Tim Porter was born of Canadian parents in Washington, D.C., USA. After studying literature and philosophy at the University of Virginia, he took up photography in Montréal in the late 1960s. His first museum show was a collective exhibition in 1969, Une revue de la photographie contemporaine au Canada.

Porter was active in the Vancouver art community during the 1970s, where he contributed to the controversial 1970 National Film Board of Canada exhibition, B.C. Almanac(h) - C.B.

And in 1978, he first went to Japan on a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

He has travelled and photographed extensively in Japan and parts of Asia, India and the South Pacific. His work has been exhibited internationally since 1980 and is held in private and public collections. Most recently, the series, Still Life, 1988 and Vanishing Point, 2010, were acquired by the Morten Viskum Collection in Vestfossen, Norway.

Tim Porter lives and works near Tokyo in Zama, Japan, where he is a painter, photographer, filmmaker and an aspiring Japanese gardener.