It is deeply humbling to have others appreciate your work. I have always thought of photography as art. It is more than the technical aspects of capturing light. Sometimes it turns into taking happy snaps, sometimes it does not even rise to that level. But there are those rare times when the vision that is in my mind’s eye is what I capture. This is what keeps most of us getting up before sunrise, staying out late at night and searching for the “decisive moment.”
The most important thing is to continue to make photos and to enter what you think is your best work. You just might surprise yourself with what is selected for a show.
Get in the game.