Timothy Allen was born in Tonbridge, Kent. He attended The Judd School and took further education at Leeds University where he received a BSc in Zoology. 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. 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.
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. He spent over a year and a half travelling with 4 teams, covering stories of human endeavour in over forty countries around the world. Allen shot content for the programme and its accompanying multimedia projects as well as imagery that was published in a best-selling BBC book, formed an exhibition and was used in the program's worldwide branding and publicity
- Seven-times winner - Travel Photographer of the Year
- Six Picture Editors' Awards
- Press Photographer's Year Award
- Arts Photographer of the Year
- Twice nominated Photographer of the Year at the British Press Awards
- Human Planet' has won a host of awards including two BAFTAs and an Emmy Award as well as the ITB's Cultural Book Prize