Jo Swinson
British GQ

 

“I think that our politics and the public need a clear choice of a party that is unequivocally backing remaining in the European Union.”

It was an wonderful to meet and photograph Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, for British GQ. From discussing the depths of Brexit to her love of ice cream I was captured by her enthusiasm.

You can read her interview with Alistair Campbell on the GQ site: LINK

 - Home Schooling – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Home Schooling – The Sunday Times Magazine

One night, after the museum closed, we descended on the Horniman in South London. Surrounded by stuffed animals and skeletons we set up our lights, the building creaking as it settled around us. It was quite the stage for Antonella and her daughter Bethesda. We were illustrating home schooling for an article Antonella has written in the Sunday Times Magazine. One of the main advantages of home schooling is that they visit museums, galleries and other places regularly as part of Bethesda’s education – and the hall of skeletons in the Horniman seemed liked the perfect example of this. Massive thanks to Russ for finding such a great location, to Emma Leon for the great hair and make up, and to Antonella and Bethesda for being totally into the shoot.

Grace Warwick - Tortoise - Grace Warwick campaigns against ageism – Tortoise - Charlie Clift

Grace Warwick campaigns against ageism – Tortoise

“Every society needs its elders, and we deny our need for them at our peril.” Grace Warwick suffered a serious and life-threatening reaction while dyeing her hair in 2012. When she started to let it grow out she ‘discovered quite quickly that many people thought that it wasn’t okay’. People tried to “save” her repeatedly and felt able to comment openly on her choice to let her grey hair show. ‘On a particularly blustery school run, a male acquaintance asked me when I was going to cut my hair off as “no one wants to see grey hair flying in the wind.”’ Grace now campaigns as a pro age activist. It was wonderful photographing Grace for this article, celebrating her grey hair and discussing our obsession with youth. You can read or listen to Grace’s fascinating article on Tortoise now: LINK Massive thanks to Jon Jones for the commission and...

Natwest - Natwest Campaign – M&C Saatchi London - Charlie Clift

Natwest Campaign – M&C Saatchi London

Whilst the wind smashed our lights around outside, and our brave assistants stood in the downpour holding them in place, the artificial sun streamed through the windows and made us feel positively delightful. Continuous light is strange like that, it really does trick the eye. We were shooting Fergus, our model, who was being shocked. You see some cheeky child (really a very talent make up artist) had gone and draw on him, which meant he was a bit too embarrassed to go to the bank. We were doing all this to promote Natwest’s online banking services, and to be honest it was great fun. For those geeks amongst you the light was simple: as we were shooting moving image as well as stills so everything had to be continuous. Thus we put two massive “sun” lights outside and fired them through the window with warm gels on them to...

 - Jo Swinson – British GQ - Charlie Clift

Jo Swinson – British GQ

  “I think that our politics and the public need a clear choice of a party that is unequivocally backing remaining in the European Union.” It was an wonderful to meet and photograph Jo Swinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, for British GQ. From discussing the depths of Brexit to her love of ice cream I was captured by her enthusiasm. You can read her interview with Alistair Campbell on the GQ site: LINK

Michael Bell - Navy Diver - Tribute Ink Exhibition – Tattoos in the Military - Charlie Clift

Tribute Ink Exhibition – Tattoos in the Military

Have you ever thought about the stories behind someone’s tattoos? Tribute Ink is a photography exhibition I created with the Royal British Legion to tell to the personal stories of tattoos in the military featuring both serving personnel and veterans from from the British Army, the Royal Navy, and the Royal Air Force. Curated in partnership with the National Memorial Arboretum and The Ministry of Defence, Tribute Ink opens to the public on Friday 13th of September on site at the Arboretum in Staffordshire. It wasn’t always easy hearing the stories behind the tattoos. Some have chosen to have the names of friends who died whilst serving inked into their skin, like Paul Glazebrook who has six large dog tags tattooed across his back, or Matt Tomlinson who has the ten names of those who died along side him during his time in Afghanistan and Iraq permanently in his skin....

 - Schwingen, the art of Swiss wrestling – EasyJet Traveller - Charlie Clift

Schwingen, the art of Swiss wrestling – EasyJet Traveller

“The trick is to use power, strength and strategy to pin an opponent to the ground”  Every August the hardest men in Switzerland wrestle to be crowned the king of schwingen, or Schwingerkönig. The prize should they win: glory, respect, and a bull (or if they prefer some cash). EasyJet Traveller sent writer Mike MacEacheran and I deep into the Bernese Alps to find out more about their wrestling tradition. There are no professionals in this sport, even the top champions work part time as mechanics, cheesemakers, farmers or butchers. But they are dedicated sportsmen, squatting 200kg in the gym, training daily, never tiring of having their faces squished into the sawdust whilst practicing techniques. It’s a brutal sport fought by men with beautiful manners – after each epic fight lasting 8 minutes with no breaks they stand up, brush the dust off their clothes and then shake hands with...

 - Cassandra Stavrou and her mum Dania – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Cassandra Stavrou and her mum Dania – The Sunday Times Magazine

I was asked to photograph the founder of Propercorn Cassandra Stavrou and her mother Dania for The Sunday Times Magazine’s Relative Values. Your mind begins to conjure up exciting ideas – most of which require two tonnes of popcorn…But in the end I decided to create some classic portraits that show the genuine love between a mother and daughter who have been through a lot together. It was also important to capture the fun spirit of Cassandra and her mum. So I teamed up with stylist Frederica Lovell-Pank and we covered them head to toe in red to create some highly charged and colourful images. Thanks for the commission Emily McBean.  

 - Oaxaqueños – Moving portraits from Mexico - Charlie Clift

Oaxaqueños – Moving portraits from Mexico

“She will let you film her but only if you buy her an ice cream,” my local interpreter said as the toothless octogenarian herb vendor grinned at me and the team. This was refreshing, I had spent most of the morning trying to convince the sellers at the Zaachila market in the State of Oaxaca to capture their portraits with mixed results. A good few were convinced that my work would steal their souls and so they politely declined. The toothless abuela it turned out was wonderfully mercantile about her soul. A few moments later, equipped with a dulche de leche helado, she was showing off her remaining incisors and eyeing me with an even mix of suspicion and amusement.  Amusement possibly because I was the only person not there to buy my weekly supply of vegetables. Rather than with jute bags, I was armed with a camera and a...

 - Coca Cola and the Premier League - Charlie Clift

Coca Cola and the Premier League

It’s great to see my advert for Coca Cola celebrating their partnership with the Premier League all over the streets of London and beyond.

 - Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester – British GQ - Charlie Clift

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester – British GQ

“Westminster is dysfunctional. I don’t miss it in the slightest. It’s just poisonous right now.” Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, photographed for British GQ. I’ve had the chance to photograph quite a few politicians and they often put on a face for the media. Andy was nothing like that. Mainly keen to find out about my assistant and I, he seemed eager to make us feel at home even thought we had just turned his office upside down to make our studio. A passionate lover of football I got the impression he doesn’t really enjoy his status and is more at home in the stands alongside everyone else. But with status comes power and he is eager to make a difference. When I brought up the topic of homelessness he was frank and forthright – he wants to end homelessness in Manchester and is doing everything he can...