I've always thought of being a photographer as being like a collage artist; you have to take the pieces of the situation--the location, the flow of a day, the people--and make art in the moment out of how it all happens. This may make it sound like you're in a reactive state all day, passive watching as events occur. Quite the contrary. Instead, you're in a state of constant attention while also keeping the overall story in the back of your head. You have an agenda, like a jazz musician has the key of the piece and the rhythm with which to play against.
And as with all forms of art, photography is a lot about elimination and simplicity. It's focusing on telling the story in its most essential parts. Knowing your why (the story) determines what is interesting and what is not. It maintains focus.
And this is important for the photograph's final purpose: as a remembering tool. When we're in the present moment at a party, we're focused on our own experience of what that party--who we're talking to, getting a refill on a drink, or enjoying the food. My work is about telling other people (who weren't there) what the whole thing felt like, and helping the people who were there to remember what it felt like--to get the whole from the pieces, as in a collage.
That, for me, is what I hope for in my photographs; I want the moments and the people to be felt as a whole. This is hard, because a photograph is a literal flattening of a three-dimensional moment. But a photograph's power is more than its dimensions, and the whole of a story is understood through its many small moments... much like our very own lives.
And all daily moments are beautiful.