Why men are so unhappy
The Sunday Times Magazine

Matt Rudd has been looking at why middle-aged men are so often unhappy in a new book. And I was tasked with turning this idea into a conceptual cover for The Sunday Times Magazine. When Russ O’Connell, the director of photography at the magazine, asked me to make it rain inside an umbrella my mind instantly started racing… thoughts of Rene Magritte dominated, this is an idea he would have liked. But then reality dawned on me, I’m not a painter, I’m a photographer, I need to actually make it rain inside an umbrella. Thankfully I have a very hands on father and we spent a great fun afternoon rigging up an umbrella with tubing so that it would actually rain on Matt. Then a few days later I found myself outside Matt’s house connecting that umbrella to his garden hose. The weather gods had given us the perfect background – a few clouds in an otherwise blue sky. Magritte was smiling down on us. So we turned on the tap and made the most of it.

Massive thanks to Russ for this incredible commission, to Matt for being happy to get cold and wet without moaning, to Peter Crowther for his wonderful digital manipulation, to Oliver Sharp for the excellent styling, to Dan Biddulph for the brilliant cover design, to Oliver Mayhall for assisting so brilliantly, and to Matt’s family for all their help in making this happen.

Want to read the article: LINK

 - Photography Daily Podcast - Charlie Clift

Photography Daily Podcast

  “How do you deal with spiky subjects Charlie?” “I find pure enthusiasm is the best way forward.”   I spoke to Neal James about everything from coping with difficult celebrities to creating meaningful personal work to guide your career. You can hear it all in the three part interview on the Photography Daily podcast – just click the links below:   Part 1: LET’S GET PHOTO PERSONAL   Part 2: HAVING IDEAS THAT MAKE US FLY   Part 3: I SHOVED A CARROT IN JEREMY CLARKSON’S MOUTH   Big thanks to Neal for the great interview and for his fascinating podcast.

Why men are so unhappy - The Sunday Times Magazine - Why men are so unhappy – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Why men are so unhappy – The Sunday Times Magazine

Matt Rudd has been looking at why middle-aged men are so often unhappy in a new book. And I was tasked with turning this idea into a conceptual cover for The Sunday Times Magazine. When Russ O’Connell, the director of photography at the magazine, asked me to make it rain inside an umbrella my mind instantly started racing… thoughts of Rene Magritte dominated, this is an idea he would have liked. But then reality dawned on me, I’m not a painter, I’m a photographer, I need to actually make it rain inside an umbrella. Thankfully I have a very hands on father and we spent a great fun afternoon rigging up an umbrella with tubing so that it would actually rain on Matt. Then a few days later I found myself outside Matt’s house connecting that umbrella to his garden hose. The weather gods had given us the perfect background...

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer - The Sunday Times Magazine - Portrait of Britain – Winner - Charlie Clift

Portrait of Britain – Winner

My photograph of Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer is one of the winners in this years Portrait of Britain awards run by the The British Journal of Photography. Look out for it on JCD electronic billboards up and down the country as part of the outdoor exhibition, and grab a copy of book that has been published by Hoxton Mini Press. Big thanks must go to Russ O’Connell who commissioned me to photograph this portrait for The Sunday Times Magazine. Find out more about the competition, exhibition and book here: portraitofbritain.uk/shortlist-and-winners-2020

Richard Osman – The Sunday Times Magazine

He’s 6ft7inches, and has written a novel. And I photographed him for The Sunday Times Magazine. We danced, we laughed, we swore loudly. We had a lot of fun. We also created a little film together at the end of our shoot.

 - Tresco – The Great British Staycation - Charlie Clift

Tresco – The Great British Staycation

  I didn’t think this trip would happen. We’d had it booked for months, way before this virus arrived on the scene, but then lockdown was upon us and you weren’t allowed to stay a single night away from home. So I had stopped myself getting excited, assuming that we wouldn’t be able to go. Then a week before we were due to leave it was announced that we could travel again – I couldn’t believe our luck, we’d be some of the first people to be on holiday this summer. And what a place to go… Tresco is a small, other worldly island. It’s part of the Isles of Scilly, a few dots of land peeking out of the Atlantic Ocean a bit West of Cornwall. It’s a place for getting away, for diving in the sea, for getting sunburnt, windswept, tired, tipsy and happy. And for a week...

Amanda Palmer and the BBC Symphony Orchestra - Amanda Palmer – A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square - Charlie Clift

Amanda Palmer – A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square

On a dark wintery night in London, before the world was turned upside down by a virus, I met up with Amanda Palmer backstage at The Barbican concert hall. She was performing that night with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was recording it to make a new single.  Halfway through getting her hair and make up done she jumped up. “You have GOT to see the dress,” she said, reaching into her wardrobe and bringing out the most dazzling garment I’d laid eyes on in a long time. I couldn’t believe it, she was going to freeze outside, but God she would look good doing it.  It was to be quite the evening of performance, Amanda was appearing on stage with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, alongside Neil Gaiman, David Tennant and Simon Butteriss in a night of music and live readings of Neil’s writing. I had spent the previous couple...

Pacifico Beer - Pacifico Beer – National Campaign - Charlie Clift

Pacifico Beer – National Campaign

Mazatlán is a beautiful city on the coast of Sinaloa, Mexico. A town full of colour, culture and food. And the town that gave birth to Pacifico beer. For the relaunch of this brand I was asked to capture the feeling of its home.  Working with an incredible team from New London, I was actively encouraged to approach the project as I saw best. We spent hours chatting about the brand, their history and their aims for the future. I was trusted to tell that story. And there was no better way than to experience it and capture what I saw.  A moment of calm. That was the best way to summarise my brief. To capture those moments we all wish we had more of. I spent a week in Mazatlan, creating an image library for the brand, it’s out of home campaign, and video content to feature on it’s...

How I work and create – a portfolio film

Here’s a short film to give an insight into the way I work and create – think of it as the next best thing to a portfolio meeting. I’m eager to find new ways to keep connected with clients and collaborators during this strange time. So if it leaves you wanting more then let’s have a zoom call or a walk in the park, or even meet up for a drink now that’s a thing again. Just drop me an email to say hello – [email protected] Massive thanks to my agent Germaine Walker for helping me to create this, to Girls In Airports for letting me use their beautiful music, and to BAFTA, British GQ and Peter Beighton for allowing me to use their video footage.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London - The Sunday Times Magazine - Sadiq Khan – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Sadiq Khan – The Sunday Times Magazine

“Being a leader is lonely. And I’ve struggled. I should feel confident talking about it. I shouldn’t feel that I’ve got to be this alpha male who demonstrates his virility by being super human.” Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London – in his interview with Decca Aitkenhead for The Sunday Times Magazine. When I photographed Sadiq it was my first commissioned shoot since Covid-19 had put the UK in lockdown. It had been a strange and horrible time, and I was nervous and eager to get back at it. My assistant and I set up in a big open space at the top of City Hall, donned our gloves and masks, and waited for the Mayor to walk in. It was so strange not shaking his hand, and not being able to get too close. It made me realise how much I normally use proximity in my approach to portraiture,...

Bez, a volunteer at the Bonny Downs Food Bank - Food Banks During Coronavirus – new personal project - Charlie Clift

Food Banks During Coronavirus – new personal project

Who would you turn to if you suddenly couldn’t afford to feed yourself or your family? When Covid-19 hit Britain the nation was put into lockdown; businesses, livelihoods and the economy ground to a halt. Since then food banks across the nation have seen a dramatic surge in demand. For hundreds of thousands of people food banks are the only way they can survive. “Schools and venues closed, so my income closed,” says Antiqu’e, a freelance musician and artists who lives with her 16 year old son, “that is my livelihood, that’s how I pay my bills, my whole earning ability shut down.” The Trussell Trust, who organises a network of 1,200 food banks across the UK, has seen an 89% increase in demand for emergency food parcels since Covid-19. Many people employed in the gig economy have seen their work vanish, others in unstable employment have found themselves with...