This might appear to be quite a sensitive question as the photographer clings to their importance as creative individuals. Their mark is important and everyone should care what they have to say with pictures. This is not the case. The real world does not run parallel with the mind of a creative, as normal people invest their time in mortgages and a family. The young life of a photographer is occupied with plans with no financial reward, scraping through office, bar and factory jobs.
After failing another energy company interview, I found it incredibly hard to muster up the passion for debt collection. The job itself had better hours, better pay but it was still a useless career step in my ladder less profession. I hate buses.
The photographer would protest at the thought that they were not to any use. And it is their practicality as a skill that sets them apart from business or commercial minded people. They are seen as useful on society, like the government cuts on arts council funding - the country thinks with its head not its heart. The artist works with their gut and each decision does not involve financial gain - in fact the thought of creating things stirs the excited bones in our bodies to achieve a feeling, thought or observation. In the context of business the subtleties are lost on us, as the artist is a quiet beast, only really understood amongst its own. The interesting part is that we were once all regular people at a certain age, and then the creative instinct developed over time, but are we useful.
We are additional extras to the main bolts of society, commenting on society rather than taking part in it. We are observers, not the 'fly on the wall' type but we always partially detach ourselves from life to create room to comment. We sacrifice for our creative ventures. Our lives are not normal but insatiably exciting and beautiful. We feel everything, we think about every open ended scenario, we are never bored. Creativity takes hold of the individual and we make things. Whether that's useful for the world, maybe, but it will be done either way.
When around people with normal interests our reasoning as to what we do and why we do it is rarely understood, even amongst family. It will always be rarely understood.