In high school (many moons ago) I took a few B&W film classes. I know my way around apertures and shutter speeds. In college (still more moons than I'd like) I minored in fine arts and took lots of oil painting classes, so I know something about colors and aesthetics and composition. As an honest-to-gosh grownup, I've picked up my fiancee's (very dusty) EOS 300D, and I've been shooting and teaching myself a little about PP with PhotoScape. I go out an shoot 1-3 times/week, and once in a while I get one shot that I really like. Maybe two a month. I look at a lot of other shots on here, and sometimes I feel like my best are almost as good as other people's worst. Now these "other people" have waaay more experience, and also much more technical and theoretical knowledge. So here's my 3 step plan: 1. Find as much time and as many opportunities to shoot, to build experience. 2. Start reading some books, to learn about the theory 3. Next summer, look for gigs as a photographer's assistant, to learn a little about technique. So here are my questions: 1. Does this plan sound reasonable? 2. Can you suggest books? I'd like to lean portraiture. It would be great if I could make a little money to pay for my habit shooting senior portraits.