Café Littéraire, Nicky Boulton, Elegance Magazine 1992
To reach a large audience, the subject of a picture, the story that is told, has to be credible. As uncontrived, unaffected, and unstudied possible. Not visibly fictitious, made-up with the idea of creating an outstanding image. This has an unnatural effect that will only be understood and appreciated by a limited, already niche audience.
It is feasible, of course, to fabricate something in order to create a more interesting image concerning form or content; for many of us the reason for taking up photography. However, similarly to film, you shouldn’t be aware of it. As soon as you can see that a picture is contrived, it alienates itself from the viewer, loses its credibility and demands to be seen as ‘art’.
When it is clear that a picture is made with the idea to impress, by, for instance, emotion and when this emotion is visibly artificially raised by mise-en scène or posing, which makes you conscious of the fact you’re looking at something that pretends to be something that it is not – a picture made to show emotion instead of an emotional picture – the feeling disappears and the photograph will look fake.
Excerpt from ‘Nothing is Real’, Chapter 2, Form and Content