Published vs Paid
Photography is such a popular hobby around the world that you'll have no difficulty finding displays of photographs on the internet. You can also find many contests inviting people to submit photographs for possible recognition. While I have submitted photographs to such as National Geographic's "Your Shot" display and appreciate that other photographers have expressed admiration at times, being published is not nearly the accomplishment it was 30 years ago. It's just too easy to get your photos on the internet.
Getting paid for your photography is way more difficult. The greatest feeling for me, relative to my photography, comes from being paid to make photographs and seeing those shots used by my client. My clients actually pay for a service. They're not looking primarily for artistic wonderfulness but, rather, photos that illustrate a message. In the case of my convention planning clients it's the idea that the event was well worth attending. In the case of a corporate client, like CLECO, the message will be obvious in the display.