#3. To focus much faster by preventing the camera from hunting for focus, set up the camera to use "back-button focus."
You want to dissociate the focus function from the shutter release.
On Canon cameras:
- Hit Menu
- Select Custom Functions
- Goto custom function #4 ("Shutter/AE lock button")
- Set it to option #3 ("AE/AF, no AE lock")
#4. Never use on-camera flash.
- It is super-fugly.
- When you learn to depend on creating light, you will never learn to "see" light.
- It is intrusive, and you can't get as close or take as many pictures without annoying people.
- You lose the background (thanks to Kenan for this tip.)