Picking a camera can be overwhelming. To make things easier, professional photographer Nicole Hill Gerulat put together an easy to understand page of what she recommends. I bought the cheapest camera and lens she suggested from the store she suggested. I have her page bookmarked and I go back often to dream about upgrading to this.
Here's my nonprofessional advice: When buying a camera, choose a brand that your friends are using. I know Liz and Jordan use Canons. If I ever have questions, I can ask them. They were extremely helpful leading me to know what camera to buy. Another reason to copy friends: if they ever decide to upgrade, I'm ready to buy their hand-me-down cameras/lenses! No shame in that.
The pictures in this post are some of my favorites. I recently had each of them blown up poster size and framed. I'm so happy with the results. The first one of the boys sitting is going in my living room and the second and third pictures are going in my endless hallway. I would show them in my house, but I'd need a wide angle lens for that. Nicole! Jordan! Liz! Any other Canon owners? Heeelp.