All great photographs have aspects of both the particular and the universal. One can only photgraph particulars, not universals. but if there is not a universal resonance, the photograph is only about the thing photographed and does not resonate with those not familiar with that specific subject matter. It is the universal resonance through the particular that is why the viewer relates strongly to it. True for all subject matter, subjects included.
Now for makers: how do you get that universal in there when you are only photographing something particular? You see space, as well as the things you are photographing. (With portraits, you also see expression, but if the space is not right, you won't get it.)
Space has to do with the relationship of everything in the photogaph to everything else.