This is one of the most important questions any photographer can ask themselves. All communications classes taught at school start with this question. Photography is all about communication. Think about the audience first, and the photo is more likely to succeed.
Theres no right answer to this question by the way, theres only the true answer. You may be shooting for yourself. You may be shooting for a client. You may be shooting for history as a documentarian. You may be shooting for a cause, to protect something or preserve something.
In each case, the audience dictates the approach. In my opinion, most of my audience members are shooting for themselves. This is a critical thing to understand, recognize and admit. Once you get to that point, you start making moves towards developing a style of your own.
I posted a tweet earlier this week that said, No matter how great your photographs, someone will find fault with them. No matter how bad they are, someone will like them.
The point of this tweet is the basis for this post. Ill leave it to you to sort that out.