If you just got a shiny new digital slr, or a phone with a cool camera for that matter, there's 3 easy ways to make your photos better:
1. Shoot like crazy.
We don't use film anymore, that is unless you're in a fine art class. So fire off as many photos as possible, as often as possible. If they suck delete them, who cares, they are free my friend! You learn not from the good photos you take, but from the bad photos you take. It's no different than a basketball player, learning how to shoot the perfect free throw.
2. Don't always shoot from eye level.
If you really want to have interesting photographs, use perspective. Lay prone on the ground, and shoot up at the subject. Stand on a chair (without falling, hurting yourself, then suing me) and shoot down at your subject. We see the world, through our eyes every day, at pretty much the same angle. After, say 26 years, it's kind of boring. So get dirty and get different angles that show the world from a new perspective. My favorite trick is to shoot people, while standing on something. Why? It eliminates the double chin. So take that tip to the bank.
3. Shoot something meaningful.
Taking photos of you and your friends, doing tequila shots every weekend is all well and good. But why waste such a cool tool that literally changed the world. Can you imagine life before the invention of the camera? It was impossible to preserve reality, unless you could afford a painting, and had the time to sit still for 8 hours. Next time you see the sunset after a bad day at work, snap a photo of it. 6 months from then, you won't remember the bad day, you'll remember the incredible way the light painted the sky. Take a candid picture of it. Life is short, one day you are going to look back, if your lucky enough, as an old man/woman and wonder where the time went. Do something about it! Capture something beautiful, something that pulls a heart string. Take pictures of your kids, your parents, your dog, the landscape, the city skyline, the rain, a rose wilted by the first frost. A camera is a gift to mankind, don't take it for granted.
Until next time...happy new year!