I have aggressively pursued photography, and I feel comfortable with where I am right now. That being said, I am satisfied with my progress but am fully aware that I am very far from where I want to be.
One point that continues to get reinforced is that the average person cannot tell the difference between good and bad photography. Spend some time browsing photos and reading comments on facebook, photography forums, and blogs, and it will quickly become evident that the masses don't want toro. They want bad California rolls and imitation crab. There are lots of vendors too.
In general, photographers love talking smack about other photographers. I am ok with this from time to time, but photographers who have no idea what they are doing (who technically haven't even earned the right to call themselves photographers) also partake in this cherished pastime. And the internet has given them a pseudo-platform. Yawn. I love it when someone who has an entry-level DSLR (freshly removed from a box) lectures others on the finer points of photography.
One of my initial goals when starting off was to get good enough so that people could tell I was more than a hobbyist. I now realize that type of validation from the masses is easy to achieve and quite pointless. As cliched as it may sound, I only want to be the best that I can be. Simple. Meaningful. Technically an unreachable goal. Just the way I like it.
I will work on getting better images.
I will let my images speak for themselves.
Over the weekend, I followed a webcast of a rising star photographer who streamed live footage of herself shooting a wedding and discussing it before and after. It takes some serious cajones to do something like that. I don't think she is a master photographer, but she really knows how to market and sell. Not sure her photography alone is worth her $7500 base rate, but if you believe in selling someone an "experience," then I suppose it could be justified. It's always interesting to see someone do their thing, and I am grateful for people in the industry who like to share knowledge.
At present, I feel like I am in a bit of limbo. I've waited to launch a website for a number of reasons, and some of those reasons seem to be no longer valid. Without a website, I have no identity as a photographer. I cannot market myself properly or possibly at all. This must change. Soon.
Photography is an interesting field, and one with lots of landmines that need to be defused or stepped around altogether. If your foot is already on one, it probably makes sense to work on defusing it. Hopefully you learn how to stay out of bad situations in the future.