Observation, patience, calm, timing, conversation and laughter, the things you can't really study. These less tangible qualities are equally important as knowing the technical stuff (lighting, composition, equipment etc), but a balance of both is best.
Personality, not just pictures, that's my thing.
During that time I was a student member of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography, Australia's peak body for photographers) and became an "emerging" member at the completion of my study. A year in the AIPP's mentoring program learning about the business side of photography and from that program became an Accredited Professional Photographer and "full" member of the AIPP.
In my previous life I worked in IT, mostly software design and programming (geek?), having completed a Bachelor of Science at La Trobe University. It might not help much when composing a shot, but knowing your way around a PC really helps with the other side of modern photography. I also have a Working With Children Check.
My family is based in Melbourne's inner city suburb Northcote and is fortunate enough to include three young daughters. They have proved most useful as models and also for testing dad jokes and other such material, sadly most material written here is untested.