Those images I did take did not stand up to my standards so I was hesitant when one of my nieces asked me to take some shots for her portfolio. I don't have a studio or lights so we decided to have the "shoot" early in the morning at the beach on the East Coast. We were lucky as there was a great sunrise. My sister became my light stand as I gave her a gold/silver reflector that I showed her how to use to get the shadows off her daughter's face.
We moved around and used several different backgrounds and a couple changes of clothes to get some variety. The three of us ended up having a lot of fun. In between the "keeper" shots, I had her make faces and act silly to keep her from being tense.I spent some time in Lightroom and Photoshop softening her skin and brightening her eyes a little as the reflector did not give me all the light I needed.
After seeing these and the other images that she used for her portfolio my other sister and niece asked to have some shots done. I started with some inside shots using my Speedlight off camera. We are looking forward to better weather when we can get some outdoor shots.
So use different types of light, different backgrounds, a variety of clothing and have fun!
Using your family and friends (who tend to be a bit less critical of your work than strangers) is a great way to start taking portraits. Also, there are always aspiring models who can't afford to pay for a portfolio so that is another avenue for getting started and getting practice shooting portraits
That's all for now.
Turn that camera on!