This is a question that we all ask ourselves from time to time (at least we do if we are working hard enough). And it’s a difficult one to answer. But it’s not so difficult to do something about - and that is infinitely more important.
So what can you do? Find something on your doorstep to throw yourself into. Find a subject that doesn’t require you to go far away to shoot. This way you have no excuses. There is always something on your doorstep that is worth photographing. It may not be grand or fashionable, but it will sure as hell be important.
Find a way to photograph it that gives it meaning - don’t look for the obvious shots. This requires you to ‘work the scene’. By all means, shoot the obvious shots, if only to get them out of the way and then keep shooting. Stay with your subject, return to it time after time until you feel something click.
For example, we have entered lambing season. We live in a rural area so there is plenty of potential for imagery. I knew that I didn’t want an image of a lamb gambolling with an out of focus daffodil in the background. That kind of imagery has no meaning. This image is not an easy one to love, it takes time and effort to see it’s beauty (at least it did for me) but it most definitely has meaning and resonance.
I wanted something that represented life, death, seasons, hope, despair, time, youth, sadness, age, meaning, chance, cycles, change, beauty - all the things that Spring is about. I can see all of that and more - when I look at this image I see the earth, literally the earth spinning through space. I see the lakes and rivers and the oceans and the bones of the earth. It took me 3 weeks to shoot this image. It was worth every second.
So if you want your pictures to be good enough - get out and throw yourself into something until you shoot an image that excites you. That makes youclutch at your heart.