My great-grandfather (folks called him Hromy) was a professional photographer in Los Angeles in the 1920s through the 1950s. He had some cool opportunities to shoot some still photographs in Hollywood, including some for Errol Flynn's "Robin Hood" movie. And while that is pretty cool, we also have tons of family pictures through the years. Pictures that would probably not have been taken if Hromy weren't a photographer.
My cousin spent some time as a professional photographer too. She did family shots and weddings (she was our wedding photographer, poor girl... I wasn't bridezilla, but I had VERY strong ideas about how things were going to go...) and she was fabulous.
I've always liked photography. I think it must run in the family. I took a course when I was maybe 15 and learned a few things, but never really progressed from snapshots until we got our DSLR for Christmas several years ago.
Now that we had better equipment, I started thinking more about what was happening in each shot. I learned about light and its importance. The Mr is much better with the settings than I am, and I use this as a crutch often (as in... "Oooh, this is great light - can you make the settings right so that I can capture the gold in the trees?"). I know. Pathetic. I'm good with that for now.
I think I (we) have really come a long way in the last couple of years. And recently I have been rejuvenated by reading, commenting and receiving comments from a couple of bloggers.
I have been learning from these folks too. They've never offered advice though.
I think the best lesson I have learned lately is to take lots of pictures, try new things, learn from other people's work and don't be afraid to ask questions. There are great people out there who will answer!