I believe this was also the case before digital. Someone had a camera and wanted to do "fine art." I seriously doubt that most of them knew the history of the medium. Showing pictures to professionals was probably the first time they heard of any historical figures in photography.
Some even had the nerve to show how good they were by subjecting their families and friends to slide shows!
Or, put another way, my parents were wrong to criticize the music I listened to when I was young. Now, the music of today is a completely different story.