I was learning photography from books. And a lot of what I did at the beginning I was decomposing photographs that were inspiring me, trying to repeat them and leaning from my mistake. This was extremely valuable and I have no problem suggesting this to anyone else. There is of cause a danger of getting stuck in repeating others.
At some point I felt a need to find my style and I got into a trap of trying to be different. I guess I had too much external influence telling me that to find my style I had to differentiate myself from others. I was continuously chasing after finding something that has not been done yet. All that produced to was a bunch of random photographs. All that was depressing as I was trying to photographs that could be different but not necessarily interested me.
It took me a while to figure out that the most important thing in photography – as probably in any other art – is to be true to yourself. You can try to be like someone else, you can try to be like nobody else or your can try to be yourself – the choice is yours. I prefer to be myself and it does not matter to me if what I photograph has been photographed before, if my image looks like something someone else did, or if it does not look like anything else (which is very unlikely given how many good photographers are out there in the world).