Ed Miliband
British GQ

In the UK if you’re a public figure the media tends to show you in a single way, a full bodied persona boiled down to a single dimension. And as a fun and humorous politician (quite the unusual thing) Ed Miliband was only ever portrayed as a joker when he was leader of the Labour Party. However, when I met Ed it became instantly clear that there is also a serious and thoughtful side to the man. He’s happy to laugh and play jokes on himself, and he’s just as happy to dive deep into a philosophical discussion about changing the world.

His interview with Jude Rogers is fascinating and candid, so head over to the GQ site for a read, or even better buy a copy of the magazine and enjoy it in beautiful print.

Massive thanks to Ed for letting me invade his home and garden, to Robin Key for the fascinating commission, and to Philip Hardman and Arthur Comely for assisting so beautifully.

 

Ed Miliband - British GQ - Ed Miliband – British GQ - Charlie Clift

Ed Miliband – British GQ

In the UK if you’re a public figure the media tends to show you in a single way, a full bodied persona boiled down to a single dimension. And as a fun and humorous politician (quite the unusual thing) Ed Miliband was only ever portrayed as a joker when he was leader of the Labour Party. However, when I met Ed it became instantly clear that there is also a serious and thoughtful side to the man. He’s happy to laugh and play jokes on himself, and he’s just as happy to dive deep into a philosophical discussion about changing the world. His interview with Jude Rogers is fascinating and candid, so head over to the GQ site for a read, or even better buy a copy of the magazine and enjoy it in beautiful print. Massive thanks to Ed for letting me invade his home and garden, to Robin...

Marcus Rashford - Coca Cola - Marcus Rashford – Coca Cola - Charlie Clift

Marcus Rashford – Coca Cola

  Coming to a bus stop near you Marcus Rashford photographed for Coca Cola. ⁠⁠This must be one of the quickest ad shoots I’ve done – we had just two five minute sessions to create two billboards with this awesome man. I love a challenge though and with a great team behind me anything is possible. ⁠⁠ Marcus was such a gent, even at the end of a crazy day where he had multiple photoshoots and his full training schedule prepping for the Euros he was still approachable and helpful. It was a lovely honour to meet him. ⁠⁠ Massive thanks to everyone who made this possible: ⁠ Agency – M&C Saatchi Creatives – Danny Jones and Jordan Morris Account Manager – Kevin Earland Production – Morgan Evans at Germaine Walker ⁠Assistants – Robin Bernstein & Phil Hardman ⁠Stylist – Lisa Jones⁠ Kit – GripVan

Jeremy Clarkson - The Sunday Times Magazine - Jeremy Clarkson and a lamb – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Jeremy Clarkson and a lamb – The Sunday Times Magazine

Jeremy Clarkson is best know for driving fast cars and having controversial opinions. However, recently he’s turned his hand to tilling the soil and become a bit of an ambassador for countryside communities. Rather a u-turn, and one I was eager to exploit when Russ O’Connell asked me to photograph him for the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine. I had photographed Clarkson once before, when he had taken over the magazine with a rather comical set of recipes designed to inspire everyone to eat more healthily. That time I shoved a carrot in his mouth. But what was I to do this time? How do you present such a well known figure in a new and interesting way? Obviously I turned to Jesus for help. You see the thing I love about visual art is that there is a rich history to call upon. Certain types of images represent...

 - Colours and Patterns - Charlie Clift

Colours and Patterns

This was fun! Embracing colours and patterns I collaborated recently with stylist Olliver Sharp on this fashion story. Inspired by Spring time, and the return of colours to the world, we built sets to match out the outfits, creating some rather attention grabbing scenes that made my vision swirl a bit on set a bit like looking into a magic eye book. Raihanna Thompson modelled for us. She is an incredible bundle of energy, who brought loads of enthusiasm to the shoot and really elevated it. Massive thanks to the team involved: Styling: Olliver Sharp Make up: Karen Wagner Model: Raihanna Thompson Casting: MOT Models Retouching: Melissa Morgan Photo assistant: Arthur Comely  

 - Tribute Ink Exhibition – York Army Museum - Charlie Clift

Tribute Ink Exhibition – York Army Museum

Tribute Ink is back on show from the 17th of May at the York Army Museum. I created the exhibition for the Royal British Legion to capture the stories of loss and pride behind the tattoos armed forces members get inked into their skin. It wasn’t always easy hearing the stories behind the tattoos. Some have chosen to have the names of friends inked into their skin as an act of living remembrance, like Matt Tomlinson who has the ten names of those who died along side him during his time in Afghanistan and Iraq permanently in his back. For others their tattoos are badges of belonging, like Tash Kenny who has a beautiful Spitfire flying down her arm, or Michael Bell who is covered neck to toe in tattoos that pay tribute to the Nelson era naval crews. The exhibition opens on the 17th of May. Find out more: HERE See the full set...

 - American Photography 37 Chosen Winners - Charlie Clift

American Photography 37 Chosen Winners

Two of my portraits have be chosen as online winners for American Photography 37! The chosen images were both shot for my BAFTA TV Winners Portfolio, created with the ever brilliant Claire Rees. The first is an image of Will Sharpe who was photographed in a kebab house to celebrate his supporting actor award. The second was my image of Glenda Jackson in the mist created to mark her leading actress accolade.

Keir Starmer - The Sunday Times Magazine - Sir Keir Starmer – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Sir Keir Starmer – The Sunday Times Magazine

Could this man be the next Prime Minister? It all felt very informal as he wondered casually into the meeting room we’d set up a studio in. “Call me Keir,” was the first thing he said, dispelling any I thought that I ought to address him as Sir Most politicians I’ve photographed seem to enjoy the limelight that comes with the job, but I didn’t get that impression with Starmer. “Do you continually experiment?” That was his first proper comment, eager to find out about the people he was meeting, rather than concentrate the attention on himself. After explaining a bit about my process, I quickly moved onto the upcoming elections: “do you think Sadiq will win?” I asked. “Oh, of course he will,” his reply came. This man seemed certain. He wants to make a difference. We discussed everything from his favourite personalities in parliament, to the realities of...

Ashley Banjo and Jordan Banjo photographed in Rainham Essex near their dance studio. - Ashley and Jordan Banjo – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Ashley and Jordan Banjo – The Sunday Times Magazine

“We learnt that it’s OK to tell stories about climate change or the NHS, but not racism.” Ashley and Jordan Banjo dance in Diversity, the amazing dance troupe who sparked the most TV complaints ever for their performance supporting Black Lives Matters – a shocking reminder that many people in the UK are still not ready to support anti-racist causes. I met the gents outside their dance studio East London surrounded by piles of car parts and tyres from the workshops nearby. It was great fun collaborating with such brilliant performers, and utilising the amazing surroundings, they got totally on board adding to my ideas and creating images together with me. Read the full interview here: LINK Big thanks to Russ O’Connell for the top gig, and to Oliver Mayhall and Ben Large for assisting so awesomely.

Census 2021 – Image Library

Three weeks on the road, over 1500 miles driven, creating more than 100 portraits. The aim – capturing the huge diversity of England and Wales for the 2021 Census campaign. The Census happens only once every 10 years, and enables the government to have an honest picture of every household in England and Wales. The results help to guide decisions about public funding and how the country can best support its diverse and unique communities, so it is super important that everyone takes part. I was really excited to be commissioned for this campaign:  it was a chance to meet, hear and capture people’s stories, documenting the vast, colourful diversity of people in this country. And what an historic year to do it in as well, circumstances like no other. The challenge and logistics of finding and contacting the right mix of ethnicities and different communities was immense. Thankfully I...

Failed Ideas: Jeremy Clarkson - Failed Ideas – the things that nearly happened - Charlie Clift

Failed Ideas – the things that nearly happened

  Ideas, I’ve learnt over time to have many and to be willing to throw them away. I often go through all the necessary pre-production to have an idea ready to go on set, sourcing a prop, lighting an approach, or creating a concept. Then for one reason or another that idea never happens: the talent decides they don’t want to do it, we run out of time, we photograph it then decide it’s no good, or it just doesn’t seem right in the moment. I thought it would be interesting to look at some of my failed ideas in an ongoing series. Each idea will be named with the person it was intended for, but I’m not sure I’ll tell you anymore, I’ll just let you guess what could have been. I think I might turn it into an ongoing project, a way of cataloging the things that nearly...