Low light portraiture is difficult unless you know how to adapt to your environment very well.
“Shoot wide open.” This is probably a bit of advice that you’ve heard when shooting low light portraiture. The great news is that you don’t need to use a flash to get a portrait that pops and makes people stare. Instead you can use a lot of the lighting that’s around us. Humans create a ton of lighting in various places at night, and with a bit of creative freedom and thinking, we can make lights work for us. Lots of photographers reach for prime lenses at night, but in recent years new lenses like the Canon RF 28-70mm f2 L USM with a very fast aperture throughout the entire zoom range have popped up. By and large, these lenses are changing the way photographers operate at night in low light situations where they can’t use a flash or bring lighting with them. And best of all, this means you can focus on bigger things like working with your model, and adapting to the lighting and the colors in the scene.