Before World War I, Alpert studied in Odessa, together with his brother Mikhail Alperin, and after the war worked as a photographer for Rabochaya Gazeta (Workers Newspaper) in Moscow. In the 1930s he photographed numerous construction sites of the Soviet Union. During that time Sergei Eisenstein stayed with him at the Fergana Canal and was impressed by his passion to photography. In parallel, Alpert worked for Pravda, where he was known as a prolific portrait photographer. During World War II, he made a number of iconic photographs at the Soviet frontlines, and also documented military events in Prague and Berlin. For his work during the war he was awarded the Order of the Red Star (1943), Order of the Patriotic War (1945) and Order of the Red Banner of Labour. After the war, he worked at RIA Novosti, where he compiled a famous photoalbum of Nikolai Amosov. Examples of his images are held in the Sovfoto archive.