This first image fulfills the clients wishes. The subject is off to one side of the frame and the background is clean and clear enough to run text over it. This backdrop is the wall covering in his office and I was happy to make use of it. I lit the picture with two Canon 580exII flash units on Manfrotto 001B stands. The flash on the left (the subject's right side) had a 40" (1 metre) shoot through white translucent umbrella on it set just above his eyeline and at a distance of around six feet from him. This flash picked up a little of the background and was balanced by a second one to his left (the right side of the picture) bounced off of some off-white window blinds about seven feet away. The flash through the umbrella was set at 1/4 power and the other was on 1/8th power. The exposure was 1/60th at f3.5 at 200 ISO which meant that there was a small amount of ambient light contributing to the overall exposure which would have been about 1/30th at f2.8 without flash. I was using a Canon EOS5D MkII with a 24-70 f2.8L lens at about 50mm.
The client also wanted a front page option and so I shot some upright pictures with more space above his head and a bit more width on the right side. I then spent about ten more minutes shooting with other backgrounds but with similar lighting rigs. I used my other 5D MkII with a 70-200 f2.8L lens to make some tighter portraits too.
I was determined to make my last five minutes count so I moved my subject back to the wall where we started and got him very close to it - in fact he was leaning back against it for several frames. I took the umbrella off of the main light and turned the second flash off all together. Pointing a Canon speedlight directly at your subject will give a very hard light but I was keen to give a completely different option and so I moved the flash closer, zoomed the flash to the 70mm setting and shot these images: