It was one too many bullets whizzing by while on assignment in Kosovo that convinced Alex Smailes that it was time to move on from being a photojournalist. From 1996, he had been working in the Middle East, the South Pacific, South Asia, the Caucasus and South America covering environmental, social and political conflicts. His work during that time has been recognised by Amnesty International and Colours magazine, and he has worked for the esteemed BBC, Geographic Magazine, IRC, Corbis and Reuters.
Alex signed a book deal with Macmillan and moved to Trinidad in 2002 where he spent two years producing 'Trinidad & Tobago', published in 2004 - depicting the culture and glory of the nation. Utilizing an immaculate talent in visual communications, with over a decade of experience to his name, Alex has forged an identity balancing layers of creative genius and troubleshooting in the constant progression and evolution of the world.
Alex joined Abovegroup Ogilvy as a Director in 2005, bringing a wide range of clients. In several short years, he helped build the Abovegroup brand through timely and consistent delivery of projects. Becoming infamously known as ‘the fixer’ on many multi- tiered, multi-partied, complex branding projects, he constantly brings together a blend of creative and practical problem solving to the daily operations of the company.
When not at the studio or out on a shoot, Alex is a big traveller (mainly to the wine-producing regions of the world). He’s also a pretty mean chef but that doesn't deter him as he remains cemented and fully intent on testing the boundaries of creativity and imagination via innovative photography. A digital revolution is changing the Caribbean...and he has his heart set on capturing that essence!
The journey started in 1996, whilst studying for his Communications BA at Falmouth Art School in UK, when Alex Smailes was hand-picked to join a small team of filmmakers, explorers and marine biologists for an documentary film expedition underneath the oil platforms of the Arabian Gulf. He eventually crossed paths with many of the World’s press as he shaped a unique path and vision with his lens...which holds true to this very day. His shutters continue to cover Caribbean socio-political issues. Alex continues to shoot, and is currently working on a personal project of the effects of urban gangs on Morvant families and also, Trinidad's Mike Men sound systems...as he documents the digital revolution changing the Caribbean as we know it.
Alex has been twice-nominated for the Amnesty International Media Awards for coverage inside Trinidad’s jails in 2001 and for Haiti’s secret modern-day slave-trade for 'Colors' 2003 magazine.
Further accolodaes: EXHIBITIONS - Print in Time Life building NY from Benetton magazine Colors, one man show of exclusive reportage of war-torn Bougainville Island coverage at The Commonwealth Society Pall Mall UK 1999. Galvanize, Back in Times shown at SWWTU, Trinidad 2006.