One of the oldest adages in photography is to "see the extraordinary in the ordinary." I'm fairly certain that the person who came up with this was tired of hearing beginning (and even advanced) photographers bemoan the "lack of subject material." It seems that to some, there is simply a profound dearth of quality subject matter, while other "lucky" photographers find wonderful shots seemingly everywhere.
The pain inherent in this phrase is that it's absolutely true. There is no such thing as finding the happenstance "extraordinary" subject, scene, composition, etc. At least not 99% of the time. What there is, for those astute enough to learn to look for it, are thousands upon thousands of potentially extraordinary subjects, scenes, compositions hidden in plain site in the "ordinary" that constantly surrounds us. It all depends on whether your eye has been trained to scour the "ordinary," and see the extraordinary hidden within them.
The scene took me completely by surprise when I "saw" it. The directional light coming in from the end of the covered bridge, the strong geometric shapes of the beams, particularly the triangle that "frames" her, and a bit of compositional "Rule Of Thirds" framing created an image that our family still cherishes to this day. From a chance look at a pouty child on a family outing.
When I relate this story, I take care to emphasize the fact that it was not "luck" that allowed me to capture this image... I was looking for it. I was prepared to see it. And once you get religion on this notion of looking... really looking... for the extraordinary in the ordinary, your life as a photographer will never be the same again.
I learned to hone my skill by simply walking around. Spending time. Going downtown, to a shopping center, heck, the train tracks, and just looking around. Seeing. Framing in my head. Looking at how light is striking something. Evaluating angles, lines, and shapes. And sometimes you have to really dig. Sometimes the creative juices just don't flow. The key is to not get discouraged, but to enjoy the act of visually exploring. It's actually quite fun, and very relaxing... if you aren't putting pressure on yourself to find something. Look around, under, up, down, sideways, through... tilt your head... explore different angles as you look. You'll be amazed at what you find.
This is a learned skill. So go learn it. Walk around. Look at stuff. Only look at it through new "eyes." Look at it through the lens of creativity and wonder. Then tell me what you found.