Angie drove all the way from Hudson (!) to the University of Tampa campus for our first DSLR Photography Lesson together. Thank you! Angie has a Nikon D40 with the two kit lenses. She is interested in photography people, especially making portraits of babies, and she is learning on a bit of a deadline as her own newborn baby will be arriving soon!
So we started right away getting into how aperture controls the amount of light let into the camera and the DoF (depth of focus). One of the main reasons to get a DSLR is to be able to control the DoF and produce portraits with a pleasing bokeh. Since there were no babies around to practice on, we just made due with a knob on a top of a pole, which we actually pretended was a diamond!
We made our way down to the river and practiced making portraits using flash. We tried the same shot with and without flash just to see the radical difference it makes in portrait work. Even just using the camera's pop-up flash helps a lot, although I recommended to Angie, and to anyone, that getting an external flash like the Nikon SB-600 Speedlight is eventually necessary to get the best portrait results.