^Sis, nag-classes ka din pala kay James Nicolay. I attended his basic photography class last March. I wanted to enroll for the other classes, pero saka na kapag madami na kong picture.
I also took up S'Nicolay's class last 2008.
A started with mobile cam, p&s, and last April 2010, I bought my new dslr, D90.
It's also my hobby. Then I partnered with my friend, who's a makeup artist.
So, we, from time to time go on photo shoot with pay, and on my free time, I just make it a hobby.
My photos can be seen here: http://chinitaindcloset.multiply.com
Regarding the techniques and tips, read. Read photography books. Join a group, join a Photography organization. Join open shoots. And yung 365 Photo A Day Project helps you enhance your photos. I actually tried this, but with my full-time job, it's really hard to keep up. So, I'm occassionally doing the 52 Weeks Project or 1 Photo/Week Project.
By the way, I have a 365 Project Plan with regards of theme or subject you like to challenge yourself. I can email it to you, if you like.