Choosing and using the right equipment is a key element in photography. This doesn't mean you have to invest thousands of dollars in a camera and lenses. There are some very simple and affordable things you can do that, I have found, can really improve the images you capture.
One of the most important is a tripod. Even if you have a basic compact camera, a tripod is a must-have piece of equipment. You will take better, sharper pictures when the camera is stationary. You may think lugging a tripod around is an inconvenience, but as I quickly discovered, it's well worth it.
My other advise is -- learn your camera. One thing I often see people do is take any and all photos with their flash on, even when trying to take images through a window. They later discover that the flash creates a blinding glare on the glass and their photo is ruined. Learning to control your camera is a free way to greatly improve your shots.
For more advanced photographers, I strongly suggest a shutter release cable and learning how to utilize filters as a great way to enhance images.
Here's a general overview of the equipment I use:
I shoot with two SLR digital cameras. I have two because I upgraded and I kept my older model as a backup if I'm shooting remotely and it's also great to have to put a different lens on so I can switch between them if the situation calls for a different focal length in a hurry.
When it comes to lenses, I have experimented and the Canon glass on their 'L' Series lenses is unmatched, and if you can afford it, you won't be disapointed. I have experimented with Sigma and Tamron lenses and have had mixed results. Here are the lenses I typically use:
My camera pack is filled with 100 little widgets and gadgets, such as my shutter release cord, which I use often, filters, batteries and SanDisk chips. All of which lends to overall performance and availability to get that perfect shot.
And, last but not least, my trusted tripod for getting those nice crisp shots.