I usualy play around with my cammera on different settings to figure out what works really good and what doesnt. Like one example would be when i discovered the shutter capacity setting and it is pretty awesome when your in good lighting.
Another thing i like to do is change the setting on it and use the wide screen option, something like 16:9 ratio or something like that when i'm doing serious or professional looking pictures.
Every cammera is going to be different but i really recomend the Kodak Easy Share z915 or a cannon.
Photoshop is also something i use to edit my pics with and its awesome for making blends.
Hope this helps.