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Are you an artist?
I agree with Kombi, that art is defined by more than its "at first glance" aestethic value, ot its beauty, and by more than the subject.
even though it happens that there are trends and fashions in art, beauty is not an objective measure, as it is inherently undefinable.
Most people I know who call themselves artists, do so, because they have an urge to express themselves by way of their art. the fact that they also have to make money with their art if they want to devote all or most their time to it, is more upsetting than anything for many of them, because they really do not want to go by common preferences. quite the opposite, they have something in them, that they need to let out and that finds expression in their art work.

Personnally, I find many of the art items I get to see not very aestethic or beautiful, but they can be strong carriers of a message to the audience.

I tend to disagree with matthew on the point of view that the act of taking a picture is not creative. I think their is potentially a lot of creativity in how you compose your shot and how you drive your equipment, to reveal something or create an effect that would be hidden to the viewer by plain eye.

It is because of what I know about some artists that I wouldn't like to call myself one of them, as I think it is a huge committment. I am sure, they have times when they think "couldn't I just be a regular secretary....", but they just can't, because it is their nature.

Of course I would agree that it always takes a lot of committment, training, and hard work, to find the right way to express what you might have in you since you were born. And just owning a camera does not make you an artist!

I think I would like for people to see my pictures as what some in here define as art: aestetically pleasing and beautyful. of course not everyone will like the same thing, so by that definition, some people might say they think it's art and other's might not, and that would be just fine.

For myself, I know that I wasn't born as an artist, I don't have this huge urge in me to produce something to express my view of things and my attitude. Not saying, I don't like when it happens incidentally...:-)

possibly, this view makes it easier to actually make money of my pictures, because it makes me flexible as to what I can do.

finally, I do have a feeling that the mere fact that we all spend a lot of time on thinking about and doing photography makes us all a little bit of artists. the medium to me is not a criterion, painting isn't by definition more artistic than photography

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