Found this on youtube. Steven is famous for starting a group on www.flickr.com called 365 day project. He's also a talented photographer. This is a really fun video that I hope gives you some creative ideas!
One on the main differences in being a amateur and pro is what you do after you take a photo. Most amateurs just print their photos while pros will touch up or manipulate their shots. Photoshop is the king of all digital manipulation programs. You can buy Photoshop CS4 on ebay for around 200 Dollars. So, If you want your photos to look more professional you should learn photoshop or a similar program.
I found this short video on how to vignette a photograph online. Try it out and see if it adds a spark to your photos! Enjoy!
Have you ever heard the term "bokeh"? Basically it is the blur in out of focus area of an image. Anyway, I found this video that explains it extremely well. You might want to watch this several times since the text runs kinda fast. Enjoy!! Leave a comment and let me know if this is helpful.
By the way, bokeh is great for portraits!
If you haven't heard yet, I have started another site. It's a photography contest site! I have been mulling a photo contest site over in my head for a while. I originally wanted to buy a photo contest site that was for sale, but after weeks of not getting a reply for the owners I decided to start one myself. Too bad for them...
Anyway, check it out and if you want, enter a photo. It's just the beginning and I am interested to see how it does. The First deadline is in May, so you have time to get out and shoot. If you check it out, let me know what you think. http://www.wwphotocontest.com/