When setting up a shot, try to get an interesting angle. For step-by-step stories, it’s good to get a little close so people can see the details.
Use as much natural light as possible and try not to use your flash. The flash can wash out some of the details and make the image less interesting to look at. Natural light is usually better.
For most images, you want it to be as clear and in focus as possible. But in some cases, you may want to apply a thin filter using an editing program like Photoshop. If in doubt? Leave the filter off.
Take a few shots of the same thing, using different angles and proximity. That way you can go through them all and find the one that best represents what you want to say. It’s not uncommon to take around 10 shots and only use one. But that one shot might be number 10.
When taking photos to submit on their own without words, tell a story with the image. A photo of a tree is just a photo of a tree, but that tree in the early morning light, or at dusk, or with things hanging down from it, or with the light shining through the leaves creating a flare, or with your friend standing near, all help the tree tell a story.
Have fun! Try doing the shooting with a friend. Get a little silly. Put some music on to set the mood. The better you are feeling in the moment, the better the shots will be.