I recently read a post from one of my original photographic inspirations Ken Duncan about photographic competitions and how he cares more about the opinion of the general public than competition judges. Everyone is different and I have no problem with those who like to focus on competitions, but I'm with Ken on this one. Quite a while ago I realised that the images that sell and that the majority of the population really enjoy are rarely the images that win competitions. At some point a decision needs to be made as a professional photographer about where your priorities lie.
For me, it has always been about making prints and having people all around the world enjoy my images in their homes and businesses. It may not be the 'cool' thing to do as a photographer, but I made the choice to focus on the people who support my art and business. I have won competitions before, and I still enter the odd one here or there, but I honestly get much more enjoyment out of seeing one of my prints installed on someones wall.
I am so grateful for everyone who has purchased my work, and the thought of providing more and more people with beautiful scenes for their walls is one of my strongest motivations in what I do.
At the end of the day, whether you're a pro or an amateur - just make sure you're enjoying this wonderful pursuit of photography!