One additional tip about shooting your own work (digitally or
conventionally) that I don’t think has been mentioned–
I use graded backgrounds that I produced on my computer using my
various low-end photo-editing programs (Hotshots was particularly
good for interesting textures) and print on hi-res paper. Subtle
textures, oval, circle or freeform “spotlights” can make images more
striking. I even have one that looks like ripples in water, seen from
an angle so that the effect is oval, and creates an illusion of
depth. These are huge files, being mostly black but with texture, and
they yellow after a while because of the hot lights, but they add a
lot to my images, I think.
Good luck, all!