I met Eric this afternoon in St. Petersburg Florida to make a few different style of headshots for him to help him promote the publication of his first book! I used my usual strobist setup of two speedlights and brolly & shoot through umbrella light modifiers. I did not intend with the above headshot to have the background be all black, meaning I did not use the fastest shutter speed and try to control light spill as much as possible to create it while shooting. Instead I added it using a black & white conversion filter in Color Efex Pro. Personally, I really like headshots and portraits where the light only reveals some of the subject, making it look like the subject is emerging from the background.
Eric wanted an approximate three-quarters view headshot on a white background. I had my neutral gray collapsible background setup with a white sheet over it. The white sheet does not produce a pure white background, Photoshop editing is still required, but it does make cutting the subject out much easier. For this shot I used more of a backlit setup with the secondary light well behind Eric.