pegelli and Slobodan
The thing is this: it was said that 'even in fashion, aren't you only recording other people's creations...?' Well no, not really. You are starting from a point where there is only a blank roll of paper or some other background meant to accentuate your main subject. Nothing exists other than that - no form, shape, concept or anything. Your job, then, the creative thing, is to create a shape and a mood and say something. Simply having the model stand there with her arms hanging down by her sides, her ankles together, becomes the human equivalent of the tree, the rock or the old adobe hut.
You have to come up with something that does not exist until you and the girl both make it happen. It is way beyond just the parts and becomes the sum of them plus your double inputs of, we hope, talent and inspiration. That's not always available and is why people form mutually pleasing combinations of talent - or they used to in my time - the girls I used were all perfectly capable of doing their own hair, makeup etc. and the shoot was far more intimate and delightful an event. I have done work for hairdressers etc, and am pleased that I seldom found myself in a situation where their services were required. Have you ever looked at Vogue, Elle summer issues etc. and seen those shots of girls lying in the surf, hair wet, and you get a hairdresser credit? Go figure, and don't tell me one was needed to create a wet look! Frankly, I think the fewer people on a shoot the better. (If you go to Horvatland.com and read the interviews you will find all of this covered and expressed far more nicely than I am capable of doing; in particular, read Sarah Moon.)
Something far more accessible to the general photographic public: portraiture or head shots. Whatever you do there takes creativity because again, you start with next to nothing and have to make something happen to get anything worthwhile. It doesn't matter how good you are, how experienced - whatever you find yourself doing you are creating. Isn't that more worthwhile than just hanging around waiting for a cloud to sit just so over Half Dome? Frankly, apart from the very necessary money, the joy in all of that shooting, for me at least, was in the doing. It really didn't much matter emotionally after the shooting - in fact, one of the most lonely, drained moments I got to experience was the empty white roll after the model had gone home. Think about that for a moment - if it doesn't prove that for one peson at least it was the creativity of the shooting that mattered, then nothing will.
That's basically the difference I see between shooting a row of buildings, however well, and creating something before the camera that did not previously exist, beyond whatever Mother Nature might already have provided on her own in the way of physical reality and light.