Thursday, 25 June 2015

Calling all Brits in Europe - let me photograph you!

David Needed

Are you a Brit living in another European country? 
Do you know a Brit living in another European country?


A couple of summers ago I packed my camera in search for Britons in Spain for “Brits Abroad” - one of my personal projects* (see some images from it below). The idea has always been to expand the project and what better time than when the British membership of the European Union is so hotly debated.


So, if you have an uncle, cousin, friend or enemy living abroad and enjoying (or not!) their freedom to move within the EU - please let me know. I would like to photograph them for the next instalment of my “Brits Abroad”


All ages, professions, occupations and political convictions welcome. The more, the merrier.


Drop me an email if you would like to take part or know someone who might.
07871175627




*
the project has since seen a fair amount of exposure - featured on the BBC News website and a number of photography blogs I will also be showing it in one of the London’s art galleries later this year. You can see all of the images on my website: http://www.charliecliftphotography.com/projects/brits-abroad

Francesca Sadlier - A Brit Abroad
Lisa Sadleir - A Brit Abroad
Stacey Lloyd - A Brit Abroad
Sean Mitchell - A Brit Abroad
Simon Williams - from the new project @ brits-abroad.com

Monday, 22 June 2015

Passionate People Talking - Theo Fennell

Theo Fennell PPT

If you have seen a child's face light up when you ask them about their favourite toy or game you have seen a passionate person talking. It is the same face you seen when campaigners are asked about the issues they care about and the same face an artist strikes when talking about their new inspiration. Passions spark emotions and emotions spark conversations. I am a fan of great conversation and this has inspired to photograph a personal project all about Passionate People Talking.

On my recent shoot for Tatler I had the pleasure of meeting Theo Fennell - a world renowned jewellery designer. A few minutes into meeting Theo I knew I met a passionate person and although I was there to record a day at the workshop I tried my luck and ask Theo if he would be interested in being a sitter for me for the Passionate People Talking series. Theo agreed straight away and here you have it - a conversation on one of the oldest crafts, the precision it requires and the satisfaction it brings.

See the rest of the project here: LINK

Monday, 15 June 2015

Trust your team - Replagal Europe Campaign with Frontera London

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How did a particular picture come about? The answer is rarely: easily.

Even with what looks like a simple, straight up portrait often takes a team of people working together. Without a good team you will not be able to produce good results. For my recent shoot for Frontera London collaborating with a great team was of utmost importance.

Frontera got in touch to arrange a photoshoot for one of their clients who produce a drug helping to manage an extremely rare disease called Fabry disease. Fabry disease is, from my limited understanding, a genetic condition in which certain lipids are not metabolised in a correct manner resulting in multiple problems from pain, to cardiac and renal complications. Life expectancy of a Fabry disease sufferer is pretty reduced. Thankfully in recent years a few treatments have helped to improve this. One such drug is Replagal and we were going to make a global campaign to promote it.

The concept that creative director Federico came up with was simple and powerful: photograph portraits of people ageing from their 20s to retirement. Can you see the complication yet? Models are skilled, but they cannot age on request and in order to produce the most realistic results my team was joined by an new member - a computer generated graphics expert named Marcelo Moya. His job was to take my images “through the ages” with his genius skills in photoshop. It was fascinating to see my images changed in this way and so much fun receiving the final files.

I also quickly realised at the start of the project how important clothes are for the perception of age. People dress very differently at 25 and 65. So in came stylist Alice Timms. She turned up to the shoot with piles of clothes to suit all ages. Her eye for clothing meant that our models retained their sense of style but updated it through the decades to indicate the lifestyle changes through life.

To complicate matters more we were all scattered around the world. The client based in Switzerland, the CGI expert in Chile and the rest of the team in London. Thank god for the internet! A clear vision from the start and excellent communication meant it all came together - everyone working towards a common goal. There is no way I would have been able to produce the end result without a great team. Thanks guys.




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Massive thanks to all of the team involved:
Client: Shire
Agency: Frontera
Art Director: Federico Garcia
Production: Thirdberg
Styling: Alice Timms
Retouching: Marcelo Moya
Photographic Assistant: Sheila Udeagu

Models: 


Also here are a few behind the scenes images photographed by Liam at Thirdberg...

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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Not all that glitters... jewellery making for Tatler

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How many times have you stopped and really admired a piece of jewellery? Being probably quite stereotypical here, as a man, I cannot say I ever have. Or at least I never had until a few weeks ago when a commission from Tatler led me straight to Theo Fennell's workshop on King's Road.

Tatler wanted to do something special for their Jewellery 2015 supplement and sent one of their journalists Matthew Bell to try his hand at jewellery making. I was with him to record his trials and tribulations. I am not sure I will ever look at a piece of intricate jewellery in the same way again.

Above Theo Fennell's shop is a workshop staffed with some of the most skilled people I have seen at work. The precision required to make a pair of earring's that you can buy in Theo's shop is immense. The day started with a demo from the craftsmith Richard and then off Matthew went to produce his own piece under Richard’s watchful eye. If I can tell you one thing about jewellery making: it is not easy. Matthew managed to break 5 silver saws in the first half hour. As he was sweating over his floral pendant I discovered that one of Theo's team was a world-reknowned silver polisher. How is that even a job? Well, if you're called especially to polish the FA cup then it clearly is.

Lesson from the day: it's harder than it looks. With all the guidance and ecouragement Matthew produced a nice piece, but he will have to break many more saws before he produced a ring with a colliseum and a gladiator fight (to scale!) only visible through a magnifying glass. Yes, you read that right - that's just one of the great pieces of jewellery I had a chance to admired on the day.

Tatler with my photographs and Matthew's story is out this month.
Thanks to the Tatler team for the unusual commission and to Theo Fennell's team for opening my eyes to a world I had no idea existed.


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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Shoot what you love and they will hire you to do more

Stewart McIntyre Trio - Mono

I always shoot personal work with a bit of hope that I will get commissioned to do what I love doing. After all if there is good personal work in my portfolio that should encourage potential clients to hire me to do more of the same. Does it work? Hell yes and I am very pleased to be writing this.

Whenever I have a moment I shoot Passionate People Talking - the list is never-ending as you can probably imagine. What a great pleasure it was to get a phone call from David at Wardour asking if I would shoot in the style of my passionate people talking for one of their publications.

The person photographed was the new Group Finance Director of Laing O'Rourke - Stewart McIntyre. A big fish in the business sea Stewart was previously managing Sunseeker - a luxury yacht firm. Considering my love for the sea, we got off to a great start. Stewart was relaxed and an excellent person to be in front of my lens. He is known to be a straight-forward, effective leader and I tried to make sure that throughout our photoshoot and conversation these qualities shone through. An excellent addition to my Passionate People Talking and a great commission from a long-established client. Win-win.

Thank you to Wardour for the commission.

More of my Passionate People Talking can be found on my website: http://www.charliecliftphotography.com/thumbnails/projects/passionate-people-talking


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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Not the cover you'd expect - virtual reality porn for The Independent Magazine

Independent Saturday Magazine - Cover
I bet all photographers dream of the moment they get their image on a cover. I too have day-dreamt of an awesome photo taken by me appearing on a cover of a national distribution publication. I could see the subject's face full of expression, the immaculate styling, the dramatic light and my name underneath the headline.
Little did I know my first national cover will be of... virtual reality porn.
Yes, you read that right. The photograph on the cover of today's Independent Magazine was taken by me. And the story behind it is living proof that you never know what's around the corner.
I got a phone call a couple of weeks ago from the Independent asking if I am interested in shooting a story on 3D pornography for them. How could I say no to that?
So off we travelled one day to an establishment in the middle of an old air base specialising in virtual reality pornography. (For the uninitiated: it includes one of those futuristic headsets and I have to say that is the extent of my knowledge. The Independent piece today by Oscar Quine will hopefully shed some more light for all of us.)
I think it is fair to say that both Oscar and I expected the place to be a bit more ... seedy. What we found was a white, sterile, lab-like office more similar to the McLaren factory than to what I imagine a porn-producer's office may look like. I had planned for a different aesthetic for the shoot, but the place lent itself rather nicely to a more conceptual take. The journalist tried the headset on and I made sure to capture his reactions. There was also a freakishly real 3D printed model of a porn star lying around, so I made sure to include that in a few of the images as well. Little did I know when taking the shots that my first cover for the Independent would be of a load of cameras pointing at nothing at all. But that’s just the way it works in this business, the good things sometimes jump out at you and give you a pleasant surprise.


Thank you to The Independent Magazine team for such an unexpected commission.
Do make sure you pick up the magazine today for the article.

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Frontera Staff Portraits

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Frank Walters


I have recently been working quite a lot with the Frontera Group - a healthcare advertising agency based in London. During a break on my first shoot for them (blog post to be published soon) I sat Craig, the company’s founder and Fede, the group’s Creative Art Director down for a quick portrait session. I liked the photos taken and decided to give them as a thank you gift to Frontera. It turned out that they liked them too. They liked them so much they wanted more of the same. So, a few weeks back I met the whole Frontera team and took portraits of them to be hung in their offices. Great fun.

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Anne-Marie Smith
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Federico Garcia
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Chloe Duvale
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Craig Mills
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Paul Morrissey
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Albert Capes
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Simon Emberson
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Alex Woodhouse
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James Rose
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Natalie Saunders
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Careena Gharu
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Chalo Yepes
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Stuart Banks
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Theo Coppinger-Lee

Thanks Frontera: fronteralondon.com