I've dabbled in this before (see this posting) but I certainly don't feel proficient. Today I set up next to the window for some indirect light and started shooting. I learned a lot.
First lesson: it's very hard to focus when you don't have a subject. Using a 105mm focal length makes for very shallow depth of field. At six feet and f/8, it's 4 inches (per the easy-to-use, free depth-of-field calculator at the Apple App store called TrueDoF-Intro). And I couldn't figure out how to use autofocus without a finger on the shutter release. So it was shoot, look at the image, adjust the focus, shoot again...pretty tedious.
|Try to Stay Focused|
Next lesson: It's easy to forget basic details like background. And unruly hair, and blemishes, and so on. You can fix some of them in post, but it's better to get it right the first time.
|Watch Background to Avoid Funny Hats|
I liked the side lighting from the window, but without flash the shutter speeds are very slow even at ISO 1600. I needed to add a lot of noise reduction in post. If I were a serious portraitist I would have flashes. Waiting for the self-timer to trigger also leads to blinking.
|Tired of Waiting for Self Timer|
In the end I had two candidate images. They differ in aperture, f/10 versus f/8. I prefer the f/8 because it blurs the background a bit more and the light is a little better. Okay, one week down and 51 to go.
|F/8, softer background|
|F/10, slightly sharper background|