Photography is used for almost everything, you see it in the newspapers, on television. Without photography a lot of things we know now, we wouldn't know. With photography people can express themselves and other things, so it is a fine art. A picture says more than about a hundred words.
By definition fine art is a product in which it has some level of appreciation for aesthetic value, or for its intellectual content. Photography is almost always featured in "fine art" art exhibits, therefore making it a fine art. Even if you still are not convinced, just consider that it really is in the eye of the beholder to make of it what they want, and it is up to the one viewing to have a personal gauge for its "aesthetic value" or "intellectual content" because it certainly differs from person to person.
Photography is a medium just like painting, drawing or sculpting. It's true that anyone can snap a picture. However art is about concept and photography is just one medium an artist has at his or her disposal in order to create an image that conveys the artist's idea. If there is no meaning beyond "I took the picture because it looked cool" or "I want to remember the time I hung out with friends" that is when a picture is just a picture. I recommend looking at artists such as Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Man Ray, Imogen Cunningham, and Ansel Adams to name a few.
Yeah of course because no two people can take the exact same photo. Photography is the way that people look at the things around them. Some may say the things around them are beautiful, mysterious, warm, cold, it doesn't matter. Everyone thinks differently and will take a different approach to the things we see. Time is constantly moving, only one person can take a single photo and have it be their own. This is the same as art. No one can draw the exact same picture, paint the same exact picture and call it art, it's copying. Photographers are called to display the beauty of the world, the things that no one thinks about when they see something ordinary. It's art.
Photography is a fine art, it sows people the beauty around them in the earth, and the bigger "picture" of the world around them. Photography can take all the time and skill that it would take a painter to paint a painting. Not only that, but photography (like many other fine arts) is a true way for someone to express themselves.
If you look at all of the pictures taken, some or most of them, they are photographs that cannot be recreated. They cannot be taken the exact same, even if the setting, time, and the mood of the photographer. Photography can be fine art, but at the same time it cannot be
A lot of decisions go into producing a photograph, just as a lot of decisions go into producing a painting, sculpture, or anything else considered fine art. If the elements of art and principles of design (and the photographic equivalents) are evident, the picture deserves to be called art. If it's a blurry 5-second selfie of some chick and her boobs posted on facebook with a filter slapped on it, it's not.
Photography is not just about snapping a pic and being done. A photographer must first find the perfect lighting, use the rule of thirds, angle, apature, etc. Its not an easy task. The key in these things is to make something beautiful or inspiring, which is the divine purpose of art itself.
It doesn't take any real talent to press a button with an expensive camera. It is a hobby but it is far from any form of art. True art takes natural born talent or a lot of practice, I could hand a camera to anything with fingers and it can figure out how to take a picture.
Most of the photographs taken are being digitally enhanced by various programs. Cameras are everywhere and millions of photographs are being taken every hour. Catching a perfect 'shot' is much easier now than in the past, simply because you can take lots of photographs in a smaller period of time. At the end of the day only few photographs make the final cut. Some are bound to be good, but this does not make photography a fine art.