My wife is an artist. Most people assume, correctly, that that means she is a painter. Despite those here who simply will not accept definitions as even possible, 'artist' should be defined. There are martial artists, con artists, conceptual artists, recording artists (really? even with autotune?), and culinary arts, language arts and the list continues. So, for me at least, (my white man's, eurocentric, English speaking self) an 'artist' is one whose accomplishments go beyond quotidian craftsmanship. In photography, when that happens with film or a sensor, and the results please MY aesthetic sense (just me....white, eurocentric, English speaking ME), the maker of that work is an artist who is practicing their 'art'.
You seem to be mixing up Fine art and Applied art.
HR Giger, studied Applied arts, he is gifted, makes work that impacts lots of people, has alot to say about the world with his work, yet he is a craftsman, a designer.
Stephen Shore on the other hand, studied, and has been teaching fine arts since the first class of photography in a fine arts educational institition. He has little to nothing to say about the world (his words now mine)He makes boring (as in uninteresting), technically mediocre work, which has a minor impact on a very small circle of people yet he is an artist.
The definitions, here, are not the issue, because art is not a quantifiable value, even though some relentlessly try to comodify it.