Gordon Brown - The Sunday Times Magazine - Gordon Brown – The Sunday Times Mgazine - Charlie Clift

Gordon Brown – The Sunday Times Mgazine

“They didn’t give me a chance” was one of the first things the ex-Prime Minister said to me. A man who seemed to be looking back as much as forward. It was fascinating to meet a figure who had been so present in politics whilst I was growing up. He was more excited to hear about me than to talk about himself, and even more eager to show us his home village. “Have you seen the bridges?” he said, referring to the massive structures spanning the Firth of Forth that tower over the place. He then took us off to a little seaside restaurant 15 minutes away, where he happily chatted away to the owner and was determined to eat before letting me photograph him on the beach. It was only at the end of our time together that he started to talk about his current charity work, and a...

Nadine Dorries - The Sunday Times Magazine - Nadine Dorries – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Nadine Dorries – The Sunday Times Magazine

The Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, photographed for the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine. We had just 10 minute with the Minister, and I found out about the shoot the evening before. But a great team and a good plan go a long way. Big thanks to Russ O’Connell for the commission, to Dan Biddulph for the cover design and the colourful inside spread, and finally to Oliver Mayhall and Olivia Spencer for their great assisting.

 - Portrait of Britain – Winner - Charlie Clift

Portrait of Britain – Winner

My portrait of Michaela Coel is a winner in this year’s  Portrait of Britain by the British Journal of Photography. You can see it across the nation on digital billboards, from train platforms to massive roadside displays. If you spot it do send me a snap, I’d love to see in situ. My portrait of Glenda Jackson was also selected as a shortlisted image – so you can see both Glenda and Michaela in the book soon to be published by Hoxton Mini Press. Both images were photographed for Bafta to celebrate the awards each of these brilliant women have won. Massive thanks to Claire Rees and Jordan Anderson for commissioning me for these shoots.

Ruby Wax- The Sunday Times Magazine - Ruby Wax – The Sunday Times Magazine - Charlie Clift

Ruby Wax – The Sunday Times Magazine

Ruby Wax has helped so many people cope with mental health difficulties through her books, thoughts, talks and work. So it was a great honour to meet and photographer her for the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine. I had brought along a few ideas and Ruby was excited to experiment with them for me. From pouring water onto a giant mirror to printing out Ruby’s smile and then using that as a wonderful prop, it was super exciting to collaborate to make these photographs. Massive thanks to Russ O’Connell for the fascinating commission, to Oliver Mayhall for his assisting, to Dan Biddulph for the cover design and to Ian McIntosh for hair and make up.  

TV Winners – Bafta

After photographing the Bafta TV Awards official portraits I was given the chance to meet more amazing award winners. I was eager to make these shoots really personal, so asked each person to take me to a location that meant a lot to them. That led to an emotional return to Malachi Kirby’s childhood estate, sharing a fishing trip with Charlie Cooper, diving into a much loved street market with Marian Mohamed’s, and enjoying champagne and haribo by the canal with Georgi Banks-Davies. You can watch a couple of behind the scenes films here, or click through to see each of these shoots in full: Charlie Cooper – Best Actor in a comedy Malachi Kirby – Best Supporting Actor Marian Mohamed – Emerging Talent Factual Georgi Banks Davies – Emerging Talent Fiction Massive thanks to Claire Rees and Jordan Anderson at Bafta for commissioning me for these incredible shoots.  ...

 - Beyond the Horizon – New Film - Charlie Clift

Beyond the Horizon – New Film

Beyond the Horizon, my new film, has premiered on Director’s Notes. It’s an exploration of the ups and downs of the creative process, and the fruit of my collaboration with composer Segun Akinola and choreographer Demi Rox. I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with many brilliant creative people. Speaking to them and knowing my own process, I’ve found that bringing a project to life is always a journey with many twists and turns. You start up-beat and self-assured, but you’re guaranteed to get overwhelmed by self-doubt at some point. To make something you’ve got to be determined and keep going despite that. Combining music and dance felt like the right way of telling that story. In the film Rox cuts a lone figure against the austere dunes as she combines hip hop, freestyle, and classical dance to Akinola’s cello score written for the film. She begins calm and collected,...

Charlie Cooper - Bafta - Charlie Cooper – Bafta - Charlie Clift

Charlie Cooper – Bafta

From a giraffe, to a tree, to a washed out rock and roll star Charlie Cooper dived into every idea I threw at him on our photoshoot to celebrate his recent Bafta for best actor in a comedy. “Charlie tried to get me to become characters during the shoot. We created this backstory of a washed up, Bill Nighy type, rock and roll star.” Who knew what a simple red carnation could inspire? I wasn’t surprised to see amazing ideas spurting out of Mr Cooper whilst we messed about together, this man has created a much loved comedy with his sister by embracing the strange and wonderful things that happen nearby. Living in the middle of the Cotswolds he still loves to be near nature and finds it helps his work. “To be able to look out the window and see miles and miles of greenery, it’s important to me. And...

Marian Mohamed - Bafta - Marian Mohamed – Bafta - Charlie Clift

Marian Mohamed – Bafta

I photographed the documentary director Marian Mohamed to celebrate her Bafta Emerging Talent Award for Defending Digga D. I met Marian at her home and we hit the streets together. Diving into her local market she got a lot of attention in the incredible orange dress she had chosen for the shoot. I love doing something a bit different with the people I photograph – pushing them to do things that aren’t that “normal” can create a special connection or a unique moment. Marian got rather into this shoot, strutting up and down the market between the vegetables to a reggae soundtrack from a nearby stall. I thought it’d be fun to turn the market into a podium to celebrate her success, so with the help of a few coke boxes and a burst of sunlight we elevated Marian into a modern day Venus. Massive thanks to Claire Rees and...

 - Georgi Banks Davies – Bafta - Charlie Clift

Georgi Banks Davies – Bafta

“Champagne and haribo!” says Georgi. That’s how she would like to celebrate her Bafta for Best Director. “Sounds amazing,” I say… because, well, why not? So at 6:30am on a misty morning I find myself sipping champagne by the canal, whilst my star tucks into a giant bag of Starmix. The commuters and dogs walkers passing by seem a bit confused, but it’s London so they let us carry on with a cheerful wave. The more observant few spot the Bafta award and do a double take… Georgi mainly laughs, as do I. Massive thanks to the team who made this excellent shoot happen: Production, art direction and generally being awesome – Claire Rees and Jordan Anderson Photographic assistant – Philip Hardman

 - Malachi Kirby – Bafta - Charlie Clift

Malachi Kirby – Bafta

“Maybe more important than winning the BAFTA for me, was being able to have this photoshoot in the area that I grew up” Go behind the scenes on my Bafta photoshoot with Malachi Kirby, who won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe. Talking to Malachi before we met, we decided to do something special to celebrate his award. I wanted to go to a location that meant a lot to him, and he suggested returning to the estate where he grew up. We ended up photographing in the very playground he used to spend time in as a child, and also outside his old front door. Such an honour sharing this moment with him. I’ve seen Malachi’s career rise from when I first met him as a Bafta Breakthrough Brit in 2016, and here he is now winning major awards. He’s remained humble, kind and...