Painting has a long tradition of copying other painters, photography should as well. You see a bit of some kinds of copying, but generally stylistic things. Lighting setups, processing ideas. This is in the right direction, but it's better to try to copy a "look" to get closer to the essence of the thing. Who cares if your lights are in totally different places, if you're getting the same feeling? Do you care about where the lights or, or what the final image looks and feels like?
What photographers do you admire?
Copy their work, or their style, try to understand how it is that they do the thing they do. Make slavish copies of the originals, make similar images that copy the look, make images that are responses to the original. Make witty references to the original. Apply that "look" to something completely different, and so something very very similar.