Fred and Slobodan,
Great responses but your not going to change anybody's mind when it comes to art and money, especially on a forum that leans towards the technical aspect of photography.
Let's face it some people are overpowered by Testino's work, some just see a skinny girl shot on polaroid . . . to each his own.
Same with Gursky, some see a supermarket, some see art.
The point I was trying to make is any photograph that goes for huge money raises the bar for everyone, the artist, the serious professional and even the snapshot photographer.
For my entire adult life, I've heard photographers say "I could shoot that". Maybe, maybe not, but as Slobodan says, why didn't they.
Shooting it is one thing, but working to put your self in a position where someone will pay you to shoot it is a whole 'nother animal.
It's funny, we use to have an assistant that had a constant line of "I'd never pay that much for a _______." He might be talking about cameras, cars, art, houses, it didn't matter, just every hour you'd hear it.
Finally our studio manager laughed and said of course you won't pay $85,000 for a M series BMW, you don't have $85,000 so BMW doesn't care what you think. When you get the money, they'll start listening.