Focus on the eyes
We are always drawn towards the eyes in a photograph, since eyes are a natural focal point that we connect with.
When taking portrait photographs at any aperture, make sure you nail the focus on the eyes. As long as the eyes are in focus, both you and your subject are more likely to consider the picture to be properly shot.
Make lots of mistakes, then learn from them
The more mistakes you make, the faster you’ll learn and improve your photography skills. All professional photographers once started without an understanding of anything on a camera.
The real value is in turning mistakes into lessons that build your skills. So try a technique or style you haven’t done before and expect to make many mistakes along the way.
Perfect the exposure trifecta
Getting proper exposure in photography consists of balancing three things: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. You can start off by shooting in automatic or priority mode, but to get full control and shoot with manual camera controls you’ll have to understand the relationship between these three things that each directly affect the exposure and quality of your image.
Always be ready
Be as prepared as a boy scout and always be ready to snap a shot. Most digital SLRs have nearly instantaneous startup times, and it takes almost no extra battery power to leave your camera on.
Keep your camera on one of the semi-auto or full automatic modes for unexpected pictures before your subject flies, drives, or runs away. You can always switch back to your preferred mode when you have time to adjust for a stationary subject. Sometimes you only have a split second to capture a great shot.