There are a numer of factors that will determine whether your photographs looks great: Lighting, Composition, Exposure, Angle, to name a few.
But there is one thing that when you realise what it is will make you look at photography in a new way and also help you create images that really capture peoples attention!
Before I reveal it, what do you think it is?
So, the secret then is to create depth in our photographs so that the image instead of being 2 dimensional and flat it looks alive, like you could reach out and touch the subject.
Here's an example of what I mean.
So when you are next composing a picture think about what the purpose of the picture is.
Ask yourself. 'Why am I taking this picture? What is the purpose?'
It might be that you are promoting a service, showing love and togetherness in a wedding photograph or provoking a strong emotion like fear.
Then look at the quality of the the lighting and see how you can create shadow, contrast, light & shade which will further add depth and feeling to your image.
This can be done by softening the light by diffusing it which creates softer more natural looking tones or adding more lights to highlight hair of the edges of the subject to make it stand out from the background.
If you're doing portraits, it's a good idea to keep the background as plain and inoffensive as possible so as to keep the focus and attention on the subject and create maximum impact.