I’ve returned to the freelance arena, formerly Senior Staff Photographer with ViacomCBS, now PARAMOUNT based in Los Angeles, creating photography for publicity, print advertisement, on-air campaigns, CBS Watch Magazine, Showtime Networks, CBSN Sports, and Paramount + (formerly CBS All Access), promoting all of our entertainment, news, sports, alternative programming and special events.

Prior to joining the network, I freelanced for HBO, Showtime, TNT and the feature films, BLUE SKY,  THE HOT SPOT, THE FIVE HEARTBEATS, to name just a few.

I have my roots in New York Theatre, literally, as an actor, making a living for 18 years on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours, along with film, radio and television, until “re-inventing” myself, changing course, to become a professional photographer. 

My time in front of the camera has allowed me an ease to work with talent now that I’m behind the camera. It’s a gift to have “language” that resonates to connect with actors, some of whom I’ve had a long relationship from my days in New York. Many of those wonderfully talented actors have crossed my lens on a multitude of occasions. 

My love of photography started when, before touring America with a company of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, I bought a Kowa 35mm camera with a fixed 55mm lens, completely manual, to photograph the country, as I’d never traveled any farther west from the east coast than Chicago. Some of my most favorite images are from that time and a few are here in my Fine Art section.

I left that national tour to join the Broadway company of HAIR, and began taking photos of fellow “tribe members” who used the pictures as promotional headshots, thus turning an expensive hobby into an avocation. As I continued working on Broadway, my “headshot” clientele increased, at least a third of the original cast of “A CHORUS LINE” raised my photos as they marched to the “line” and brandished their headshots in front of their faces.

As I continued to take pictures of the NY scene, I realized that photography was revealing itself as my true passion. As much as I’d experienced an incredible time performing, I needed to pursue this passion in an attempt to carve out a new career. From a chance assignment for the artist, Peter Max, I was approached by an international photo agency, Retna, Ltd., to work with them and that was the beginning of this glorious pursuit, which I continue to embrace with an unrelenting passion to this very day.

With an “empty canvas”, a concept in my mind, a camera in my hands, and the collaboration of all the creatives with whom I work, we make that vision come to life. 

“An artist is not one who is inspired, but one who can inspire others.” Salvador Dali

These photographers have inspired me: Edward Steichen, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and Garry Winogrand.

Pictured on my site are three actors who’ve also inspired me and, tragically no longer with us : Farrah Fawcett, Gary Shandling and the incomparable, Robin Williams.

Featured on the site are samples of my work for the network, images from the world of music, fine art of “rural/urban decay” et alia, and moments from my own personal archives.

Thank you for visiting my website and may this sampling of my work inspire you.

Cliff Lipson


If you have any questions or comments for Cliff, or wish to inquire about additional archives and purchasing any of his fine art work showcased on this website, please email

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