How many times do people say that?
One of the aspects of my work that gives me the greatest satisfaction is when someone who has said that then looks at the picture I have just taken of them and says, "That is really nice". A smile appears on their face, they seem uplifted, I am encouraged and they will probably buy a copy. This is especially common when doing event photography.
This is one time when people actually see the difference, and value gained, by employing the services of a professional photographer who has an eye for composition and background, and has invested in equipment that enables them to capture an image that is of higher quality and better exposed, and is more experienced at knowing at what moment, angle and perspective to actually press the shutter button.
It is these things that become "second nature" over years of taking pictures, that us photographers almost need to give no thought to as we take photographs, but which we easily notice the lack of when they are not there in pictures taken by others.
It is also these qualities that we need to maintain, and improve upon, in order to stay ahead of the amateur field of "uncles with a decent camera" at weddings, and the influx of people who have been told they can take "lovely pictures" and offer themselves as professional photographers based on their family and friends reactions to nice holiday snaps.
Within the ranks of professional photographers who are very capable of producing consistently good images, it is important to be always seeking to stay ahead of the field by improving what we do in terms of quality, technique, levels of service, and products offered, if we are to maintain our edge for competitiveness and above all, satisfaction in what we do.
After all, if we get no satisfaction out of what we do, it becomes only a "job" and where is the pleasure in that.
I have a passion for what I do, I enjoy my work, and I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the (positive) reactions to photographs that I take. The thought that pictures I sell will be in people's homes and bring them pleasure for a lot of years to come is something that I find extremely fulfilling, and makes what I do all the more worthwhile.