I shot my first portrait session for an adult today, with a very good friend of mine.
It was a very educational experience, partly in terms of photography but much moreso in terms of how to communicate and relate to a subject. Thus far I have almost exclusively confined my photography to "safe" subjects -- those that I didn't need to talk to or direct.
Today I took a big step into doing a (semi-) formal session with a living, breathing adult. It helped more than I can say that the model was a good friend, and very understanding of my amateur understanding of portrait photography. It's a scary thing to expose my weaknesses and inadequacies to another person.
I was thinking to myself on the drive over that this was a step I would NOT have seen myself taking a year ago. After the first few awkward minutes, everything went very smoothly. Knowing my model helped a great deal because I could bring out genuine emotion by bringing up things I knew would make him smile or laugh. In a perfect world, I could have this kind of rapport with everyone I photograph.
Tomorrow, I'm making pictures of a two year old. Onward!