Tip #7: Photography is an art which needs a lifetime of learning.
Photography is not the technological aid of capturing whatever your eyes see; it is the art of expressing your own vision of the world, of blending technique, light and color to draw attention to things that make your heart stop and your mind race.
A good photo will tell a story in itself, will make people relate to it and tingle all over with feelings they didn’t know they had. If you are serious about going down this road, go that extra mile of making even your family photos tell silent stories to anyone seeing them.
By buying a more expensive camera, you will not automatically get the talent of inducing drama, joy, tears or hope into people’s hearts.
Also, everyone’s a critic. Some people can’t even use a point&shoot camera, but boy, aren’t they full of oppinions about other people’s work! Don’t take offense, see what they have to say, ask what they do like and what they’d do differently. Take advice constructively, learn from common mistakes and practice, practice, practice. Re-do some of your work every couple of years, just to see what you’d do differently and how much did your experience grow.
Probably the biggest investment after buying a dSLR should be in the TIME to go out to practice and take those jaw-dropping shots. Good shots rarely find you; usually, you have to work to find them, fine-tune them, create them. You don’t need exotic places; there’s beauty hidden in ordinary things, waiting to be unveiled. Take your time; I know professional photographers which pick 2-3 photos worth saving out of 100 shots captured on camera.