This is what bothers me most. You say, “I’m at an age where my job affords me the luxury of pursuing hobbies, so I can take photos because I enjoy photography, not because I need to make money. Yes, I may charge people as I see fit, but I could just as easily work for free”.
Yet, your arguments defending your work are all business/money related.
While you are much more intelligent, (or should I say more knowledgable) than most fauxs that we run into here. You are saying the very same things they do, just worded a little differently, and not driven solely by emotion.
They say “It’s not about the money” and then contradict themselves by saying “my clients are happy that’s all that matters. I put all my shots up because it’s what the client wants and how I find new clients that like my work. I’m not competing with you, or trying to please other photographers. This is more of a hobby, than anything else. I just enjoy it. My area is low income, and/or people seem to be happy with anything better than a cell shot. You wouldn’t believe the amount of photographers in my area that are way worse than I am. All of my clients have been happy to pay, but I’d gladly do it for free”.
In essence, they unknowingly talk about their demographics, and defend their work by using business as their defense, yet they had already stated that it wasn’t about the money to be made, and that their finances afford them to not be profitable at the moment. You just do the same, but with more knowledge behind what you say.
Not for money, and not to try to become the best photographer you can be, or to spend your free time studying light, because photography is just in your blood. Then why? If your work says “light?! Shmight! As long as my client can see the subject, and they love the person/people in the images, I’m good to go!” And you solicit your services to the public. Then, that tells me it’s more about finding a way to make money off of people who don’t really know any better. In business taking advantage of other people’s emotions and love for one another selling them sub par products/services. Potentially a fun hobby I guess, judging by how many do just that. Just not something I’m very interested in.