In 2016, Michael travelled to the Russian Far East in search of the Siberian tiger, where he, journalist Sophy Roberts and NWS MD Will Bolsover met with frontline conservationist Alexander Batalov Michael embarked on another trip with Natural World Safaris in 2018, this time in the company of designer Waris Ahluwalia and Elephant Family CEO Ruth Ganesh, who researched Kenya’s philanthropic tourism projects. 2019 saw Michael lead his first expedition with NWS, to the enchanting Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where he helped our clients capture the country's mountains and monasteries on camera.
Michael’s work has received awards from American Photography, Communication Arts, and Photo District News. He has worked for some of the world’s leading publications and organisations, including British Airways, Condé Nast Traveller, Departures, Financial Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Porter and Ritz Carlton.
Born in Yorkshire, Michael Turek is a freelance photographer now based in New York City. Michael grew up in Virginia, spending most of his time catching newts and playing soccer. During high school he worked as a telemarketer, parking valet, Christmas tree salesman, soccer referee, and as a towel-boy at a gym. Mostly though, he just thought about making photos. On family trips to England he fell in love with putting the world in a rectangle and clicking, and it was his high-school photo teacher who helped him decide to become a photographer.
Four years later Michael graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a photography degree, moved to New York City to assist photographers, and then quickly began accepting his own commissions from magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. His photography focuses on documentary assignments and personal projects. He maintains The Turek Atlas, an online travel guide featuring his images, and as a Kodak Professional Film Ambassador he also leads workshops with the Kodak Camera Club.
Michael Turek has been taking photographs since he was eight years old. In this conversation with Matt Pycroft - that ranges from a close encounter with a Siberian tiger to a lifelong affection for the Yorkshire Dales - he makes an eloquent case for photography being one of the closest things we have to teleportation.
“Photography has become my way of experiencing life. I like the way it can be suggestive of a memory, just as it was for me as a kid trying to capture and hold onto my holidays in England. Yet photography’s immediacy forces me to constantly move past the pictures I’ve taken, to the pictures I haven’t taken yet. It’s a pleasingly addictive sensation the way it makes me feel engaged and present more than anything else.”