...but that’s fine since you’re probably taking the class to clear some of this up.
But before I get into all of that, bottom line up front:
For shooting macro on a micro fours thirds camera, I’d recommend an Olympus 60mm f2.8 lens.
For shooting portraits (on a budget) on a micro four thirds camera, I’d recommend an Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens. (If you can afford a bit more and have the space to back up to get the same framing, then I’d recommend an Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens.) Full disclosure: I own a copy of both of these.
That said, “macro” means that the subject is projected on the film/sensor at or near life size (1:1 magnification). e.g. the image of a bug that’s 1 inch long in real life will be projected as 1 inch long on the film/sensor. It has nothing to do with aperture (which primarily controls Depth of Field (DoF) i.e. the area that’s in focus from front to back/near to far (or conversely, the area that’s not in focus, which is sometimes referred to as “bokeh”)). A couple of things that do help “enlarge” the subject (to at or near life size) are a longer focal length and a shorter distance between the camera and the subject. However, since everything in photography affects more than one aspect*, focal length and subject distance also affect DoF. Specifically, the longer the focal length and the shorter the distance to subject, the thinner the DoF. So this generally means that when shooting macros, you often need to counter the thin DoF by using a physically smaller (larger f-number) aperture.
Note that aperture is defined as focal length over/divided by pupil diameter. i.e. it’s a ratio/fraction. So just like one half (1/2) is larger than one quarter (1/4), f/2 is larger than f/4. A more concrete example: a 100mm focal length divided by a 50mm pupil diameter = f/2 and that same 100mm focal length divided by a smaller 25mm pupil diameter = f/4.
This is why I thought there was some confusion when you said:
>”The smallest aperture is f3.5 which doesn't really allow for great macro shots and you don't get that gorgeous bokeh effect.”
Because when shooting macro on an m4/3 (micro four thirds) camera, you generally want to reduce bokeh (increase DoF) by using an aperture of f/11 or smaller/higher f-number.
Whereas, you also said:
>”I am interested in macro and portrait shots”
But portraits are sort of the opposite since you often want to use a large aperture (f/2 or larger/lower f-number) to increase bokeh in order to isolate your subject (make it “pop” from the background).
Personally, I find it easiest to break down the process as follows:
1) Choose your focal length based on the perspective you want. i.e. how much of the background you want to see and how far you want it to appear from your subject. Longer = less background and “flatter”/closer.
2) Choose your distance to subject based on the framing you want (using the above chosen focal length). i.e. headshot, head and torso, head to toe, etc.
3) Choose your aperture based on how much you need/want to be in focus (based on the above chosen focal length and subject distance).
4) Choose your shutter speed based on how much motion blur you want (or don't want). (And how fast it needs to be to avoid camera shake. Rule of thumb (without any Image Stabilization) is no slower than the reciprocal of the full frame equivalent focal length. e.g. for an m4/3 camera (which has a 2X crop factor) with a 60mm lens: 1 / (60 X 2) = 1/120 or faster.)
5) Set your ISO to achieve the exposure you want (considering all of the above chosen factors). And if this isn’t possible, add lights (if underexposed and increasing ISO will result in too much “noise”/grain) or Neutral Density filters (if overexposed and the camera’s ISO setting doesn’t go any lower).
>”I have heard investing in a good prime lens is the way to go if on a budget but I don't see any specifically listed as prime lenses."
A prime is any fixed focal length lens. i.e. if it won’t zoom (doesn’t go to more than one focal length), it’s a prime.
And yes, primes often have better IQ (image quality) than zooms because... are you familiar with the saying, “Jack of all trades, but master of none”? Well, a zoom has to be a Jack of several focal lengths, whereas a zoom can be a master of just one focal length.
P.S. *by everything affects more than one aspect:
Focal length affects magnification, perspective, and DoF (and camera shake). (Longer = larger, flatter/less background and thinner (and shakier))
Distance affects apparent size (magnification) and DoF. (Closer = larger and thinner)
Aperture affects exposure and DoF. (Larger (lower f-number) = brighter and thinner)
Shutter speed affects motion blur and exposure (and camera shake). (Slower = blurrier and brighter (and shakier))
ISO affects exposure and “noise”/grain. (Higher = brighter and noisier/grainier)