Having a strong enough grasp on lighting to control your surroundings — no matter what they may be — can be a powerful tool. Here is a brief tutorial on how to make your indoor portraits look like they were taking outdoors.
Perhaps my experience with taking portraits for fun, private clients, and magazines isn't typical, but I suggest it is. Unless you have an ungodly budget to arrange a location or the building of a set, you will often have to make the most of what you have got. That is, you will need to make your ordinary location appear far better than it truly does. I have done this on many occasions and have spoken about it too, but the key takeaway is light.
In this video, Gavin Hooey shows how a simple backdrop and the right light can create a great base image for a composite where your shot from inside a studio or room can be made to look as if it was taken outside. The truth is, you don't even need to always make the image a composite, depending on what look you're going for. The primary goal is to combine a backdrop and lighting to forge the impression that the image was taken somewhere else. By controlling the spread, direction, and power of your light (as well as the color too), you can transform even the dullest rooms into something appealing.
Hooey uses color to really sell this scene and it can't be understated how powerful that can be. I will regularly use colored lights to do anything from the altering of the feel of an image through to the revolutionizing of the mood. How do you improve a dull space when you shoot?