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Celebrity photographer Joe Alvarez dies aged 46

Joe Alvarez – photo: Ikon Magazine London

Sad news to report this morning, the passing of photographer Joe Alvarez at the age of 46.
This announcement was posted on his Ikon London Magazine site by his partner Tamara yesterday:


JOE ALVAREZ, celebrated father, British photographer, publisher and editor in chief of Ikon London Magazine passed away in the early hours of Tuesday 15th October 2019 in London, at the age of 46 years, following a year and a half long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family and close friends, as he peacefully departed for his next adventure.

Joe is survived by his mother Cira Kell, father Jose Antonio Alvarez, partner Tamara Orlova, sons Miles Alvarez and Gabriel Alvarez, sister Stella Alvarez-Franchi, and Gabriel’s young children Mason and Ariah.

In an illustrious career that has spanned more than two decades, Joe enjoyed being both behind and in front of the camera, with many of his ikonic images being published throughout the world in print and online media. His effervescent nature can be seen in numerous guest appearances on screen including the BBC TV series Paparazzi – as the only accredited photographer, FTV Cannes Film Festival special feature, RTL Venice Film Festival documentary, and many others.

Prior to entering the world of showbiz, Joe was a well-known motorsport and military aviation photographer. As an avid petrol head, his love of motor bikes endured, becoming a motorcycle riding instructor to well-known personalities and clocking up over a million miles on his beloved Yamaha, travelling extensively across Europe. He is also fondly remembered by his fellow band members as the talented drummer and co-founder of 1980’s New Wave band ‘Written in Red’.

True to his remarkable strength of character and insatiable zest for life, Joe refused to give up his energetic lifestyle. In his final year, he continued to work on exciting projects such as Graduate Fashion Week ‘Fashion Photography Awards‘ 2019 and Fashions Finest ‘Britain’s Top Designer’ Awards 2019, where he was honoured to be chosen as a judge. His stalwart presence at International Fashion Weeks, was concluded in his hometown at London Fashion Week 2019, marking more than 36 seasons of involvement. After many years of attendance, Joe’s last Toronto Film Festival was in 2018, his final BAFTAs in 2019, and he celebrated his 20th consecutive year of attending the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

With his boundless generosity and deep appreciation for everything distinctively British, Joe mentored many UK start-ups and always ensured he was available for aspiring creatives who sought him out for expert advice. This also lead him to proudly becoming a member of the Freemasons, with the United Grand Lodge of England.

As a photographer, Joe did not just take photos, he was relentless in capturing the glitziest moments of people’s lives which gave him great satisfaction. In doing so, he created instant friendships; bonds that have lasted the test of time and will continue to remain. Joe’s inimitable style with his trademark spiked hair, black rimmed glasses and gregarious personality, will be dearly missed by all his friends, family, industry colleagues, and everyone on the red carpet. 

Joe’s family would like to express their gratitude for all the kind messages of support and well wishes that they have been receiving at this difficult time.

Details of service and memorial to follow.
Ikon London Magazine

• A celebration of Joe’s life will be held 4 Nov 2019 11AM – St Georges’ Hanover Sq Church London – Dress code: London Fashion Week. Everyone welcome.


  • I did not know Joe Alvarez, but from an other generation of celebrity photographer from an other country I am always very sad to learn of the departure of a young photographer. RIP Joe Alvarez, your pictures will stay for ever and this is one of the reason we are (were) doing this job. Condolences to his family and friends. Patrick

  • Dear Joe’s family, Im a journalist friend of Joe and am really saddened by the news that I learnt from a fashion editor, and wish I had known earlier he was suffering. Joe and I engaged in many events, with tons of energy, I missed the news as my own mum passed away 10-days before Joe and my heart was tied-up in that, and I know the grief it can bring. Wish Id been present at the celebration of his life, and pls let me know if you do anything else. Hope to reach out to you in due course. Alexander James, @realalexjames

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