Thursday, 23 February 2017

Throw back to December's Help Portrait photoshoot



Back in December I took part in Help Portrait, whose motto 'Don't take a photo, give it' sums up its purpose in a nutshell. We photographed homeless and vulnerable people at The Passage, a central London homeless shelter. The charity does amazing work turning people's lives around and it was wonderful to meet and photograph the clients they work with. Here's a short video from behind the scenes and you can see more images from the shoot here: LINK

Find out more about The Passage here: http://passage.org.uk/

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

10 years of Premier Skills exhibition - Collaboration takes you further


It has been two years since I approached the Premier League with an idea to photograph their fans around the world. I had gone out of the blue to pitch the idea to them, something I had never done before. As a photographer there is often a separation between commissioned work and personal work but occasionally the two come together and beautiful things occur. Thankfully the Premier League were interested, better than that they brought a whole new element to the project that I didn’t expect and made it far stronger. 

That was why I was running down a Soweto street with ten kids and an old football trying to photograph them in the last of the evening light. These kids can go up the road after school to train with some of the best coaches in South Africa. As part of the Premier Skills program run by the British Council, Premier League coaches travel to some of the most impoverished communities in the world and train locals to be football educators. A domino effect begins as these educators spread the best coaching practices throughout their area. The scheme has reached a staggering 1.2 million kids. It gives them dreams, teaches them the benefits of commitment, and keeps them out of drugs and crime. I knew nothing about this program which the Premier League runs in partnership with the British Council, but it sounded interesting and I was eager to develop the project to include this.

I love collaboration, particularly when both sides gain from it. Without collaborating with the British Council and the Premier League I would not have been able to tell these stories. Staff based in South Africa and India opened the doors for me, they introduced me to the people they had been working with for years and then gave me free reign to tell their stories as I saw best. I embraced the challenge with open arms just like I do my personal work. I spent months before my travels chatting to coaches on Skype, talking football with the local fan clubs and finding out about India and South Africa. I slowly developed the best way to make this project. On the ground this freedom continued, I could photograph the way I wanted to and embrace the situations I found myself in. The resulting exhibition is very different from how I first imagined the project two years ago, but that’s the thing about collaboration - you change your viewpoint and learn new things when you work with others. The photographs show the power football has to promote positive change in communities around the world. They tell the stories of the inspiring people I met. It’s been great collaborating in this way and I hope I can do more projects like this in the future.

9 Feb - 24 March 2017, Monday-Friday 9-5





 Nomonde is a coach educator in Soweto. She sees herself as an important role model for children in her local community. She teaches children football skills and educates them about social issues.








This girl lost her mother a year ago. At fourteen, she has taken on all her responsibilities. Without the Premier Skills sessions, she would never have a chance to play, and never have a chance to feel like a child.  


In Kolkata, visually impaired girls are partnered with visually able friends to play football together. People with disabilities are often not included in sporting activities, but this makes them feel valued within the community.  


I was eager to also capture the many football followers I came across on my trip so I visited super fans in South Africa, businessmen in Mumbai and stopped regularly on the streets of Kolkata and Johannesburg to capture the everyday people we saw in their favourite team’s jerseys.  





I would like to say a huge thank you to the Premier League and British Council for making this project happen. Tim Vine for keeping his faith in my ideas, Chris Chadwick who travelled with me, helped endlessly and made a beautiful film of the experience. And to all the many staff at the British Council both in the UK and abroad without whom this project would not have been possible.



Monday, 9 January 2017

A great start to 2017 - my first cover for The Sunday Times Magazine

She's note leaving home - Sunday Times Magazine

What a great start to 2017, my first cover for The Sunday Times Magazine! And for such an interesting article as well.

Gabriel Pogrund and Alix O’Neill wrote about millennials who are forced to live at home and the struggles that their generation is going through to enter independent adulthood. I was asked to visit a couple of people in just this situation -  it’s a bit strange arriving at someone’s house and asking them to get into bed with their parents, particularly when you’ve never met before. But that’s exactly what I did for this shoot. Wonderfully both families I photographed were game and embraced the idea wholeheartedly.

Massive thanks to Russ for the commission and to my subjects for their patience. Read the article here: LINK

IMG_1251-Edit
IMG_0280
IMG_0366-Edit
Living with your parents - The Sunday Times Magazine

Thursday, 5 January 2017

My top ten from 2016

Dr Chris and Dr Xand photographed for the Sunday Times Magazine
I set two TV presenters on fire
My first shoot of 2016 was with Chris and Xand Van Tulcken, they turned up with ice, fire and brightly coloured liquids… LINK

TWPPP_Poster_4 sheet_1 1_011116_2 5
My photograph was hung in the National Portrait Gallery
My photo of Nigel Farage was selected for the Taylor Wessing Photo Prize and is hanging in the gallery until the 26th of February. LINK

Kathryn in Venice
Brits in Europe launched in the Sunday Times Magazine
In the run up to the EU referendum I photographed Brits living all over the EU. The project launched two weeks before the big vote in a special edition of the Sunday Times Magazine. See the project here: LINK

DickensSTM_30-8-2016_17353-Edit
I encouraged victorian cross-dressing in the Dickens museum
Lucy and Sophie Dickens embraced the idea of dressing up as men on my shoot for The Sunday Times Magazine: LINK


BAFTA_Florence_Pugh_4341-Edit
I started working with BAFTA
It’s not every day you get a request from BAFTA to photograph for them. In fact, it had never happened before to me until this year when they asked me to capture the Breakthrough Brits. LINK

I shot a video using still portraits
Collaborating with Dan from Ogilvy we made a video for Wileyfox entirely from stills images. These were all shot on one day in Shoreditch. Take a look: LINK


CuriousCase6964_V1_charlie

I put moustaches on mathematicians for the BBC
Yes, I got the beautiful Hannah Fry to wear a moustache. Find out more: LINK


5DS_0324
I traveled the world… but can’t show the pictures yet
Canada, Mexico, and a grand tour of Europe was followed by a project in South Africa and India. However, the projects haven’t launched yet, so I can’t show you the shots. So for now here is a picture from my instagram of a fruit seller in Kolkata. See more here: LINK


IMG_9986_Export

I experienced a whole town crying with happiness
Grown men crying, a whole city celebrating and so much emotion. I captured Middlesbrough's promotion to the Premier League from the fans perspective: LINK


Maryanne_1078_export

I gave my photographs to the homeless
Instead of taking pictures I gave them. As part of the Help Portrait movement I photographed homeless and vulnerable people at The Passage and gave them a truly memorable experience. See more here: LINK


Thanks to everyone who made this year so exciting. Bring on 2017!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee for The Sunday Times Magazine


E89A9984-Edit

It is not every day you get to meet a double Olympic medalist. Let alone two. I’m not sure what I expected from the experience, but I certainly didn’t predict the Brownlee brothers would be quite so unassuming and down to earth. Alistair won Gold in the last two olympics for the triathlon and his brother Jonny won a bronze in London and a silver in Rio. They are super friendly, relaxed, and approachable, with no ego to speak of. What a pleasure to meet these guys who quietly do amazing things.


I photographed Alistair and Jonny for Relative Values in Sunday Times Magazine. Thanks to Emily for the commission.
Find out more about the brothers here: LINK

E89A9661-Edit
E89A9809

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Dickens Sisters for The Sunday Times Magazine

DickensSTM_30-8-2016_17353-Edit

“Can I dress you up in Dickensian costumes?”
“No way! That is taking it too far…”
“Go on it will be great fun.”
“No, that’s an awful idea.”
“Please, I really do think it would look amazing.”
“Well… um... maybe…if we were men and not women.”

I had had the same conversation with both Sophie and Lucy Dickens separately. Neither of the sisters had been that up for the idea of making the photoshoot all about their great-great-grandfather. However, if we had fun with that idea then why the hell not.

So it was a few days later I found myself in Angels costume store, surrounded by Victorian era outfits with two giggling sisters flashing their ankles at me from underneath petticoats and sticking fake moustaches onto each other. Exactly the kind of shoot I love.

Lucy and Sophie are impressive artists. Do check out their work on their websites:
Sophie Dickens

DickensSTM_30-8-2016_17555_Export
DickensSTM_30-8-2016_17248-Edit
IMG_2533_Export-2

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Full time assistant job



UPDATE This role has now been filled.

Dreaming of a career full of lights, cameras and action?
A natural born communicator with a talent for Twitter?
An efficient email enthusiast?
I have a job for you.
The Role
I am looking for a full-time assistant to join me on the ever-more-exciting adventure of capturing great personalities and creating awesome portraits. You may have seen my work in The Sunday Times, the BBC, and The National Portrait Gallery. I have photographed personalities ranging from homeless people in London to Nobel Prize laureates and I want you to join me on the next step.

A Typical Day
A day at my office will consist of supporting me on numerous tasks - from managing my diary and keeping an eye on my inbox, to arranging meetings with clients on my behalf. You will regularly produce blog posts and social media content and will help promote my work online. You’ll help with basic photoshoot production, from booking spaces to equipment management to finding the right models or hotels. And when I am out on a shoot, you can come too, carrying equipment, grabbing coffees, juggling files and suggesting ideas.

You are the right person if...
  • You are looking for a foot in the photography door.
  • You produce a tick list of tasks without being told to do so. You’re an inbox-zero type with time management skills to match.
  • You are as eloquent when facing a 140 character limit as you are explaining ideas to clients. You speak well on the phone. You write well.
  • You know your Adams from your Avedon. You do not need to know your Canon from your Nikon.
  • You are happy to take the lead, but equally happy to take on a menial task if it means a better outcome for the team.
  • A 4am wake-up call does not throw you and wading in icy-cold streams for a day isn’t an issue.
  • You are cool under pressure and level-headed when facing difficulties.

Extra awesome if...
  • Every day is a school day for you. Your eagerness will take you further.
  • You are great on Instagram, know a tweet from a retweet and appreciate the importance of LinkedIn.
  • You have a driving licence and don’t mind taking the wheel from time to time.
  • You like the dog at the studio and the cat that may occasionally visit.

In return I can offer you
  • A chance to learn a tremendous amount about running a photography business. From the daily grind to the red carpet - you will get a chance to experience it all and play your part in it.
  • A solid starting salary
  • A fun, relaxed environment to work in
  • An opportunity to develop your skills as a photographer - feel free to use the gear when I am not using it
  • Flexible hours

You will be working full time, but the hours are flexible. We’ll both be based in my studio in Hearne Hill, or on location wherever is required.
This is a 6 month initial contract (with an 8 week probation period) with the possibility of further extensions.

Does that sound like a match?
Send the following to info@charliecliftphotography.com
  • Covering letter: tell me why you think this is a job for you. Feel free to be as creative as you like.
  • Sample Blog Post: write about a photography project you have been involved in (e.g. a shoot, a trip, an event). Include a few tweets with it.
  • Your CV