Recently I photographed a friends wedding. I'm definitely not a professional but I know a few things and try my best to get great photos. There's a lot to know. It takes time and practice to get better. Lots of people have great cameras but they don't know what to do with them (I have been one of those people). Here are a few simple tips to help improve your own photos whether you take pictures just for fun or for others.
Stay out of direct sunlight. Sunlight causes sharp shadows and creates bright highlights and dark lowlights that make an image very choppy. Ideally you want to see even light distribution to illuminate all parts of your subject and create a brighter image. Try to get your subject in a shaded area or wait for a cloudy day. Clouds produce a natural soft box which results in great lighting.
Work with natural light. If you are taking photos during the day, take advantage of the natural daylight. When shooting inside, be near a window to allow for bright, natural lighting.
Know your camera settings. It's so important to know how to use your camera. There are so many different things you can adjust within your camera settings that will cause you to produce a better image. Take time to learn what your camera can do on all different settings and know how to make simple adjustments.
A good lens makes a big difference. Read up on different lenses and find out what would work best for the type of photography you do. Different lenses are for different types of photography. It depends on what you want to do.
Move around. If you want to get the perfect angle on a photo then you will probably find yourself in some strange positions. Don't just stop on one angle of your subject, try a few!
Hope these few tips come in handy!