Make sure you know all about your camera. Most of us use only a small number of the many functions our devices are equipped with, and you'd be surprised what a difference they can make. Get to know all the buttons and most common functions so you can operate the camera quickly and easily without looking.
If you are taking pictures of people why not experiment with colours, props, or clothing.
Don't automatically place your subject in the centre of the shot. Sometimes, especially when the backdrop is interesting it can be worth moving your focus of attention slightly to the side, to show where they are can add to the story.
If you decide to try this there is a 'rule of thirds' which gives you an idea of where to place your subject. Imagine the picture broken into thirds both vertically and horizontally. Move your subject close to or on one of these lines to create a new shot.
Look out for things good and bad behind your subject. We all have a photograph stashed away somewhere with what appears to be an inanimate object stick up behind us. Make sure there's nothing unwanted in your photograph, it may be that you can avoid a ruined shot by being aware of what else is going on around you. Is someone about the walk into your shot? Is the light a little better a few steps to the left? Have a check both through the lens and outside of it before you commit to pressing that button.
Be aware of camera shake, you may have a great shot lined up but if your hand is unsteady the picture will not look good. Make sure you have a firm footing, and if possible either a tripod or something to lean against when taking your shot. Try to not put too much effort into pressing the button either, as you will move the camera in doing so. Try to be as gentle as possible, and hold your breath momentarily as you take the picture.
Employing these little tips and picking the right light and settings on your camera will help you take a picture so good you'll want to transform it in a to canvas for yourself or as a thoughtful gift.