My motivation to make an image can come from the photographic apparatus; the desire to see what something looks like through a particular lens or in a particular lighting set-up.
It can also come from the object or person to be photographed. Most often, there is something of visual interest present: the light or color or pattern. Maybe, it is the desire to see what that object or person will look like when taken out of its context or out of its time.
That extraction from the context is what a single photograph can be. It isolates within a lone frame. When the background narrative becomes ambiguous or is eliminated, seeing the object directly for itself becomes possible.
I try not to over-think the process by creating an image where the pure perceptual experience is dominant and meaning is of little importance. I also try to remain a bit ironic, looking for the humor in a situation.