Being a photographer means using your equipment regularly. You have to stay in shape physically and creatively. Know your equipment. Learn the menus backwards and forwards. The goal is to be in control of your gear and not the other way around. Practice makes better!
These portraits are from a practice session with my assistant Zak. Both are one light set-ups. The guitar portrait is made with a large umbrella while the biker portrait is with a silver reflector with a 25 degree spot grid attached. In both portraits the f stops were wide open creating a shallow depth of field. Balancing studio strobe with ambient can be tricky at times but in natural light this situation was ideal. Both shots have a two to one lighting ratio meaning the subject is twice as bright as the background. Both shots are ISO 100 using an 85 millimeter lens. The biker shot 160 @ f 2.5 and the guitar shot is f 2.2.
Enjoy and have fun.