Magic of the marquee

 

Personal projects are the lifeblood of being a photographer, you can experiment and play with new ways of making pictures and let your creativity run free. These projects can be both big and small – some require you to dedicate years of your life to them LINK, and others you can shoot in a single evening. I was walking past Brockwell park one lunchtime when I saw the huge marquees of Zippos Circus sprawled across the green. The creative juices were clearly flowing as an idea sprung out like a clown on a pogo stick… who are the people who live and work in a circus like that? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to take the portraits of the people behind the magic. With just my camera I turned up later that evening and captured the people behind the tent’s curtains.

The show was truly spectacular, such a joy to watch. Massive thanks to Zippos Circus and all the performers I had the pleasure to photograph.

 - 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...

 - Selected for the 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World – Lurzer’s Archive - Charlie Clift

Selected for the 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World – Lurzer’s Archive

Super excited to be selected for the Lurzer’s Archive 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World! Particularly as they’ve chosen two photographs from the Let’s Talk mental health campaign.

 - Let’s Talk – Prix de la Photographie Paris - Charlie Clift

Let’s Talk – Prix de la Photographie Paris

Let’s Talk has been given a Silver Award in the PX3 – Prix de la Photographie competition. I created this campaign with lettering artist Kate Forrester to encourage people to talk more openly about mental health. It’s great to see it being noticed and displayed far and wide – the more people who see it the more we can break down the stigma that surrounds this issue. To see the whole series click here: LINK

 - John Bishop with his sons and father – British GQ - Charlie Clift

John Bishop with his sons and father – British GQ

Five Liverpudlians walk into a bar. It was not a joke, it was a photoshoot. But it was hilarious. When you meet one of the best stand up comics on tour today you expect laughs, but I didn’t expect the rest of his family to be as funny as him. I was photographing John Bishop for GQ with his sons and his dad. The magazine has created a portfolio of of fathers and sons in partnership with The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity – to help bring awareness to male cancers. Huge thanks to Keith Waterfield for the awesome art direction, Anna Akopyan for making it all come together, Oliver Sharp for his stunning styling, Charlie Duffy for grooming the gents so nicely, and the awesome assisting team of Angela Dennis and Oliver Mayhall. You can watch the interview with John and his family here: LINK

 - Chelsea Supporter Clubs – Chelsea F.C. - Charlie Clift

Chelsea Supporter Clubs – Chelsea F.C.

  There are official Chelsea supporter clubs all over the world bringing people together to celebrate their love of The Blues. To encourage even more people to join up I was asked to create images showing the joy of watching a game together. So of course, I threw a party. Cue awesome producer and supreme party organiser Morgan from Germaine Walker. She dived straight into the action, finding a plethora of blue to cover our location in – from silly hats to fairy cakes via giant flags and fluffy wigs. We were prepared to party. Chelsea had sent out a secrete message to their followers inviting people from all over the country to converge in London and celebrate together. There was smiles of joy, cries of agony, shouting, laughing and most of all singing – just like every Chelsea game the fans came out in a brilliant show of support....

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - BAFTA TV Awards 2019 – Official Portraits - Charlie Clift

BAFTA TV Awards 2019 – Official Portraits

I was asked to photograph the official portraits at 2019 British Academy Television Awards. The evening fizzed with talent. The Killing Eve cast couldn’t hold in their excitement. Baroness Bakewell was honoured with a fellowship. Benedict Cumberbatch was overwhelmed with emotion. Helen McCrory stunned me to silence. Ant was reunited with Dec. What a privilege to erect a little corner studio at the Royal Festival Hall and spend a few moments with the best British television has to offer. Massive thanks to my amazing team for pulling it off without a glitch: my assistants Laimonas and Daniele working non-stop all night constantly tweaking lights, moving furniture and jumping up and down at my every whim, Simon Godfrey for creating the most beautiful of sets, Jacqui from Camera Press constantly advising me on the best approach, Melissa Morgan for her careful retouching, and of course Claire and Jordan and the BAFTA...

 - Let’s Talk shortlisted in the D&AD Awards - Charlie Clift

Let’s Talk shortlisted in the D&AD Awards

Exciting news – Let’s Talk is shortlisted in the D&AD awards! I created this personal project to help fight the stigma surrounding mental health. Working with lettering artist Kate Forrester we put people’s most difficult thoughts on their faces before photographing them and displaying the prints two metres tall in outdoor public exhibitions. It is fantastic to get more exposure for the project through these awards. Massive thanks to everyone involved, especially to the brave people who volunteered to be photographed for the project. For more information visit: www.letstalkcampaign.com Or head over to Guildhall Yard in London where the exhibition is currently on display.

Jamie Oliver - British GQ - Jamie Oliver – GQ Food & Drink Awards - Charlie Clift

Jamie Oliver – GQ Food & Drink Awards

    What an awesome fun shoot this was – Jamie Oliver photographed for British GQ to celebrate his lifetime achievement award at the GQ Food and Drink Awards. Taking inspiration form Philippe Halsman’s incredible image ‘Dali Atomicus’ we updated the idea for Jamie using an Italian restaurant as our starting point. It’s not easy getting something like this to all come together, but thankfully Mr Oliver was brilliant at balancing on a chair whilst pouring his tea with perfect accuracy, and I had an awesome team behind me.       So what ingredients do you need for a shoot like this? 1 Jamie Oliver 1 photographer 1 stylist 1 prop stylist 1 art director (slightly hung-over from a Christmas party) 3 assistants dressed head to toe in black a handful of crumpled napkins a pair of salt and pepper shakers 1 reinforced chair that can hold a national...

 - Caroline Criado Perez – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Caroline Criado Perez – The Sunday Times Magazine

I photographed Caroline Criado-Perez for The Sunday Times Magazine. It was genuinely an honour to meet and photograph this formidable feminist. She has led two powerful campaigns: the first, in 2013, to put a female face on a banknote, the second to erect a statue of a woman in Parliament Square. She has now written a book to make clear to us how male-centred even our numbers are. Many thanks to Russ for the commission.