The beautiful Barbados sunset

Behind the scenes at Cliff Richard’s calendar shoot


Hello again!
I’ve been incredibly lucky this year, having enjoyed a number of holidays and short breaks – it’s been a seemingly endless summer for me. That’s partly because it started early, in the middle of March, when I joined my photographer husband Olley on what has become an annual shoot for him – taking the pictures for Sir Cliff Richard’s calendar. It’s a calendar that has in recent years only been outsold by that of One Direction, a measure of Sir Cliff’s enduring popularity.


Behind the scenes with Sir Cliff
When I wrote about the trip in April earlier this year, many of you left comments about how envious you were that I had experienced first-hand the generosity of Cliff’s hospitality. He was delightful – such a kind and genuine man. Our son Billy was with us as Olley’s assistant (may as well keep it in the family!) and Cliff made us all feel welcome in his gorgeous Caribbean home in Barbados, around which the shoot was based.


Work in progress!The images were for his 2015 calendar, which is available to buy now. You’ve probably read in the newspapers about the events he is currently dealing with, and I know he is devastated about the accusations levelled at him. I wondered whether he would delay the launch of his calendar but I’m delighted he has published it, and I’m sure his legion of fans will be buying it in their thousands!
The sunset shot!I thought that you might like to see a few of the photos I took on the trip, giving you a glimpse of ‘behind the scenes’ . The cover shot on the calendar is a glorious photo of Sir Cliff wearing a white suit, standing in the sea at sunset waving a bottle of the bubbly he produces in his Portuguese vineyard. Technically it’s difficult to shoot towards the low sun without creating a silhouette – you can see how Olley overcomes this by putting Billy in the sea as well, holding a flash light to illuminate Cliff at the same time as keeping the golden glow of the sunset. I was delighted that I took one of my photos at the exact moment that Olley’s flash went off – pure fluke but I got the shot I was after!
And I have to say, Cliff was brilliant. Patient, appreciative and he didn’t complain once about getting drenched!

Sir Cliff and his guitar by the seaOlley and Billy get wet to get the perfect shotOne of my favourite pictures is one where Cliff is playing his guitar sitting on a rock on the beach with the waves gently lapping at his feet. Very ‘Summer Holiday’.

In the calendar they’ve cropped the shot so you don’t get the whole story, but I took one where you can see it all (along with Billy’s hand preparing the flash light.)
Water was very much a theme, of course, and there was one set up where Cliff stayed dry but both Olley and Billy got a soaking. It was in the infinity pool at Cliff’s lovely home. Sir Cliff was standing on the edge with the pool in front of him and, from a certain angle, only the sky and the sea were visible beyond him. To make the exposure work Olley needed to get a strong light on the front of Cliff – after several attempts the only way was to get wet, as this photo shows. The arm on the left, holding the cables clear of the water, is mine!


Sir Cliff with part of his photo teamThe whole team - photo by KathyAnd that’s not the only time I helped. Cliff always likes to have a photo of everyone who worked on the calendar to put on the back of it, so Olley has to be front of camera for a change. I took the photo of Sir Cliff leaning back, supported by his team. Billy is delighted to have his name there as photographic assistant but I have to say – I’m a little miffed my byline as photographer has been left off!!


Cliff Richard's 2015 calendar coverBack of the calendar with the whole teamIt was a lovely few days, a mix of work and pleasure but the work was so much fun it all felt like a holiday. And with the calendar up on our kitchen wall I can remind myself of those happy, sunny times all the way though the coming winter.

Until next time, take care
Kathy x


  1. Beverley Klymkiw September 11, 2014 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    Oh Kathy, lucky you. You all look like you did a great job and had wonderful fun too. Barbados is one of my favourite places.

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 8:52 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Beverley. Yes, we had great fun and the others worked hard while I looked on!
      Kathy x

  2. Carole Collins September 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm -  Reply

    Your holiday sounds amazing Kathy and the calendar looks great. I really enjoyed meeting you today at the QVC filming, it was such a pleasure to chat to you. Thank you for being so welcoming and taking the time to put everyone at ease. It was much appreciated.

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm -  Reply

      Hi Carole
      I’m really glad you enjoyed your day with us, it was lovely to meet you. I hope you manage to watch – and enjoy! – the words you recorded for us.
      Kathy x

  3. Melissa September 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing your photos and story. I think this is one of the best calendars. Love the photos. If Olley ever needs an assistant, I’ll be there in a flash.

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 8:59 pm -  Reply

      Hi Melissa
      Glad you like the look of the calendar – Sir Cliff said he thought it was one of his best. I’m afraid you’ll have to fight me for the assistant job if Cliff does another, though!
      Kathy x

  4. Helen howell September 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm -  Reply

    Oh Kathy. I am so envious . Love cliff and love QVC with you too !

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

      Thank you Helen – I was very lucky!
      Kathy x

  5. Cristian September 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    Great to see all of ypu really enjoy the work! Greeting to the team and Sir Cliff!

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Cristian. We all had fun during the shoot, and then enjoyed the Caribbean cocktails Sir Cliff bought us when all the work was done! It was a great trip.
      Kathy x

  6. Jill Matthews September 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Wow Kathy, what a fabulous few days you’ve had. All us green eyed ladies want to swap places with you!!! Thank goodness we have got a new calendar for next year, our man will be in all our homes again yippee! Thank you x

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm -  Reply

      Hi Jill
      We have the calendar in our kitchen right now, a happy reminder of a wonderful trip. I was really lucky to be involved.
      I suppose someone had to do it!
      Kathy x

  7. Meg Ward September 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    Sounds as if you had a lot of fun. Great photos. Hope you take them for many years to come.

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

      It was certainly fun, Meg, but I can’t claim the calendar photos as my own – it’s my husband Olley who is the talented photographer. My pix are just the ones that show behind the scenes.
      Kathy x

  8. Lesley Vann September 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

    Well I am seriously jealous I just wish it had been me their with CLIFF. BUT! I would not take the glory from you and I am so pleased you had a good time.. CLIFFS Calendars will sell like hot cakes as I have to have them every year. Thank you so much for sharing the photos!!!!.

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm -  Reply

      Hi Lesley, I hope you enjoy the 2015 calendar when you get it. And I’m glad you enjoyed the glimpse of how It was made – the least I could do is share my experience!
      Kathy x

  9. Cheryl Davis September 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm -  Reply

    How lucky can a lady get !! Wow ! Thanks so much for sharing the behind the scenes pics and story !

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

      You’re welcome, Cheryl – it would be rude not to share!
      Kathy x

  10. Linda Larsen September 18, 2014 at 7:14 pm -  Reply

    What a lovely blog and congratulations on a most fantastic result!

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 10:01 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Linda – glad you enjoyed it.
      Kathy x

  11. Laura Canning September 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm -  Reply

    Fantastic photos for the Calendar – so enjoyed hearing how you created such marvellous images.

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 10:04 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Laura. I always enjoy seeing behind the scenes, I’m glad you did too.
      Kathy x

  12. Susan lynch September 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm -  Reply

    Dear Kathy, you were very priviledged indeed to experience this wonderful mans hospitality, he is a very kind person and WE All Still Believe IN Him . We have been there from the beginning and will be there forever. Thank you foe sharing these special photos with the Cliff Supporters of the world xxxx

    • Kathy Tayler September 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

      Hi Susan
      I was very lucky to spend so much time with Sir Cliff, he was kind, generous and a true gentleman. And he looks great in all the photos – a good looking man!
      Kathy x

  13. Christine Griffiths September 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for that lovely write up Kathy and for allowing us a look at the behind the scenes shots while making Cliff’s calendar. We all know that Cliff is a delightful, genuine and honest man and like everyone else, we can’t wait till he manages to free himself from those false allegations.

    I buy the calendar every year and have already got the 2015 one. It’s a stunner, but then the subject is a stunner too and you have managed to capture the very essence of the man.
    Keep up the good work and may the calendar outsell all the others!

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Christine.
      The only calendar that sold more than Sir Cliff’s last year was the one featuring One Direction – let’s hope he beats even them in 2015!
      Best wishes Kathy x

  14. Chris September 19, 2014 at 12:17 am -  Reply

    Thanks so much for a lovely and warm report on Cliffs calender .
    So much appreciated
    Warmest regards
    Chris x

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Chris. Your comments are also appreciated. With best wishes, Kathy x

  15. Ann September 19, 2014 at 12:53 am -  Reply

    What a lovely blogg, well written and informative, and leaves me just a tad jealous ;). Love Cliff and all that he does, my heart goes out to him at this very difficult time. I’ve been a fan of Cliff`s forever and love to see the calander each year, delighted to see he hasn`t stopped for next year. You photos are lovely and long may you continue taking the photos for many Cliff calanders to come. Kelp up the good work and tell him we need him on view for a lot more years to come. Ann x

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm -  Reply

      Thanks for your message, Ann. I am hoping that Sir Cliff decided to shoot another calendar – not just because I’d love another trip to see him but because so many people love to hang the calendar on their wall to enjoy seeing him every day!
      Best wishes
      Kathy x

  16. Alma Seaman September 19, 2014 at 1:52 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, hello from Perth WAustralia…Really lovely to see behind the scenes and I must say you took some great shots..Thank You so much for sharing with us…Alma

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

      Hello Alma.
      Fantastic to hear from you all the way across the world – I’m glad you enjoyed the blog.
      Best wishes
      Kathy x

  17. Tess vella September 19, 2014 at 5:33 am -  Reply

    You were so lucky to have spent so much time with our Sir Cliff. Calendar looks so great, i have bought it every year for i don’t know how long ,so have abig stack of them, looking forward to getting next years. I was lucky to meet n greet him when he did a concert at The Sydney Opera House last year for about an hour an a half, so ticked off my number one item on my bucket list. He was such a gentl, beautiful man to talk to, so down to earth. Thanks for sharing the pics n write up.

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tess. You’ve described Sir Cliff just as I found him. I’m so glad you managed to meet and talk with him – I hope you enjoy this year’s calendar.
      Best wishes
      Kathy x

  18. Birgitt Linnemann September 19, 2014 at 7:32 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, thank you so much for These wonderful photos and the words.
    You did a great Job and I am a bit jalous you had the opportunity to meet Cliff. :-)
    Thx Birgitt

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi Birgitt.i wasn’t sure whether it was fair to write about meeting Sir Cliff as I know so many people would have loved to be able to do so themselves. But in the end I decided that you’d like to hear about it – I hope you’re not too jealous!
      Best wishes
      Kathy x

  19. Eileen Flynn September 19, 2014 at 7:36 am -  Reply

    That was lovely to read about Cliff.I have also shared it.xx

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Eileen. I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about my trip.
      Take care
      Kathy x

  20. Eileen Flynn September 19, 2014 at 7:37 am -  Reply

    That was lovely to read about Sir Cliff.Have also shared the comment.xxxx

  21. Julie September 19, 2014 at 5:08 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for the info; it was really interesting to read. Of course his fans don’t think there’s any truth in the accusation and are supporting him with cards (thinking of you ones and birthday ones).

  22. Jill Thomson September 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    Thank you it was wonderful to learn how the photos for Cliffs calendar were produced. I have the calendar every Christmas, have got 30 years worth.xx

    • Kathy Tayler September 24, 2014 at 11:43 am -  Reply

      Hi Jill. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed this blog – I hope you like this calendar as much as all your others!
      Kathy x

  23. IQBAL KAUR September 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm -  Reply

    Wonderful photos of Cliff xx

    • Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Iqbal – I’m glad you like them!
      Best wishes
      Kathy x

  24. Mary Fletcher September 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,That all looks lovely but just one thing, can I please come along as your assistant next time. I promise I will work hard
    Seriously , It is adorable. Thank you for sharing you lucky girl xx

  25. Kathy Tayler October 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Mary.
    I’ll see what I can do for you – you may have to curl up in my suitcase though! Glad you enjoyed hearing about my lovely trip.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

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