softbox but softer than an umbrella. You can also add different modifiers to change how they work. Like, grid to direct the light or softener witch is white fabric that you put on it that will soften the light. So, beauty dish with nothing i would use for larger subject, for portrait i would use with grid if i want to light up specific part of my object and for softer look i w
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When you choose to shoot portrait usually you will go for 85mm lens and more.It make sens. 85 mm lens is called portrait lens. And you get nice suppressed distortion and soft bokeh. But if you shoot every portrait with 85mm, all the portraits will have same result. Kind of boring. But don't get me wrong, 85mm is a killer lens. Must have for every portrait photographer. 50 mm lenses are also good for portraits, bit wider,good for every occasion, also must have lens. Now, 35mm
Most important, keep you subject between you and source of light. Choose good subject, something or someone that is clear and interesting. Turn of your flash. you don't need it because you want to keep your subject in shadow. So, you want to meter and correctly expose for the background, which will place your subject in shadow. Digital cameras make it easier to shoot silhouettes because you can see on the LCD exactly how the image looks, and adjust your exposure accordingly.
One light, that's all you need. Model with beautiful lips and good skin. Scarf on the head, covered eyes making more interesting picture, more dramatic and leaving viewer with question. Untold story. Black background for more drama. One light with small Beauty Dish. I place my light 45 degrees above model. I use speed light Godox Wistro 360. i love this lights, not expensive and they do very good job. And they are portible, you can take them anywhare, no need for power outlet