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Cliff Roles

Image: Cliff Roles

If you haven’t seen photographer Cliff Roles out and about around Sarasota’s social scene, you must be living under a rock. The warm and engaging United Kingdom native works three to four gigs a day. He took a break from his place behind the camera to talk about his day-to-day style and what he loves most about his job. 

WHO: Cliff Roles, 64, photographer

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Image: Cliff Roles

WHAT I DO: [I capture] lots of the town’s nonprofit events—fundraisers, luncheons, galas, balls and dinners, etc. I also shoot the production photos for the Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Players Centre for Performing Arts and Theatre Odyssey.   

Every year I go “walkabout,” which means that I travel far and wide for a month or two discovering new places in the world. I just returned from driving through Europe for a month with a colleague, for instance. We covered eight countries in August shooting lakes and mountain panoramas. As a result of my trip to Europe in 2013, I even published a book, Walkabout Europe, which you can still purchase through Amazon. 

FAVORITE FUNDRAISERS TO ATTEND: Ha—to name a favorite would be committing social suicide! But I do have to say that since my granddaughters have been in the world, I’ve enjoyed photographing children’s events more and more.

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MY STYLE: Practical, durable and comfortable. 

HOW HAS YOUR STYLE EVOLVED: It has evolved out of necessity. For many years, I wore dark, heavy, multi-pocketed photographer’s vests or jackets in order to carry everything around with me at shoots. It was functional but very hot in the Florida climate. With routine comes experience, and recently, I’ve been wearing two types of short-sleeve fishing shirts by HUK and GILLZ, which are aerated and very cool. They come in all different patterns and look great un-tucked.

And after wearing my very comfortable New Balance shoes for many years, I’ve now also discovered Allbirds. I can stand and walk in them for hours on end.  

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MY GO-TO’s: My wife Maria, my granddaughter-twins Emery and Aslin and my camera.

FAVORITE ITEM YOU OWN? My Nikon D5 camera with my Nikon 70–200 mm lens. They go together like fish and chips.

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BEST STYLE TIP FOR MEN: My camera flash catches reflective surfaces. I would suggest that if you can’t have Lasik surgery, take the time to polish your eyeglasses before getting your photo taken with your lovely significant other. 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY? I love creating memories and making people smile when they look at my work.   

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Image: Cliff Roles

FOR A NIGHT ON THE TOWN, I WOULD WEAR: The same clothes I wear during the day, as I’m always working. 

Cliff is wearing a Gillz shirt, pants purchased in Warsaw, Allbirds sneakers and accessorized with his Nikon D5 camera.

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The Players Centre for Performing Arts

Theater 838 N. Tamiami Trail

Long-running (now in its 87th season) community theater presents seven mainstage productions, mostly musicals, along with a summer season.

Asolo Repertory Theatre

Theater 5555 N. Tamiami Trail

Asolo Rep’s Equity company performs a rotating repertory of plays, from classics to contemporary, November to June. Throughout the season, there are opportun...