I have been, and still do, mostly consider myself a handheld photographer... Tripods were used for long exposures at night, or for use with a timer. Over the past two months though I have come to appreciate the importance of a photograph's background; it being the scene to which we place our subject within.
One of the aspects of my handheld photography has been that I have "worked" my way around a subject, largely ignoring my backgrounds as I did so. In so doing I found that sometimes my photographs would be lacking in some aspect. The light may be right on the subject, but the background no longer 'worked' as it had at another angle. Potentially good photographs have been lost because of the subject not fitting the background as the camera's angle changed.
And so my recent epiphany of the importance of a tripod to fix a scene. I have come to realize that it is better to set my scene, and then have my model move and position themselves within it to the light that I am using. To keep moving about without consideration for my background disjoins my subject from my background, thereby only creating half an image.