You only have inanimate objects that need to tell a story. Still life photography is different than landscape or portrait photography. This means everything matters, the way you position and frame all the elements, the lighting, the background and the focus. As this is a form of art, it requires a little talent and a lot of work. You need to practice and compare your results until you start to understand what are those little details that make great photography.
This first thing to do for becoming a better still life photographer is to know your equipment. You should buy the appropriate lenses that would enable you focus on a specific element in a frame, while blurring all others. This effect can be obtained by using a prime lens with a small depth of field. Handling this type of lens can be really tricky, especially if you’ve been using zooms for a very long time. With a rime lens, you don’t get the advantage of zooming in on a subject. You need to know how to assess the right distance between the camera and the subject, as that’s the only position that would enable you obtain a specific effect.
Another good tip that can help you improve is to learn from other professionals. Pick some outstanding still life photography examples and try to replicate them in your own studio. Play with the lights and with various backgrounds, experiment with various lenses and camera settings, and try to figure out what works and what not. Consider trying some special effects, too, as they can help you discover innovative techniques that might make you a celebrity over night.
As composition is extremely important when it comes to still life photography, you should also experiment a lot with that. Create and re-create a setting, changing the framing and the position of the various elements. Compare the images and try to see which one conveys your desired message the best. It’s not a bad idea to ask some friends to help you by identifying your intentions. Let them look at the images and write down what they think. This might help you determine what viewers see and what they understand from what they see.
By experimenting, you can progress and improve your skills to the point where you are going to become an amazing artist. It may require some sacrifices, but this is the life of artists, so you have to make peace with it and follow your path.