We've had this discussion before, but at that time it was everyone against Michael Scarpitti / Ornello Pederzoli...

It boils down to (as it did then) not a definition of "photography as art" or not, but to different people using different definitions of "art". Some people define "art" very narrowly, like the one wo only included Norman Rockwell. Others have wider definitions, and most "art photographers" would certainly include photography as one possible aspect of "art".

By the Classical (note capitalisation) definition of "art" photography is not an art and cannot be one: There is no Muse named "Argentia" or whatever the muse for photography would have been. But fortunately society has moved a little forward since classical times...

By the same argument, baseball is not a sport. Perfectly correct, if your dictionary is old enough: "Sport" originally meant hunting and angling (and one other - was it bull-baiting?), and nothing else.

But that was then; this is now. And words change with time, and I'm willing to concede that baseball can be a sport (just don't ask me about wrestling).