Here’s a shot that illustrates boring lighting, as well as a boring pose.
To create the much more dramatic image, I set up two Westcott Ice Lights, one in front of the model to light her face and one behind the model as a hair/separation light. I dialed down the natural light exposure so the added lights became the main lights and created shadows.
To add extra interest to the photograph, I used what’s called the disequilibrium effect, tilting the camera down to the side, which puts the equilibrium of the image off just a bit. I also got closer to the subject. When it comes to people photography, the closer you are to the subject, the more intimate the photograph becomes. I photographed the model with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon 24-105mm lens set at 24mm for a wide perspective. Of course, the other factor that improved the photo is the much cooler pose.
For both photographs, I had my ISO set at 4000. That relatively high ISO setting was required for a handheld shot due to the low light. My original file did have a bit of noise. I removed the noise with Topaz DeNoise, just one of several plug-ins that are available for noise reduction. Newer versions of Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw also do a good job of reducing noise.
As an aside, my dad had a wonderful expression about noise. If a picture is so boring that you notice the noise, it’s a boring picture.