That's much less common than what the OP is talking about.
I have that as well, synaesthesia is kind of fun sometimes. But, it tends to confuse people when I'm looking with my ears instead of my head. Makes learning foreign languages and picking up accents really easy though.
Yes. I know almost immediately when I've seen something before...remembering where, exactly...not so much. Unfortunately, what I don't have are direct pathways between memory, creativity & the physical act of drawing...so I use references.
The one thing I don't like about a good visual memory, is it's getting more & more difficult to feel original...
For example when I imagine things 3d and I can rotate them around, animate them, all in my head after only seeing them once or twice. There's a term for this: spatial intelligence/reasoning. I would warrant that most visual artists have strong spatial reasoning ability, although this may not necessarily be something innate but improved through training of those skills.
I can recall in pretty exquisite detail every place I lived from the age of 5 on and could pretty easily draw maps for you. The only difficulty is that I have a hard time drawing the connections between these places beyond a very general sense. I share your difficulty with street names, but I've always had difficulty with name and number recall. My grasp in these areas has improved slightly due to travel, and I would have no difficulty naming major streets where I currently live. Out of necessity, I had to learn these the first few years I was living here, since I didn't have all the familiar landmarks to guide me. The landmarks I did recognize weren't connected within a larger mental map or the connections were so similar to others that I would end up getting lost when relying on them.
Sometimes when I'm drawing I'm just making lines on paper, or I see it as a drawn piece I just 'trace' in my head.
But other times, I see a whole complete scene and I can move my camera around to any angle to have a look.
I tend to look very closely at things, I'll walk around objects to look from every angle, and 'record' it in my head.
I also often record a description of the object as well, though. I'll think about how I would write it down. I've found doing this and the visual memory works better than just one or the other. Ideally, I'd use writing to describe things people are familiar with and drawings to give them a specific image to follow.
I see things as a vague 3d form first, then details get added. So in your example, off the top of my head I'd say 'horse' (need to feed them still this morning), I'd see a sort of vague general equine form then start adding details. I could make it one of MY horses, or make a new horse from parts I've seen before.
I like literal descriptions as well as visual ones, but it's easier to 'force' your image correctly with a drawing. Writing involves to much of the persons mind. You say 'horse' they see a horse THEY know. Even if you describe it in detail, they won't see the exact same horse as you do. But if you draw it right, then you can give them that exact image.