Spencer was born in 1978 and grew up in the Kentish countryside. Raised in relative isolation, miles from the nearest shop or school, Spencer often found himself with only his imagination for company and the surrounding woodland as his playground. It was a combination of this imagination and an early discovery of his mother’s back issues of Life and National Geographic that sparked an early enthusiasm for photography at the age of 11. As a result, his parents bought him his first camera and photography quickly became a channel for his creativity.
Spencer now lives and works in London, dividing his time between creating his own artwork and taking on photographic commissions.
He has contributed to many magazines, including The Guardian Weekend, The Telegraph Magazine, Time, Vogue Italia and Wallpaper. His portraits have also appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone Magazine, GQ and Dazed and Confused. He has exhibited throughout Europe and North America and was named as one of the Hyeres Festival’s emerging photographers of 2008. He has also been included in the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition 7 times between 2006 and 2013 and in 2013 was announced as the overall winner. His work is now held in the NPG’s Permanent Collection.
2017: Urban Dirt Bikers (Solo), Francesca Maffeo Gallery, Leigh-On-Sea, UK
2016: Work, Rest & Play: British Photography from the 1960s to Today (Group), Curated by The Photographers’ Gallery, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Xiamen, China
2016: Ephemera (Solo), Francesca Maffeo Gallery, Leigh-On-Sea, UK
2015: The Abyss Gazes Into You (Solo), Photofusion, London, UK
2015: The Abyss Gazes Into You (Solo), Vortigern, Margate, UK
2012,2013: A Year In Development (Group), Labyrinth Photographic, London, UK
2008-2013: Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize (Group), National Portrait gallery, London, UK
2010,2011,2013,2014: Sony World Photography Awards (Group), Somerset House, London, UK
2008: Independent (Solo), Broadwick Street / Hyeres Festival France (Group) / The Ties That Bind (Group), Gallery 44, Toronto, CA
2007: Wastelands (Solo), AOP Gallery, London, UK
2006: NPG Photographic Portrait Prize (Group), National Portrait Gallery / Family Album (Group), Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY / Autobiography (Group), Darmstadt Photography Festival, Germany
National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas, USA
Sony World Photography Awards, shortlisted 2010,2011,2013 Third Place Winner, Campaign, 2013, First Place Winner, Campaign, 2014/ Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, selected 2006 and 2007-2012 Third Place Winner 2012 First Place Winner 2013/ AOP Photography Awards Bronze Award 2009 / Creative Review Photo Annual, selected 2007,2009,2012 / AOP Bursary, winner 2006 / Creative Review-Creative Futures, commended 2006 / The Magenta Foundation, emerging photographers, winner 2006 / Metro Imaging Bursary, winner 2002
Architects Journal / Avaunt / British Journal of Photography / Camera Austria / Creative Review / Dazed and Confused / Design Week / The Drawbridge / FT Magazine / Frankfurter Rundschau magazine / The Guardian Weekend Magazine / GQ / Huck / The Independent On Sunday Review / Korean Monthly Photo / Little White Lies / Mondial / Monocle / The New Statesman / The National Weekend / Rolling Stone Magazine / Time / Vogue Italia / Wallpaper.