You’re a photographer-artist. Never let anyone talk down on you.
Photography has many different purposes
Photography is a legitimate art-form. The future of photography will be this:
Photography as a tool of memory-augmentation and photography as a tool of art-creation.
I will photograph my receipts on my phone in order to save details. However I will also use a camera in order to make art-works.
If you shoot photos with intent– they are art.
Why hasn’t any photographer thus far been self-confident enough to call themselves an artist?
We photographers tend to have a low self-esteem.
Why don’t most photographers have the self-confidence to assert themselves as artists?
Not sure. However one thing I can note is about Henri Cartier-Bresson. Essentially Henri Cartier-Bresson always desired to be a painter and artist. However it seems he was not very good at painting or drawing, and thus he picked up a camera instead.
Unfortunately, HCB became a prisoner to his own success. He became a great photographer, yet deep inside– he truly desired to be a great painter. Thus towards the end of his life he renounced photography as being an illegitimate art-form, and retired to painting instead. Sad thing is his photographs were 1000x better than any of his paintings.