I agree with the idea of studying photos from others. And many photographers offer classes and workshops. Once you find someone you admire, save up your money and consider investing to study with them. Workshops are hands on and most will take you through the entire process from selecting a scene with the best conditions to processing the photo to bring out the subject. I've learned so much by seeing how these pro’s develop. Some have very simple methods and yet the work is stunning. Others have a style that is more advanced and offers a lot of subtle ways to improve the way the image looks.
And take a gazillion photos. 😉 Enjoy what you are doing and share with all of us your creativity!
The correct lighting is key! Without that you lose detail and it's more difficult to correct in post. When I was in photography school in Germany we were taught , that Van Gogh's self portrait was the correct lighting. Notice the V of light close to his nose. You need to photograph an object or person in all types of lighting and record your angles of light. Remember to record your settings. This is the beginning of a good photograph.
I have to tell you, I grew up in southwest CT. Small world. If you want your images to look like what professionals produce, then explore the portfolios of working professionals who shoot the kind of photographs you are interested in. I would also suggest finding books on photography that explain how the images they have are produced. One book that I refer to in my photo classes; The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum. You can get this book, used, for about $16.00. If you're seriously interested in photography, this book will give you tons of information. I am a reader, so I tend to recommend books over Youtube videos. Also, Michael Freeman's Digital Photography Handbook. I've read a lot of Freeman's books and I like his writing.
Best of luck!