I asked an online group for photos of loved ones or pets so I could practice portraits. The deal being I get the practice, they get a free portrait, they talk me up to anyone who asks and I get to use the piece on my website. I got 3 replies for freebies and 1 reply from a woman who wanted me to do TWO portraits and insisted on paying! This is the first one I did for her, which I posted on my blog, and I have gotten 3 more PAYING customers from it!
In a week, with no experience and as a real beginner. I am pretty excited about this!
Best of all, she LOVES the portrait of her dad (who has passed away) and this is a birthday gift for her Mom.