The most important part of making an image is great light and the best camera is the one you have with you.
Here are some great tips on finding great light:
If you are indoors, turn (or move your subject) towards the light coming in from a window. Below I took a photo of Ari with her back to the light and another with her facing the light (both unedited). You can see what a difference turning to the light makes.
Don't photograph in direct sun. It is harsh and create ugly shadows on the face. That is why most photographers will insist on taking portraits an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset when the light is so much softer.
If you are out in direct sun, look for the shadows, whether under the eave of a roof, just inside the doorway but have your subject face the light. If the sun is too bright, have them close their eyes and then open and you capture at the moment they open their eyes before the glare gets too much.
Shoot on a cloudy day. Best for even light.
Let know if these tips were helpful. I will continue the series next week.