Lighting Is Your Friend
Whenever possible, use natural light. If you can’t use natural light, then make sure that the subject(s) you’re photographing are evenly lit, unless you’re intentionally doing something artistic with the contrasts of light and shadow. Good lighting is every bit as important as the quality of your camera. The two, working together, provide a powerful one-two punch that helps ensure top quality photos.
Experimentation is Key
Remember, you are the photographer, not the camera, so explore your subjects. Don’t take the same picture over and over again. Get creative. Get inventive. Go wild. Take a dozen, or even twenty photos of the same subject(s), and make sure each one is unique. Different angles, up close, far away, above, below, fiddle with the lighting, and so on. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. Of course, you’ll only be keeping/showing off the best of the best, but the more pictures you take, the more options you’ll have, and you’ll get firsthand knowledge and experience about what really “works.”
The Rule of Thirds
Imagine a grid of nine squares, three by three. Make sure the focal point of your picture is centered on the grid lines and NOT in the center of your shot. This makes your compositions more interesting and visually appealing. If you’re having trouble picturing those grid lines, you’re in luck, because there are photography apps, available for free, which will put the lines on your screen for you so you can use them as a guide.
Mastering photography can take a lifetime of practice. Mastering these three keys though, will help you improve the quality and dramatically improve your pictures.