Winner, IPA 2017 International Photographer of the Year
Alex Telfer is an Advertising, Editorial and Fine Art photographer born and raised in the industrial North East of England. Born at the very end of 1969 in Dipton, Co Durham, Alex’s great passions became Motocross and Art. However, the promising Motocross career was abruptly halted at the age of 16 following a serious injury. This event would prove to be a pivotal moment in the redirection of his career as he began to focus more heavily on Art and Design.
After initially intending to pursue a career as an Art Director or Graphic Designer, Alex was introduced to photography and he became instantly captivated from the very first experience. At the age of 18, Alex proceeded head long into the unknown world of professional photography.
After graduating from Art School, Alex assisted in London before returning to his native North East to set up his own business in 1992.
Alex went on to cut his teeth in the competitive world of advertising photography, focusing heavily on the more creative side of things. It was his great love of photography that continued to inform the many creative collaborations that developed with the advertising agencies of Newcastle at the time. It became a great grounding in developing his photographic skills and gave him the springboard to realise his ambitions. It was at this time that Alex secured his first inclusion into the D+AD Annual.
The following years saw Alex begin to shoot for agencies in Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds and this pattern continued along with his ever-growing enthusiasm for photography.
In 2003 Alex purchased a semi derelict 19th Century Church in Byker, Newcastle and set about renovating the building into Kingsland Church Studios. The Interior design was all carried out by himself and is home to a gallery, which regularly showcases Alex’s new work. He also developed a part of the church into a Creative Hub for other small creative ventures to rent studio space.
The completion of the church cemented Alex’s creative reputation and the following years saw him acquire representation in London, New York and Paris.
In 2009, Alex was honoured with number one status in Campaign magazine’s Top 10 Photographers. It was at this time that Alex’s skills as a Commercials Director became much sought after with films for Guinness, Visa, Baxter’s Soup and Fred Perry to name a few.
Alex has always championed his decision to remain based in his native North East even when it may have made sense to relocate to London. However, he firmly believes that remaining in the North East has enabled him to retain great working relationships with Advertising agencies throughout the UK and not solely in London.
Recent commissions include campaigns for Lurpak ( Wieden + Kennedy), Canal+ (BETC Paris),
Guinness (AMVBBDO), easyjet (VCCP), Visa (Saatchi & Saatchi), Network Rail ( M+C Saatchi) ,
RNLI ( Leo Burnett) , Martini, Fred Perry, BBC and Nike ( Wieden + Kennedy).
Much of Alex’s work has become synonymous with the Pharmaceutical Advertising sector.
Editorially, Alex is commissioned by the Observer, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The New York Times.
In 2017, Alex’s passion for stills photography and moving image is ever growing and this is highlighted by his most successful year ever for award honours.
Alex lives in rural Northumberland with his wife Helen and son, James.