We all have our own definitions of “beauty”. The color red may be bold, beautiful and invigorating to some, while to others it has a different meaning, feeling or emits an emotion (or lack of one, if you are colorblind). A grungy run-down building that smells like piss and mildew may be a scary, undesirable place to photograph for some photographers, while to others it is glorious, glamorous and beautiful. The definition of beautiful is, well, flexible.
I know that, for me, I photograph things that I think are beautiful. A delicious and flavorful plate of pasta, a serene beach scene with rocks and flowing water, or a wall of colorful laundry, hanging out to dry. To me, all of these things are beautiful.
A photograph may not be a living, breathing being, but it emits an energy of beauty if you treat it that way. For you that may mean reassuring a nervous teenager who is unsure of herself in front of a camera, or gently and carefully placing a fragile piece of mint in a cup filled with chocolate mousse. Being aware of your subject’s needs shows that you care, and like many crafts, a careful touch will help to create a beautiful work of art.
Life is a mirror. When you smile at someone, you will usually get a smile back. When you spend time to with your subject to get that perfect shot, it will show. And, when you treat someone or something with care and love, it will reflect that in your photograph.