One of the safe zones I've left is muted colors and soft light. This image is everything opposite of what I'd usually do and I absolutely love it.
I do use a lot of classical portrait lighting, some dramatic with the use of shadows. But I've used shadows to model the face shape, not as a design element as I have here. I also used the classical lighting patterns that are considered "safe." Additionally, I usually carefully shape the lighting to avoid shadows on wall. One thing you learn is hard light = bad light. However, that is not true. Light is light. It's how you use it with your subject. The bottom line is you want to flatter your subject. It really doesn't matter how you get there as long as your subject looks great.
With this image, I intentionally wanted shadows on the wall and so hard light was king here. However, I knew the pose had to be dynamic or else the shadows would look like a blob. Shannon delivered and I am thankful that she didn't mind risking giving herself whiplash. The good news is her neck is just fine and it didn't take too many tries to get the image.
Shannon is my "go to" model for experimenting. She's always wonderful to work with and wiling to stretch out of comfort zones even it if means we may not get a useable image. I really appreciate her willingness to experiment with me.