What is the single most overlooked attribute of a successful image maker? In a word - curiosity. Without it, you are merely capturing the world at its most superficial level. Despite the importance of this concept, you won't find it in a glossary of photography words, or in any camera manual. Perhaps it's because the idea makes people uncomfortable. It does after all require a major shift in perspective. Rather than considering yourself a photographer, try embracing your new title, Visual Detective.
By allowing your inquisitive mind to guide the composition, you are reconnecting with your sense of wonder. I can remember summer days as a child in the woods of Pennsylvania, turning over countless stones to uncover salamanders. I studied each one, marveling at their unique spots and fantastic color variations. We all operated in a similar fashion at one point, only to adopt a hurried approach later on. After training thousands of photographers, I've learned that it's never too late to renew your vision. If you're looking to make a big impact in your work right now, this is your chance. While a photographer merely looks for pictures, the visual detective works to reveal truth through their lens.
"Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things." Frank A. Clark