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

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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

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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

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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


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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


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


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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


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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


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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


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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

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Dickens Sisters for The Sunday Times Magazine

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“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

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Full time assistant job


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



Thursday, 8 December 2016

Ray Mears for the Sunday Times Magazine

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“Can you drive into that stream please?”
“Light a fire there please.”
“Sit in that mud please.”
“Do you mind if we pour water on your head?”

Ray Mears is not a man to complain. Maybe it’s because he is a photographer himself, but he was totally dedicated to getting the most from our shoot for the Sunday Times Magazine. After giving me a guided off-road tour in his Landrover we finally decided to shoot his portrait in a stream. He drove his vehicle into a ridiculous position, jumped out and proceeded to crack on with his bushman skills. In the time it took me to set up a softbox he had a fire going and coffee on the boil. Just to help matters the rain started pouring and the wind picked up. But Ray still didn’t complain and whilst my assistants and I waded around in the stream firing smoke machines at him and throwing leaves all over the place he just sat calmly and told us stories about his travels.

If you ever need someone to go to in a post-apocalyptic world, I totally recommend Ray Mears. A fine man with amazing skills who is full of stories.

Thanks to Emily at The Sunday Times Magazine for the fun assignment.



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Monday, 5 December 2016

Don't take a picture, give it - Help Portrait at The Passage

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Don’t take a photo, give it.

That’s the motto of the Help Portrait movement. Founded in the USA but taken up by people around the world it has become a way for the photography community to give back and use their talents to help others. A photoshoot is a wonderful way of paying attention to someone in a very personal way and making them feel significant. It's also a great fun experience and the memories from it can last a lifetime.
The Passage is London’s largest charity helping and guiding homeless and vulnerable people everyday. We wanted to give our time to those people who are often ignored by society and leave them with an experience to remember - as well as some great photos. So we descended on the center in Victoria and set up a full photo studio inside. Every person to step in front of my camera was amazing. They were awesome people who really embraced the experience. We had some singing Elvis to us, a few telling us their story, and others posing in the most exuberant way. I love the photos we made together. We printed the images for each of them to keep and we will be sharing the photos online to help raise awareness of the work the Passage does.

To donate to the Passage please head over here: http://passage.org.uk/donate/

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Mim Quin-Harkin - stylist
Pascale Recher - Make-up
Katherin Cotton - organising
Liam Bergin - production
Angela Dennis - photo assistant
Colin Chan - retouching
Pete @ Picturepulse.com - BTS video
Tildy Allan - assistant
Fotospeed - paper donation