For a dramatic or edgy appearance, go with low-key lighting. Low-key lighting also focuses attention onto your subject by surrounding them in shadows instead of light. To do this, you want to ensure that your solid black backdrop is at least 3 stops darker than the light on your subject. With low-key lighting, you also need to ensure that none of the light from your subject is hitting your backdrop. Grids and flag are very helpful for this.
For our session I tried to keep Mr. C about 3/4 of the way up from the lights on the wall and towards me (right around where you are seeing the garland and red ornaments in the above photo). I was sitting only as far back from him as I had to, to get what I wanted of him in the frame (keeping in mind the three criteria above). Using the garland and ornaments for props helped because he just played with them wherever I set them down.
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