While there are many factors that go into making a professional-looking portrait, most pros would agree that lighting and exposure are the most critical.
After all, you may have a great-looking subject in a beautiful location, but unless your exposures are where they should be and your lighting serves to enhance the shot (and not detract from it), your results will end up falling short of their true potential.
And as every pro knows, it can be very frustrating to end up with "almost great" photographs, particularly when you are being paid to shoot a wedding portrait or other special event.
Although there are no fail-safe methods for creating "perfect" pictures, there are camera and lighting techniques you can learn that will help you to get the shots you're after.
This lesson is a continuation of an indoor metering and lighting lesson on this site entitled, "Using A Light Meter For Indoor Bridal Portraits". It examines different reflective and incident metering techniques, provides tips on metering for portraits, and demonstrates how to modify and add lighting outdoors.
(Most images can be clicked for an enlarged view.)