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

Rebekah, manager of the South London Food Bank Warehouse - Taylor Wessing Photography Prize Finalist – National Portrait Gallery - Charlie Clift

Taylor Wessing Photography Prize Finalist – National Portrait Gallery

It’s an honour to have this image of Rebekah, a manager at the South London Warehouse Food Bank, chosen to be exhibited in this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize at the National Portrait Gallery. I photographed Rebekah as part of a project documenting two food banks in London as they responded to Covid-19. When Britain 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. My aim for the project was to highlight the vital work the staff and volunteers are doing, and the struggles of the people they are supporting. This image was taken after I had tried for most of her shift to get Rebekah to step aside from her duties so that I could photograph...

Shaun Bailey and David Walliams - British GQ - Shaun Bailey and David Walliams – British GQ - Charlie Clift

Shaun Bailey and David Walliams – British GQ

New work for British GQ – David Walliams interviewed the conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey, and I photographed them both. Somehow Bailey ended up dancing quite a bit on our shoot… It was fun shooting outside on a gorgeous evening in London, we turned the driveway into a studio and embraced the dappled light, then finished off wondering by the waterside. Big thanks to Robin at GQ for the interesting commission, and to my brilliant assistants Oliver Mayhall and Rebecca Gray – couldn’t have done it without you guys. Read David’s interview with Shaun in this months British GQ: LINK

Poppy Appeal 2020 - Royal British Legion - Poppy Appeal Campaign – Royal British Legion - Charlie Clift

Poppy Appeal Campaign – Royal British Legion

  Every year across the country millions of people donate small amounts of money and collect a little red poppy in return. They wear these poppies to remember our armed forces community, to show respect, and to honour those who sacrificed so much for others. This year many of the people who would typically be out collecting for the Poppy Appeal are having to self isolate, many people are working from home and we are all trying to keep distant from one another. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still show our support. The Royal British Legion approached me to help to help launch their campaign this year. As an alternative to the traditional poppy this year they are encouraging people to print out and stick a poppy in their window – a new way to remember. So they asked me to photograph a variety of people around the country...

Alastair and Grace Campbell - The Sunday Times Magazine - Alastair and Grace Campbell – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Alastair and Grace Campbell – The Sunday Times Magazine

“Alastair, let’s put a massive pink backdrop in your garden, it won’t drawn any attention from your neighbours will it?” I’ve been so busy on the road recently I haven’t had a chance to post these from a couple of weeks back when they were published, but what a fun shoot this was. I photographed journalist, political adviser and mental health campaigner Alastair Campbell, and his daughter Grace Campbell, a feminist powerhouse, activist and comedian who inspired my approach to the shoot with her very pink wardrobe. Big thanks to Russ O’Connell for the fun commission and to Oliver Mayhall for his tireless assisting. You can read Caroline Hutton’s interviews with them here: LINK

 - Photography Daily Podcast - Charlie Clift

Photography Daily Podcast

  “You’re an inventor aren’t you Charlie?” “I’ve got itchy feet, I love doing new things – I find that really exciting.”   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...