I've been practicing with Manual mode on my camera. I typically shoot in either portrait mode or aperture mode.
I bribed Anique to come downstairs for a few practice photos (it only cost me a quarter and a granola bar). She was still in her pajamas and more interested in making funny faces and wiggling than posing but hey at least my photos didn't come out completely dark.
These were taken at ISO 400, 1/15 sec @ f/ 5.0