When I worked as a daily newspaper photographer, one great insults given out by editors or other photographers was “nice postcard.” (People in the news business don't do "warm fuzzy bunnies." If your work sucks, they tell you directly). Any capable photographer can get the obvious shot. Finding something different is much more difficult.
Here is shot of autumn sunlight on the pillars of torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. I have been there many, many times with my photo tour clients and I have countless frames of the same old “tunnels of torii." Yawn. How do I find something different?
Look. Put your camera down. Stop thinking. Just observe. Zen mindfulness can be useful here. Just look at the world and let your thoughts slow down. Don’t try to find a shot, because if you force it, it won’t work. Inspiration just happens. Somedays you get a good flow and somedays you don’t. By letting go, you leave yourself open to receive.
As a photographer, you need to see something that exists in the real world, unlike an illustrator. So look. And be ready when it happens. You don’t need the fanciest camera, but it really helps to have a camera and know how to use it.