Second the incident metering, especially for portraits. Do some research on this. A substitute for incident reading is reflective off of an 18% gray card, but it can be tricky. I would search the "Exposure Discussion" forum, or even Google for Incident reading, and get a good understanding of what 18% gray is, what it means, and how it relates to both kinds of reading methods.
Basics: 18% is an "average" scene reflectivity, a reflective meter assumes that the scene is "average". If it isn't, then the reflective reading can be misleading. An incident meter reads the light that is falling on the subject, not the subject itself. Reading an 18% card (placed at the subject) with reflective meter is supposed to represent an incident reading. As always, technique and judgment are necessary for any kind of reading method.