I have never been in the photography business itself so I really can not say how much time it actually takes. I know paying taxes, gas, equipment, photo time, editing time, etc all need to be factored. I understand that photographers need to charge 200-300 etc to stay in business. I get it. But I just do not understand the opinion that a person needs to spend years of their time and basically offer their services FOR FREE before they can go into business. I did one photo shoot in my lifetime and it was for free as a favor and that shoot cost me money and time. I don’t think I can truly LEARN how to be a photographer if I did not have more photo shoots like that because taking pics of my kids and my dog is just totally different. My pics of my kids are pretty decent… the pics I took of this girl were…. bad. I think if I did a few more photo shoots like that I could practice more, but again.. that would cost me money and its really unfeasable. I will admit that I am not close enough with my friend that I’ve discussed her own personal business with her, but I do know she started out with very little practice and I remember her earlier work to be really bad. But she has since improved and has become very serious about her work.
Anyway, I am going to respectfully disagree with the fact that you need to be rude in order to give criticism. You could have told the OP, “I suggest you focus more on your photography skills and technique, improve on this and that” instead of basically ordering her to put her business at a halt because honestly… she is not that bad! She is actually very talented and her birth album was awesome. I don’t know if either of you have photographed a birth but I’ve given birth a couple of times and the moments the baby is born is very fast…. and she managed to get some really great photos out of it. Mind you, indoors with a D5100…. which is incredibly complicated because I’m not sure if you’re used to entry-level cameras but there are way less AF points in a D5100 compared to more advanced cameras, they cannot handle High ISOs at all, and in darker rooms the AF is close to impossible to get the shot you want when you want it.