Where to start?
Well first I would say to disregard the people who say you are a fauxtog. I think some people are mistaking going into a business as you assuming your pro. It is clear you do not think that way.
My checklist for a photographer (non pro).
Foundations of photography. Check
Understanding of basic composition and lighting. Check
Post processing ability without overdoing. Check
A unique style. Check
And Most importantly, clients that are willing to pay and are HAPPY with the results. At the end of the day it is about them and if they are happy and are coming back for more then you are offering something that people want and like. Check.
I think some of the ‘pros’ on here have been sniffing their own farts for so long they forget that not everyone can afford a photographer that flies to conferences in big cities and have 30 years experience under their belt. That clients exist along all price points and not everyone can serve those who pay several thousand to get the pro. Some people can only afford one to two hundred dollars so photographers have to exist along the whole spectrum. Would I like to have Peter Hurley take my picture. Hell yeah. Will I EVER hire him to take my picture? Hell No.
The only way to improve is to shoot. Improve by taking smaller jobs and eventually move higher in the price point scale. Then a new crop of photographers will be born and the cycle continues.
I would say that if people are paying, do not stop charging. We live in the 21st century where a client will go to your fb page and website and see your work. If they decide they like your stuff and think you are worth what you are charging than they will hire you. You are not misrepresenting your work. You are not cheating people or nor not delivering quality as promised (my definition of a fauxtog). MBC is presumptuous in assuming that he knows more about how you fulfill your clients expectations and condescending in implying both parties (you and your clients) inability put a value on your service. To put it another way as a metaphor. Some people think that you need to be a Lamborghini to be considered a photographer. Well, people need Hondas. It’s not a meticulously fine tuned marvel of engineering but still a car. And wayyy more people buy Hondas. You can look up to a lambo and think ‘wow, one day’ but in the mean time you have a place as a legitimate car (photog).
Keep doing what you are doing. Very impressive work for only 9 months in the photography realm. As some people have said, room for improvement. But that is always true. Everyone can improve. And I wouldn’t brush off other photogs with ‘he didnt even know what a prime was’. We already exist in a douchy community, lets not perpetuate it. Explain and educate. There was a time when you didn’t know either. I’ll leave with a quote from A Game of Thrones:
Jon Snow: “But I am better than any of them”
Lord Commander: “You are better than noone!”