- Getting down on their level-Yes, take a knee. Sometimes, I'll just sit right on my rear, which isn't good when they run away, (and they almost always do) but getting down on their level is one of the single best things you can do. The proof is in the picture.
- Lighting-I recently sat down at a picnic table then checked the position of the sun, then shook my head, giggled, made sure nobody was looking, then tweeted/facebooked about it. As a photographer, I'm constantly aware of the sun, where it is, how it's casting shadows, etc. If you can place your subject in a piece of shade facing the sun, you'll take gorgeous shots every time.
- Learn how to control your camera-Why do you think it has all those fancy knobs on it? It's like a house that isn't a home until you've lived in it. Your camera really hasn't taken pictures until you've learned how to use it. So, break out your manual, learn what those controls do, and if I'm being quite honest here, there's no better way to learn then by just doing. Go on now, get!
Good luck, and have fun!