I would humbly submit that there is something of a "middle ground" here. Consider the work of August Sander , b. 1876, Herdorf, Germany; d. 1964 Cologne.
His work could, and possibly, SHOULD, be classified as "snapshots", but *WHAT* snapshots!!! He captured the "essence" of the time, and his subjects.
From "20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne":
"Sander's portrait work constitutes an important contribution to the recognition of photography as an art. Today, his systematic approach is viewed as an early example of conceptual art which was also not without influence in the development of the creative arts. He is now considered to be Germany's internationally best-known photographer of this (20th) century."