I believe there is.
But, I also see that it is very difficult for people to see an artistic value in photography when it’s possible to make nearly identical copies of the same image. An image can never be just ONE piece of artwork, like a painting, unless you print one copy and then delete the original file. With the influx of consumer DSLR's and the accessibility to purchase one, plus the incredible cameras in iphones and other android phones today, anyone can just "snap" an image and call it art.
But, what many do not realize, is that many photographers, myself included, look to the art world for influences and for creating images in photography. Color, lines, texture, etc..those are all necessary in creating an image, and also in creating a painting, sculpture, or other art form. What makes a great image can also make a great painting.
For me, the most beautiful and art worthy images are ones that have thought put into them, and are full of technical and artistic skill. There is a huge difference between a snap shot and an image that clearly had thought put into how it was going to be photographed. Technical skills were put to use, as was artistic ability.
Correct lighting is imperative. After all, the word, photograph, comes from the Greek, and means painting with light. So, in a sense, when we create an image, we should be "painting with light".
Impact. What does the image say to you or how does it impact you? The best images provoke some kind of emotion..whether that is anger, happiness, sadness, or sheer rage. There is an impact to it that brings the viewer into the image much like a Rembrandt painting from years ago.
So, when you are looking for a photographer to "make a memory" or "capture your memory" or "just take a few photos", remember that some of us to consider this an art form and are willing to use our technical and artistic skill, plus "painting with light" skills to create an art worth image for you.
I am in the business of photography and wish to give you artwork, that just happens to be your family, so you can love it in your home now, and pass it down to future generations.
There is a difference.