To me, the most important part of photography is not IQ, although I chase it relentlessly. It is not lighting or composition, which when I do nail, does make me happy. My favorite part of photography is still the same thing it was when I started doing this almost 50 years ago: time. Time?, you ask. Yes, really.
I am 56 years old and just love the time-freezing and time-traveling aspects of photography. My three favorite photos are of, in no particular order, myself at my first communion, my grandmother at her 75th birthday party, and my great-grandmother on her wedding day. That was about about 1905, and no, I did not take it. I also have tons of photos of my daughter and grandson around the house. All of those pictures freeze the moment. In that photo, my daughter will always be five years old, or my grandson will always be 1, 2, 3 or whatever. My great-grandmother has been dead for almost 80 years. In that photograph, she will always be about 20 years old.
I do try to work on the technical aspects of my photography, but the importance of that pales next to the memories they preserve and induce. If I want to be 20 years old again, even if only in my mind,and only for a few seconds, I pull out some of the shots I took in the 1970s. When my grandson is acting like the three-year-old he is, and his mother is getting frustrated, I show her a shot of herself at about the same age. It is a miracle worker. Everyone wants to see it, and everyone feels a bit better for having done so.
I may never be a 'good' photographer. I don't care. That is not my goal. My photographs are personal and meaningful. A sentimental favorite that I did not take is an blurry, OOF, poorly composed, poorly lit self-portrait my grandson made when he was two years old and messing around with my 5D. THAT is photography, to me anyway.