Photography is more than just having a fancy camera and snapping some pictures. There're a couple basic tips to be aware when out shooting. These tips can be used if you are using a fancy DSLR or your smartphone. The quickest way to improve your photography if you are a beginner would be the fundamentals.
1. Composition - This is one of the biggest pieces in photography. It helps by visualizing the story you are trying to tell. A lot of people automatically center their subject when taking pictures. By using the 'Rule of Thrids' you can make a more interesting story. The rule of thirds is breaking an image into thirds where you have 9 parts. Displaying a grid in your mind or displaying it on your LCD screen can help set the picture up. The intersecting lines on the grids become the most interesting parts. This makes for a more balanced picture. This is the quickest way to improve your photography if you are just starting out.
2. Lining up your Horizons - This is something that's very noticeable but can go unnoticed till other people are critiquing your work. I have taken several sunset shots or portraits and noticed in post processing that the horizon was slanted. It's an easy fix as long as you notice it. Now when taking pictures I make sure I line it up in camera so it's one less thing to do in post. Changing it in post-processing could possibly change the composition, so it is better to just be aware of it and to fix in camera.
3. Know your camera - Knowing how to use your camera is important to learning photography. Reading your manual can be very helpful when wanting to know what your camera can do. Knowing a shortcut for changing a setting can make a photo easier to take. Researching your camera on YouTube can also be helpful to know the ins and outs of the camera. If you are using a smartphone it is helpful knowing the different kind of modes you can shoot in along with finding out its strengths to take the best possible picture.
4. Lighting - Lighting is a big part of taking a great picture. You can never go wrong with the natural light. Pictures taking in the golden hour or overcast would be best since the light is even. Shooting around noon with the sun blazing could produce sun streaks in your photos or harsh shadows. Another solution to light would be setting up light sources such as LED's or flashes. This could get expensive and take trail and error to get the right look. Natural light is always best in my opinion but knowing the light source is huge when taking great pictures.
5. Post-Processing - Post processing is a priority in turning my photos from good to great. It can be as simple as moving a couple sliders on Lightroom Mobile or spending hours on my desktop changing the whole look of the picture. Most of my post-processing is simple but is worth it to bring out the extra detail and possibly crop to get a better composition. It always gives your pictures a unique style that can reflect you as a photographer. A Little effort can make clouds more dramatic or put more contrast for a black and white image.