If you’re feeling disappointed in your photographs when you look at other people’s then there’s some super simple things you can do to help yourself!
Firstly, understand what you’re trying to do. Are you trying to make breathtaking nightscapes on a disposable camera? Or are you trying to shoot a Renaissance-esque portrait on a Holga? If so, you might not have the right tool for the job… which leads us onto the next point.
Ask your peers! If you want to make a photo like someone else, just ask them what their approach is, most people don’t bite and will be flattered that someone is so taken by their photos that they want to know more. Even more than that, film photography isn’t new, it wasn’t invented on Instagram and has been around since the 1800’s, so why not look at photographs from people in the past for inspiration? The Photo Book by Phaidon is a great starting point, it covers most genres and styles and will let you dip your toe into what is possible with photography, and how you can start taking photos that you’re really proud of.
Finally, don’t care what other people think when you’re learning. No one nails it without a lot of practice and wasting a ton of film on crappy shots. The only way you’re going to get better is by practicing and experimenting, so just go out there and shoot until something you like comes along, when it does, figure out how you did it and do it again!