^ That's how it pretty much works for me. I goof around till I end with something that pleases my eyes. So idk how others look at them. I'd love to know though.
Lighting IS the hardest part. Just play around with the brightness, contrast, channel (and few other things like curve/exposure, if you have PS or other advance photo editing apps). Don't turn them up too much that it turns your pictures smudgy.
Are you trying to read this? Why did you highlight it?