Doing Wedding Photography for so long I've learned how to make good casual portraits outside the studio and in all kinds of conditions... One needs to train their eye to see the quality of light around them to find good spots to shoot in. If you have a long lens to blur the background, 'headshots' can be made even in difficult and cluttered backgrounds. Mood, composition and more come next, with a strong focus on the eyes of course! Have to think and organize quickly for photojournalism when you are not allowed much time to study and contemplate.
Still miss doing long sessions in my old studio (in the SF Bay Area, Northern California), and the control of light you have. A rim light here, and diffusion screen there... Baja Ca Sur is perfect for brightness, catching special moments and spacious landscapes though!