always shoot int raw. set your shutter speed to a few stops lower, you can always brighten up in photoshop, while if it's too bright, the highlighted areas will stay bleached out + aperture (f/1.8) to 1.8 for best DOF. always experiment with different settings, the more you know the better and faster you become when it comes down to it. always look for good lighting. if the subject is strangely lit, the image won't be as as strong as a well balanced lighted subject. experiment, experiment, experiment!!!