My observation is people start out making photos of what they "think" they should be making photos of, and not what they really see. So many strive to emulate a favorite photographer who (in their opinion) makes "art" - or at least photos that they wish they could make.

Some people never go beyond that and always try to emulate or make a photo as good as photographer "xxxxx" - hoping to equal that vision. Until you discover what YOU really see and relate to, you never make original photos reflective of your own personal vision or point of view.

You have to take chances and do things outside of what you've predetermined to be a type of photo you want to emulate (replicate?). Many people avoid experimentation or making photos of things that don't fall into the genre they've chosen.

I've purposely forced myself to think up projects or to make photos that challenge my vision or concepts of what is acceptable or makes a good photo. I've done landscapes, altered photos, hand colored work, series, portraits, etc. - and finally have decided that I have the freedom to photograph whatever I see that interests me regardless of subject matter.

My only self described "failure" is that I have never been able to setup and photograph a still life that is worth the film it was shot on. At least once a year I try to thinkup a still life and photograph it. In 15 years, I have never felt I've done one that is worth looking at.