A few weekends ago, I took an intensive all day photography class with Nicole Hill Gerulat here in San Francisco. I've had my new Nikon since last November and thought it was finally time I learn how to use it! I can't put into words how much I learned in her class. Nicole does a wonderful job of first going over the basics of how to use your camera ( in manual settings), then she goes over exposure and composition, lastly she takes you outside to go over lighting (providing a model). If she's teaching a class in your area, I highly recommend taking a class. If she's not in your area, you can actually take her Photo 101 class online with a guided course that allows you to chat online with her.
Here are a few head shots I took of our model. Unfortunately, I didn't position my camera well to escape that grassy/weedy background. I'm still learning...
Here I did...isn't she beautiful?
If you have a camera that you're still trying to figure out how to use, again, I highly recommend taking one of her classes. I'm almost positive I'll be taking a few more!