Tip #2: Use natural sunlight! (Turn off the flash and get near a window or door). I think that these pictures are a little over-exposed however (too much light).
Tips #3- Get out of "Auto" mode and at minimum use program modes (ie landscape, portrait), then move on to adjusting aperture, ISO, shutterspead etc. In this pic I used the portrait mode. See how it blurred out the background (Ashlee).
Tip #4____________. Hmm not sure how to solve this problem yet. Any suggestions?
If any one is interested here is a link to an awesome free online 12 week photography course. The lessons are short and sweet. They are on week 4, but you can go back and download the previous weeks lessons.