I put this in quotes because it was how I remember the quote from a friend of a friend of mine. One of the weird little lines I walk is the one between commercial photography and art. In my mind I don't really think about the distinctions much. To me they are clear, but to the viewers not so much. I have a photography business where I make photographs of and with clients. They are very much a part of the process and I'm smart enough to not control everything so much as to not allow for serendipity(if you know me you know how much I respect the unexpected!). But this isn't my "art." Its work. And then there is newspaper work. This even harder to really define because its work done for an employer, but not with the employer in mind as much as the subject---and the subject cannot be in control of the photograph, simply just documented within it. And I need to be as much removed as one can be given that I am a person with my own ideas, emotions and perspectives. Its hard, but in this work I work very hard to keep myself out of it. This is not my "art."
Recently my work with models--commercial work--was defended strongly by a colleague who said that we cannot tell an artist what he can and cannot create. I laughed because I didn't consider it art, but the argument was a valid one none-the-less. Another colleague embarrasses me regularly saying I'm a 'true artist.' I laugh at this to because I simply just work and feel quite lucky to be able to live my life this way.
What I do consider my "art" is the stuff I can't define a purpose for other than my own personal growth. It is what it is whether someone else sees it or likes it or even understands it. Its work that no matter what scrutiny it ever comes under only affects me and no one else. Many good artists have closets and attics full of their "art" never seen by anyone except the inner circle.
This work I do commercially I think I use my technical and artistic experiences to help me perhaps be a better commercial photographer, and some of it has an 'artsy' look to it, but I'm not going to worry about whether or not we call it 'art.' Its just something else that I do.