Good question. I watched the two videos too. I like that there is a real conversation here. I had hoped this site would be a place where real conversations could take place, it didn’t turn out that way unfortunately which is why had you not sent out the email I would not have known this was here. Like the man in the videos I like to talk photography, I like the challenge of figuring stuff out. I don’t need my work to be validated by others. I find working just to get some kind of illusional validation is an inspiration killer. I take photos for myself because I am challenged to learn, to see differently, and to be creative in new ways all the time. Getting stuck in what typically works to “win” is a hole in my mind. I fell in for a while, it was even fun, for a while. but it became a formula and I got bored. All the questions you asked are ones I asked myself.
It is OK for photography to be nothing more than a passion to follow. It is a passion that has led me to interesting conversations, like this one. It is a passion that has led me to interesting people who also enjoy interesting conversations. It is also a passion that allows me to explore the world about me, to ask questions, get to know more about the people I meet and in doing so get to know and understand myself better.
Once I got out of the game I came to see all feedback as only that and I was able to listen without caring whether I agreed or didn’t. It no longer mattered. I will never be famous, I will never have a thousand views or any of the other stuff some seem to crave, but I am having wonderful conversations and meeting interesting people and best of all learning more about the amazing world around me and how I fit into it. I think the question is where you put your focus.