What a hot topic this is: My thoughts.
Art seems to be used as a general term to describe something that someone has created or is performing - dance, painting, sculpture, photograph, writing, music etc., that is the process of their creative vision.
However art is also used in the sense - "The art of making money" "The art of good parenting" which implies that "art" refers to the practical application of a subjective decision making process in order to achieve the required goal.
Indeed there are some people who would imply that by applying a creative level of input to their task, job, role that they are artists by definition, i.e. The market trader who can pull a sale from anyone, the news interviewer who can always extract the answer...
And on the creation side of things, what about web design, marketing, advertising etc.
As I see it something, anything, becomes art only during the moment that it is providing a connection between the person who created it and the person who is experiencing it. For example a finger smudge by a baby will be art while the creativity is enjoyed by the parents, but to many others it will just be smudges made by a baby. Putting a CD on as background music does not mean that the music is art, unless the listener is experiencing it. A picture or photo hanging on the wall is not art until the view engages with it.
So art is IMHO the process of connection between the creator and the receiver. What does add some complication to the debate is is it art if the experience is purely emotional. Lots of things create an emotional response that are not thought of as art, arguing, loving, news etc. So I would therefore suggest that while lots of art may well have an emotional element, the core connection must be an appreciation by the experiencer of the creative ability,level, gift, genius of the artist.
Someone who cannot appreciate the creativity cannot therefore be experiencing the art, even though they may well be receiving some kind of emotion.
This is why it is often easier to appreciate some forms of art "later" as the genius of the greatest artist is often not often understood by the general population / art followers at the time of its creation.
Therefore IMHO art is the process of the creative appretiation by one person, of the person responsible for the media that they are experiencing.
Part of the problem with photography as art is that a massive amount of people just have no appretiation of just how difficult getting a great picture actually is. To many the difference in your great print and their snap is simple, well your camera is better, or you just take a few more than me, or today if you take thousands of digital images then surely one will have potential!
It would probably be true of painting too, but most people in the developed world have grown up with art at school, art books, folks with paintings or prints of "greats" on the wall and while they may actually not have any real perception or appretiation, they have received a conditioning to what and who is considered to be a great painter.
However with a painting the fact that the artist "touched" the paint onto that canvas provides a greater sense of connection that cannot easily be connected with a photographic print, unless the creation of that actual print held some relevance to the photographer, i.e. their hands did the dodging and burning in the darkroom. The fact that the actual print you may have may never have been seen by the photographer is IMHO something of a problem that many people have with photography as art.
But if someone experiences photography and appreciates the creativity that has been imparted on the final image at all stages of its creation by the photographer, how that input has enhanced or produced the emotion that they may well be feeling then yes it is art. If someone else just thinks its a snap shot of some twisted rope, a sunset, a tramp etc then it isn't art.