One technique I’m experimenting with uses exposure compensation and my camera’s highlights feature to help produce a brighter exposure. With exposure compensation, you can increase or decrease the brightness of your photos (essentially by adjusting the shutter speed). With the highlights feature, the camera shows you what parts of your photo are “clipped“, or so bright the camera can’t reproduce the image (essentially pure white).
I start shooting with a high exposure compensation, and gradually decrease it until all the clipping has disappeared. This doesn’t always work because you might have a really bright sky in the background, and sometimes I forget to check the highlights, so I end up with a bunch of over-exposed photos. But generally this technique produces bright, well-exposed images. It’s easier to maintain quality when darkening areas of a photo in editing software than it is when lightening them.