The highest form of flattery for a working artist is not mimicry; it’s purchasing their work.
The best of art is that which leaves the viewer better off for having seen it. By “better off,” I don’t necessarily mean happy or gratified; some of the best art I know is grim in appearance yet, the sight of it can bring profound realizations that positively impact one’s course of thinking and action. [...]
If you can understand the difference between appreciating a lovingly restored classic car vs. the latest luxury model to grace the showroom floor, you also understand the difference between appreciating photography practiced as expressive art vs. photography practiced for the sake of photography.
You don’t need ten tips to become a great photographer. I will give you one, though: nobody ever becomes “great” at anything by reading tip lists. Nurture your passion, embrace your creativity, be true to yourself, dare to take risks, work yourself ragged, and maybe, in time, greatness will follow.