As an artist, I often had to convince myself of this. After all, I created sketches and paintings and also took snapshots of days out and family occasions but did not consider the latter as art. Now my son is taking photography seriously and often surprises me by his choice of subject or his mode of capturing it.
He spent Christmas at our house this year and as we laid the table for Christmas dinner, and at various times during the meal he took some simple shots. He was using a short focal length - I think - and some of his results were ... well surprising. Here are a few examples:-
In this star, if you look carefully you can see a little snowman at each point of light. The photo was taken through a pair of glasses which my wife picked up at a shop somewhere. Just using the lenses for this shot would never have occurred to me.
The effect of the short focal length is illustrated in this this shot, and the next ...
You can see more of his photographs on Flickr, where he goes by the name of Kaibakorg, if you want to see more creative photography. He is winning many awards on various photography sites and has had several of his photos published in photography magazines.
See more of my poor efforts, on this blog.