One of my favourite softboxes to use in the studio is the Elinchrom Octa 190cm. This produces wonderful soft light ideal for children portraiture. However its large size means that it can be a very versatile piece of equipment too. Instead of using the Octa as a key light, you can also use it as a backdrop to get a very clean white background, as in the photo below.
The diagram below shows the rest of the lighting setup. I bounced two small softboxes off of a white wall behind me to give a lovely soft and even light on James. The Octa was set at 1 stop higher than the reading given by these two small bounced lights.
Camera settings: Canon 5D MkII, f/5.6, 1/125s, iso 100
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