Charlie Clift’s image of London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the Sunday Times Magazine reflects perfectly the accompanying interview he gave to journalist Decca Aitkenhead, where he spoke of the struggles he experienced being a mayor. “When I photographed Sadiq, it was my first commissioned shoot since Covid-19 had put the UK into lockdown,” says the photographer. “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 in London, 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, but I quickly adapted and found other ways to connect. Sadiq was friendly but also seemed tired. It was refreshing to hear his honesty, especially about his struggles with mental health during the lockdown.”
Photographer: Charlie Clift
Publication: The Sunday Times Magazine
Director of Photography: Russ O’Connell
Photography Assistant: Stuart Harper