- Shoot as high resolution as you can with your camera and get as high resolution camera as you can afford.
- Get the lighting and exposure as close to perfect as you can, including white balance. If the lighting is poor, open blinds or turn on lights. Outside, move the subject if possible to a well lit area with indirect light (early and late day light is the BEST), use the flash and know the range of the flash.
- Lock the focus - Hold your shutter button half way down, check your frame and finish pressing the shutter button.
- Place your subject off-center or try a different angle other than eye level.
- Always shoot in RAW and adjust your images as close as you can prior to processing to PSD.
- Working file is PSD, all changes are done on layers, not on the image itself. Use adjustment layers not to damage original pixels.
- From the PSD you save the sizes and formats you need but always keep a PSD backup file. Opening and resaving a jpg file degrades upon each save.
In the example below, natural light gives interesting soft shadows without the harsh shadows that direct sunlight would cause.
Instead of standing and taking the picture down at the subject, in this case, getting down to kitties level makes for a much more interesting photograph.