Take those Pictures Already
When I talk to people getting into photography they usually have many of the same questions: "What equipment is best?" "What can make my pictures seem more professional?" I usually advise beginners to go for a fast prime starting out. The fast prime allows you to shoot in low light and create the ever so desired bokeh without breaking the bank. The rule of thumb is to spend twice as much on lenses as you do on your camera body, as lenses make the biggest difference in the quality of your photos. That being said, you don't need any special lens or camera to shoot great pictures- if you don't understand what goes into making a good picture, you won't take good pictures. I'm still learning myself, actually. The best way to get the best pictures you can is to go out and shoot more. The number one thing that will increase the quality of your pictures is your understanding of techniques and how to use light to your advantage, as well as finding what you like to shoot. Framing, the rule of thirds, focus point setting, nailing focus and other rules are also extremely important. That being said, you WILL NOT be a good photographer if you don't go out and take pictures of what you love to photograph. How will you ever learn if you don't practice? If you're not taking pictures, you won’t have any good photographs in you portfolio in the first place. A lot of my favorite photos are pictures I took months ago- after looking through my Adobe Lightroom catalog, I realized how amazing they looked. If you see something interesting, take a picture of it- you’ll never know how it will turn out until you try.