Timothy Allen

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Timothy Allen
Timothy allen.jpg
Born (1971-05-26) 26 May 1971 (age 50)
Tonbridge, Kent, England
Alma materUniversity of Leeds
OccupationPhotographer, director
Known forHuman Planet Epic Animal Journeys

Timothy Allen (born 1971) is an English photographer and filmmaker best known for his work with indigenous people and isolated communities around the world.

Early life[edit]

Timothy Allen was born in Tonbridge, Kent, England, the second son of two school teachers. He attended The Judd School and took further education at Leeds University where he received a BSc in Zoology.[1] Whilst at university, Allen undertook a three-month ecological research project in remote jungle on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi during which an encounter with a reclusive forest dwelling tribe proved to be a pivotal point in his life.[2] Subsequently, after graduating from university he returned to Indonesia where he spent a further 3 years travelling and studying. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for photography. At the age of 27 he began a part-time diploma in photography in Hereford and for his first year project he joined an aid convoy to Mostar during the town's struggle to rebuild itself after the Yugoslav Wars.


After returning from Bosnia, Allen was offered his first job as a freelance photographer working at The Sunday Telegraph in London. A year later, after commissions from all of the British broadsheet publications, he eventually settled into a six-year position at The Independent.[3]

A member of Axiom Photographic Agency from 2002 to 2011 his more recent work has revolved around indigenous peoples. It was a personal project in Bhutan, India and Nepal designed to escape the "rat race back home" that lead the BBC to commission him as part of the Human Planet team.[3][4] In 2012 Allen signed with the International film production company Great Guns who currently represent him worldwide.[5]

In 2017 Allen was the subject of a documentary on Animal Planet titled Epic Animal Journeys in which a film crew followed him on a midwinter nomadic migration across the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia with a Nenets family.[6]

In 2020 Allen was on the winning team of notable Alumni from the University of Leeds who won the Christmas edition of the BBC's University Challenge programme. They were the first non-Oxbridge team ever achieve first place in the tournament.

Allen is the host of his own Podcast.

Human Planet[edit]

In 2008, the BBC commissioned Allen to work on the documentary project Human Planet. This was the first time that the BBC had employed a dedicated photographer on a landmark series.[7] He spent over a year and a half travelling with 4 teams, covering stories of human endeavour in over forty countries around the world. Using the newly released first generation of DSLR cameras with HD video capabilities, Allen shot content for the programme and its accompanying multimedia projects[8] as well as imagery that was published in a best-selling[9] BBC book, formed an exhibition and was used in the program's worldwide branding and publicity.

He wrote a weekly blog for BBC Earth, documenting his work during Human Planet.[10]

Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award (TAPSA)[edit]

In 2016 Allen created a photography scholarship award in conjunction with the Sharjah Government Media Bureau. Each year the scholarship is awarded to 5 photographers from around the world and includes a 10-day trip to the United Arab Emirates to work alongside Allen.[11]



  1. ^ "Timothy Allen Shares Stunning Images from the BBC's Human Planet". Royal Scottish Geographical Society. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  2. ^ Leeds Alumni Magazine. Issue 09
  3. ^ a b "about – Timothy Allen". Human Planet. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Getting paid to travel the world and take photos – Best of Working in Travel on Travellerspoint". Blog.travellerspoint.com. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Timothy Allen|Film Production Company News". Great Guns. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ Epic Animal Journeys Promo. YouTube. Archived from the original on 10 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Human Planet - BBC Human Planet". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". timothyallen.blogs.bbcearth.com. Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2022.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Story of survival: How the BBC has revived photojournalism". The Independent. 9 January 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". timothyallen.blogs.bbcearth.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2022.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award (TAPSA) | Xposure". Xposure. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Winners 2013". TPOTY. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  13. ^ "2007 Winners Gallery". TPOTY. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  14. ^ a b "2011 Winners Gallery". TPOTY. 1 January 1970. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Winners 2012". TPOTY. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Winners 2014". TPOTY. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Winners 2015". TPOTY. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  18. ^ "2010 Winners Gallery". TPOTY. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  19. ^ "2016 Winners". TPOTY. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Timothy Allen – Pangea Award of Excellence – SIPA2016". Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  21. ^ "2007 Results | The Press Photographer's Year 2013". Theppy.com. 9 August 2000. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  22. ^ "CBSi". Retrieved 22 February 2017 – via Find Articles.
  23. ^ "British Press Awards | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  24. ^ "ITB Berlin – Press Releases". Itb-berlin.de. Retrieved 22 February 2017.

External links[edit]