Use the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is displayed on your camera's LCD or viewfinder as two lines going horizontally and vertically and therefore dividing the frame into nine sections. When you compose your photos by placing your subjects on those lines, the results are much more interesting photos that the human eye tends to look at for a longer period of time.
Pay Attention to The Details
The very minor details in a photo can totally change it around. Body language is a big one as placement of a bride's hands can tell us a lot about how she is feeling in wedding photography. Others are how the lens is making the body look. In portrait photography, wider lenses tend to distort body parts: making heads look small or legs look like a person is half-giraffe.
Take Careful Notice of Light
Light is extremely important in photography. Shooting a photo of someone with the sun in the background will give you a photo with lots of shadows on the person's face. In the professional world, a reflector, soft lighting or some fill flash will solve this. Your camera will typically meter your images based upon what your focusing on, and there are often very dark and very bright areas where the light caries. Use your LCD screen to preview what your image will look like and try to find a good balance.
Edit, Edit, Edit!
Editing is very important in the photo world. For starters, to get better photos you should be shooting in RAW mode. This mode is much more forgiving to mistakes that you may make. When shooting in RAW, you can process the photo in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture or the provided program with better results. Variables like the white balance (color temperature of the photos), saturation and fill light can all be manipulated.
Great photos are created by the photographer, which also means that there is processing in both the Darkroom (film) and programs (digital). Get ready to spend some time creating better photos that you'll be very, very proud of. What you'll need to do is look at your photos, apply different changes and ask yourself certain questions. Perhaps you didn't follow the rule of thirds in your first shot, here is where you can correct that by cropping!
Now that you're at a higher stage in your photography and you have a Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera, you'll need to take the steps to make your photography better. Taking and creating better pictures isn't easy as it requires fresh new ideas, different perspectives, knowledge and understanding gained from making mistakes, and constantly keeping at it. Keep shooting and you'll eventually be able to use your camera like a pro.
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