So, i do say a lot of stuff about the Natural Light Photographers. But this time i am here to help you out. Here is what you are missing: You are missing the ability to shoot “Wide Open!”
The first pic is with the 18-55 lens and the second is with an 85mm f1.8. The lower the f#, the more blurry the back ground will be. Showing up at a shoot with the 85 will give you way better results. (Please mind the examples, just a 5 minute window to shoot)
Come on in and lets put one of these lenses on your camera, so you can see the results in person. The second piece you need is a reflector to help fill in the shadows. We have those too in all different price points and brands.