I'm a newbie to portraits.....here are a couple shots from my first-ever real "session" with my T1i and kit lens.
I used the natural daylight from the windows, no flash at all, with manual setting. 2 windows on her right and one smaller one on her left.
The backdrop is just a white sheet because I don't have any fancy setup yet for hanging backdrops. I had some issues with the sunshine coming in and out which threw some yellow light on the top half of the sheet sometimes.
I have a bunch more but these are the ones I think are closest to good. LOL Let me know what you think. I post-processed in PSP 8.1 to fix any needed color, b/c, and crop, used noise reduction on most, and I resized for posting.