Breath out as you press the shutter button. It's that simple. Just like shooting a gun, this helps stabilize and relax you before you shoot! The clarity of your pictures will definitely improve, especially in lower light situations where flash is not an option.
Adjust yourself to the level of your subject. Whether you are taking pictures of children or pets, bring the camera down (or up!) to the level of what you are going to shoot. Adjusting the height of the camera creates a better angle and a more inviting mood.
Shoot at the highest resolution possible. You paid a chunk of dough for that new flashy DSLR, so make use of it! Never leave the resolution on any other setting than it's maximum. If you manage to get a fantastic shot(and you probably will), you want to leave the option to enlarge open! The photo won't have to be scaled up as much, if at all, and if you want to reduce the size of the picture, you will have the best starting point because you utilized every pixel that the image sensor has!
If you have a lens hood, use it. If you don't, get one...and use it!! It is an inexpensive and an invaluable asset to your photographic process! If you are shooting and the light is to the side, this simple tool will prevent any light from entering the lens at an undesirable angle. This helps prevent lens flare and will also increase the contrast within your image. Using a lens hood helps you get richer, more naturally saturated colors, improving any shot with less than perfect lighting. It also does a good job at protecting the lens from damage. You have a lot of money invested in your photography, so protect it at all costs!
Take more photos! When you are out taking photos, don't be afraid to overshoot! If you have a memory card with a large capacity (and you should), take advantage of it! Take as many shots as you can, because when you look at your photos later, you might find that perfectly lit, perfectly framed gem!!
And of course....Always have your camera with you!..This is the single best tip for taking a better picture, but is the one that is most often forgotten! Bringing your camera with you allows you to get comfortable taking pictures and lets you develop your ability to frame a shot quickly and effectively. How many times have you said, "That was the perfect shot, I wish I had my camera with me!" Never say those words again!