Ten Things not to spend on for your Wedding

Ten Things You Do Not Need to Spend Money on for your Wedding

Save Money on Your Wedding

Firstly this advice is not for those who can afford to have everything they want at their wedding. If money is not a worry have a huge cake, designer shoes, ballet dancers while you are walking down the aisle.

You can have your names personalised on everything in sight, a whole room of fresh flowers, everything that weddings now have to offer as the event of a lifetime.

But that IF this is not you; if you do need to save money on your wedding, if you have a budget that cannot stretch to the most lavish of everything, these are a few things we have come across from our experience of covering weddings. Five things you do not need to spend money on for your wedding.

  • Wedding Favours
  • Weekend Weddings
  • Specialist Wedding Shops
  • Paper Invites
  • Designer shoes
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Stuff that is only used one for an hour or so
  • Gimmicks
  • Wedding Cars
  • Cake

Save Money on Your Wedding #1

1# Leave the Wedding Favours

As much as you may love the idea of the crystal heart with your names and wedding date etched on that your guests can treasure forever. The honest truth is … very few will.

Your wedding date is the most important date to you naturally. Your wedding date however is not the most important date to your guests, no matter how much they love you. The truth is as much as your toil and stress over your favours, in many weddings we shoot; they end up as children’s play things within minutes of your guests sitting at the table.

Save Money on Your Wedding #2

2# Getting Married on a weekday

Saturday is the most expensive day to get married. Yes, the same venues cost different amounts on different days! Sundays and week days cost a lot less. So you may be thinking “but will my guests turn up?”.

No matter what day you hold your wedding on their will be some people who are not able to attend.

Saturdays and Sundays are now working days for many people, so weekends are no longer the free days they used to be.

Lots of couple also get married abroad who do not seem to have problems with their friends and families taking off 2,3 or more days to attend their wedding. Try not to over think it. The people who need to and want to be there will be.

Save Money on Your Wedding #3

3# Shop in Non Specialist Wedding Shops 

Wedding Hair Jewellery

Is a wedding tiara massively different to any other tiara? Compare the difference for yourselves. Buy one from a high street shop and compare them to others in bridal shops. The most expensive ones are no doubt of a a superior quality. It is up to you if the difference is enough to warrant the price difference. The average priced bridal ones however are not hugely different.

Everyones favourite High street accessories shop Claire’s has some amazing finds in their  ‘Hair Swag’ range. These range from £5 to £20. You would expect to pay £100 – 200 for a tiara or similar accessory in a bridal shop.

Wedding Hair Accessories, save money on your wedding, tips for brides to be

Hair Swag from Claire’s – £9 – 20

Another option is to use other accessories such as necklaces and pendants.

save money on your wedding, wedding hair accessories

Claire’s Accessories Wedding Hair Jewellery image by Bandele Zuberi

This bride did exactly that with Claire’s Accessories Jewellery. The head piece came to a total of just under £20. If you are a savvy online shopper, stores such as Etsy also have a great range.

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Faux Flowers, M & Wedding by Lensi Photography

Save Money on Your Wedding #4

4# Cut the Paper and Save The World!

Think of the last wedding you attended when if you invite and Save the Date You were given? If you still have this, that is fabulous! If it is in a treasured box of similar items from various years, even better!

However, if you cannot remember when it was left a month after putting the date in your phone diary. Then you have just discovered how quickly your hard earns money that was spent on invites or save the dates, so quickly ends up in the bin.

Consider a digital invite  / save the dates instead. Create a private FB group and send out an event, make a video that you WhatsApp to everyone, create a design that to WhatsApp to everyone.

Many people do most things on their phones now, so this is not unusual.

You will also be helping to save the planet as the rate of deforestation is alarming!

Save Money on Your Wedding #5

5# Ditch the designer shoes

Sometimes we are socialised into thinking you have to spend more on everything for your wedding. After all it is a special once in a  lifetime day!

Bridal groups and blogs are awash with brides blogging about their dream wedding shoes. You will no doubt have seen quite a few Laboutins in these groups. These designer shoes start from £700.  But bridal shoes are often hidden under a long dress  … where no one will ever see them.

Brides often ending changing into comfy shoes or flip flops as soon as they get to their reception, if not for their walk around the wedding venue for their couples photos.

Shops like TK Maxx stock a great range of FC UK and Blue By Betsey Johnson Shoes from January of each year leading up to the wedding season. ASOS also stocks Blue by Betsey Johnson at different times of the year. The great thing about these shoes is that if you are superstitious, the bottoms are painted blue, so it covers your “Something Blue”.

Bargain Wedding Shoes, save money on your wedding

Blue by Betsey Johnson – Wedding Photography by Lensi Photography

These beauties were £29.99.

Save Money on Your Wedding #6

6# Fresh Flowers

Fake it.

There is no doubt real flowers are amazing.

But if you are looking to cut on your budget fake ones will be a fraction of the price, and will have a very similar look. Greenery table runners for these two tables were prices at £1700 for this wedding. These ones came in at £300 for these the head table flowers, top table and aisle / pew end flowers.

The amazing Home Bargains and The Range have a great range of flowers that look a lot more expensive that they are. If you are having a red / autumn theme look to buy their valentines range at Home Bargains at the start of each year.

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Greenery Runner by Bandele Zuberi

Save Money on Your Wedding #7

7# Recycle

What happens to the flowers used in your ceremony, as aisle ends or to decorate the alter etc?

After the ceremony they are not needed again. But you still need flowers for the reception tables, top table etc. Why not just reuse the same flowers? Yes you will need a trusted friend or coordinator to move these for you, but it makes complete sense.

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Faux Flowers, Home Bargains by Bandele Zuberi

This top table arrangement started the day as aisle / pew ends for the wedding ceremony, and ended the day here. They too were fake / faux from Home Bargains. Approximately £55 for the top table and pew / aisle ends.  Rather than watch them wilt away a few days later after spending thousands, they can be re- gifted or sold on.

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Faux Flowers Top Table by Bandele Zuberi

Save Money on Your Wedding #8

8 #Gimmicks

We can all get influenced by social media, things that look great, sound like a great idea, seem to make sense but are actually quite costly, possibly gimmicky and not have any real value.

Disposable cameras is one of these.

The idea of disposable cameras on each table for guests to capture what is happening on their table.

Amazon sells packs of 5 cameras for around £50.

Say you have 100 people at your wedding thats already a cost of £100. Then their is the cost of developing them approximately £5 each. The quality of these is not great.

Many people struggle with getting great digital images even when they can see the outcome immediately. Imagine images from from a camera where your guests can not see the final photo!

You may end up paying to develop a lot of unusable images.

In actual fact most people carry around a much more powerful and sophicated camera in their hands, that you can get table pictures from for free!

Ask your guests to take photos on their phones and send them you after or sign up to to a wedding sharing app.

Save Money on Your Wedding #9

9# Cars

A wedding car may cost £3 – 500 for 2- 3 hours hire.

A prestige car from your average car hire company can cost you this much for 3 or 4 days hire. This may not work if you want a vintage car; but if you are happy to travel to your wedding in a prestige Jaguar, Mercedes or Range Rover, this could be a huge saving.

It would also mean not having to worry about car is going back before you finish doing your couples photos or if anything runs late.

For example Europa Car is showing a Mercedes C Class at £400 for three days hire. Granted, of course you will not get a driver with that. You may have to rope in that friend or uncle who owes you a favour, but you will also have a prestige car to get home in the next day or drive around in a a couple days after your big day.

Save Money on Your Wedding #10

10# Cake

If you can afford a cake, of course there are some amazing designs. We have shot so many beautiful cakes. But if you are looking at cutting another corner, the famous wedding cake is another way you can save.

Wedding photography by lensi photography, wedding cake, wedding tips, wedding planning, wedding saving, wedding budget,

Wedding Photography, Wedding Cake by Lensi Photography

The thing most couple want from this is a photo of them cutting the cake, after all its tradition.

We have however shot many a wedding where after this shot was taken, the cake was not cut. The worst cased scenario was a couple who took a 2k cake to the kitchen to be cut, it was never cut and shared out because of running late, it was forgotten about in the venue kitchen, then thrown away the next day.

Some couples are opting to save on their cake with alterntives such as Jelly Towers, Cake Pyramids and Pizza Towers!


Jelly Tower, Wedding Saving Tips


Cake Slice Pyramids, Wedding Cake Alternatives

Pizza Tower, Wedding Cake Alternatives

Pizza Tower, Wedding Cake Alternatives

In contrast to all these savings. There are also many things we would say are important to spend money on or that you definitely need for a wedding.

See our blog post on Ten Things You DO need to spend money on for your wedding.

Lensi have been full time photographers for 10 years. This blog was written from that experience and also from a personal point of view as a recent bride.

If you want to preserve your quest for bargain hunting during your wedding planning. Consider your very own personalised Wedding Magazine. More than an album, it will document the stories behind the beautiful images, on your wedding planning journey.

This is how a page in your own personalised wedding magazine that documents your bargain hunt may look.

Ankara Travelling Dress: How we shot it

Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress

The Travelling Dress. One dress infinite possibilities, proving how differently we all see the world.

The Travelling Dress

The Travelling dress project seemed to originate in the USA with a dress travelling to other countries and being photographed by tens and tens of photographers. Photographers have tulle dresses, colourful dresses, wedding dresses. I loved watching the different travelling dress projects we came across, but one thing was evident about so many of the other projects. They all seemed to be very Eurocentric. 

The Sisterhood

As a minority in the photography world, it is something that some people take for granted, being visible, being included, being part of the discussion, being heard, but for some of us our exclusion is the norm. It is not always a purposeful thing, but sometimes a “oh I never even thought about that” “ oh that didn’t even cross my mind” because its something that hasn’t effected the person viewing that project. But it is something that I see instantly.

This was also picked up by other users on some of the blogs about other Travelling Dress Projects.

Travelling Dress Project - Comments

Travelling Dress Project – Comments

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 23.39.11

Travelling Dress Project Comments

So with this in mind, one member suggested we wanted to open up this discussion and shoot a travelling dress project that had not already been done. Photographers and models that seems to be largely missing from many of the other projects would therefore be part of the discussion. We had an Afro Centric garment commissioned by Thea Ayayi of House of Tendai and a group of UK Black Female Photographers  created a schedule to shoot the dress as we saw it.

Travelling Dress

We chose a vibrant bright red ankara print material. It was strong and bold, I wanted a model that matched this feel. So I searched for a bald headed dark skinned model. I visualised a Skunk Annansie, Alek Wek, Lupita N’yongo inspired  of model. I found this in Sheleema. 

Model Choice

New to modelling but an amazing model none the less. She had already done high fashion and a number of fashion magazines. As a professional creative I always pay other professional creatives … see my blog on working for FREE. As a photographer shooting various genres I have worked with models previously. Some great ones and some not so great ones. From Sheleema’s portfolio, I felt she could carry off what I wanted for the shoot; and she did. 

There was very little direction, only for minor tweaks.

I also commissioned Make Up artist Kemeko to do an editorial type look. 

Vogue Inspiration

We purposefully did not discuss each others ideas, or show each other our finished shoots until way after they were completed. Does this create more competition or fuel you to push yourself even more?

I purposefully wanted to test myself for this shoot. I initially hired a studio and was going to do my normal clean cut portrait photography style.

Fate then took me to fashion season collections on Vogue Magazine, I  came across Beyonces front page shoot for Vogue earlier that year, shot by Tyler Mitchell. This inspired me to strip this right back. Go back to nature, a much more deconstructed messy idea and just shoot with whatever I’m presented with on the day.

So I let nature and circumstance drive my vision.  I knew however I wanted an edgey editorial look, and something different to how I would normally shoot most of my work.

Shoot Plan

So with no real plan in place, except for channelling Beyonce, I vowed to adapt to whatever I was presented with, come rain or shine (or being in the UK sleet or snow also)! After all this is what creatives do … create. I also shoot for fashion designers such as Kolchagov Barba and wanted to create something I could imagine designers using in a magazine editorial.

On the day we were blessed with a beautiful sunny, bright, warm day. It was cloudy in parts and bright in parts, but still perfect. I chose to use the natural sunlight with additional outdoor flash, playing with sync speeds to create some other interesting shadows and looks.

The Environment

The environment was naturally green, this complimented the dress perfectly. I also put up a draped messy backdrop, I initially wanted a heavier cotton material backdrop, looked into buying one, but agin thought, let me work with what I have.

travelling dress, ankara travelling dress



Making a big headpiece similar to Beyonces own was considered, but  ended up not having the time. The option to instead use oversized bouquet, which substituted. It meant that the red was sandwiched in between a sea of green, which aesthetically looked amazing.

Ten Favourite Lensi Photography Shots From the Ankara Travelling Dress Project

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Travelling Dress Project


Ankara Travelling Dress

The Ankara Travelling Dress

Ankara travelling dress, travelling dress project


#Blackcreatives #ankara, ankara travelling dress, ukbft, travelling dress, travelling dress project, female photographer, fashion photography, black model, bald model, fashion photoshoot, african fashion, african print, travelling dress project, the travelling dress

Travelling Dress on Water



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Sisterhood of the Travelling Dress

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Headshot Travelling Dress

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UKBFT Project



Ankara Travelling dress

Travelling dress in water




These are the blogs and contact details of other photographers who took part in the project.

# 1 Mellz Photography LTD

IG: @MellzphotographyLTD

#2 Funmi Akingbe

IG: @patakiphotos

#3 Kimberley Lawson

IG: @kica_photography

#4 Louisa Coulthurst

IG: @urbanbridesmaid

#5 Rele James

IG : @pausepushclick

#6 Toyin Sho

IG : @toyinphotography

#7 Tianna J Williams

IG : @tiannajwilliamsphotography

#8 LA Creativity 

IG : @la_creativityportfolio

#9 Julietta Arden Taylor Photography


Food Photography like a Pro

Follow our simple guide if you want to photograph food like a pro. These food photography tips will help make the process of photographing food easier.

Food Photography

We were commissioned by Divine Cuisine Caterers for a food photography shoot of the Caribbean food they specialise in. Although they had been in business for a while they had not had professional images of their food.

Why are professional images important?

Why are professional images of your product important? Think about when you are shopping online, imagine you know nothing about a product except what you see online. What convinces you to buy into that product? The images and the website. Business through word of mouth is excellent, but if you want to also attract business from outside of your circle, business from bigger clients your window to them, the first thing they will see about you online has to draw them in.

This is why professional images are important. A photographer is providing a company with one of their most important marketing tools, their images.

So how do you go about approaching a commission like this?


Understand what images the client is trying to create, what type of look, feel, lighting, textures and styling. If they are unsure take the direction in this.

Create a colour palette and mood board alongside your client. These points will help to create a clear idea of the direction of the shoot. It will prevent dissatisfaction with the final results, in a scenario where the client wanted something completely different.

A mood board can be created on photoshop, pages, canva, Pinterest, or Milanote.

We created a colour palette of bright vibrant colours we felt would compliment the Caribbean Food we were shooting and the spices used in the creation of that food.

food photography mood board

Colour Palette

Hire / consult a stylist. The main subject (the food) in food photography is only part of the picture. Depending on the company you are shooting for this may already be provided and you may work with the person fulfilling this role on the shoot. You may be able to style the shoot yourself if you have the skills for this. If not you may need to work with a  stylist. We styled this shoot ourselves after a clear understanding of the clients needs.


There will be photographers that advise about using natural window lighting and others that are in the artificial lighting camp. I am firmly in the second, natural window lighting is great … if you can get it; but this is England! We often have grey gloomy days, and days where the weather, shadows and colour temperature fluctuate greatly. This just makes for an inconsistent shoot and lots of post processing.

We were also working in a kitchen with no natural light. As a photographer we need to be prepared to work in a variety of conditions and still be able to execute the shoot for the client.  So for consistency we used flash. This was diffused to create a soft shadow on the food and mimic window light as much as possible.

A constant light could be used just as effectively. We always light the food from an angle behind and use reflectors in various places to fill shadows.

The other benefit of using artificial light is that the scene can be set up anywhere and is not limited to shooting near a window.


Some commissions will be easy to transfer to a studio, others are easier to shoot on location. This was easier to shoot in the catering premises where the food was being cooked, we had access to lots of extras that we decided to use as the shoot evolved.

For this type of shoot a relatively small space is needed, we set up a studio of about 1m squared in the kitchen.

Food Photography BTS, Caribbean Food

Behind The Scenes Food Photography


Nothing can beat a good macro for food photography. We used a Sigma 70mm Macro and a Canon 50mm f1.8.

If you do not have one of these an alternative may be a 50mm or 35mm. Take advantage of the lowest aperture setting, shoot f2.8 or below on standard primes and f5 or below on a macro.

Aim to have something in focus and other objects that give context to the food out of focus in the frame.


Unless your client has a clear brief to shoot at a particular angle, we always shoot a range of angles. We use the formula 25 degrees, 75 degrees and 90 degrees for each set up.

Caribbean food photography, lensi photography, food photography

Caribbean food photography, lensi photography, food photography

This will give the client a good range of images for their food photography, as items will look different at various angles.


Styling for food photography like a pro is styling for how it will look in a photo and not reality. By this we mean the main consideration in styling is what it LOOKS like, not what is logical or would taste best.

This may include undercooking the food item, adding garnishes that you would not normally have with that dish, but look right in the photo and using props such as cocktail sticks and double sided tape to hold items at a particular angle.

We also used contrasting colours that still stayed within our colour palette to dress the dishes, which looked aesthetically pleasing.

The contrasting green mint against the white cream and brown chocolate flakes and dar red cherries, which bring the eye to the dessert. The red tea towel also compliments the red cherry sauce in the desert.


If you are styling the image think about EVERYTHING in the frame.

The shape of the plates, cutlery and glasses. The colour and shape of accessories like salt and pepper pots, the colour and texture of the surface you are shooting on.

We tried three different cutlery sets with this shoot. One felt right, the other two were totally wrong, which we could see as soon as we put it next to the food.


When styling it is important that the accessories give the correct context to the ‘HERO’ – the food your are photographing. For example, burgers accessorised with a knife and fork would make no sense, coleslaw accessorised with Worcestershire sauce again would not make any sense .

Surround your hero with ‘sidekicks’ that support it.

Do the dishes match the colour or style of the food?  Are the sizes of the accessories proportional? Your HERO still has to dominate the image, it still has to be the biggest and be centre of the frame. Just like Batman could never be smaller than Robin, and still always takes the lead role. Imagine your main item is the ‘HERO’.

Use the ‘sidekicks’ to help tell a story to the viewer.

Accessories such as herbs, condiments, and utensils can tell the viewer how the dish is made. This is a styling method we used for this shot.

curried mutton, caribbean food photography, lensi photography

Divine Cuisine Catering curried mutton and ingredients

Cutlery, tins, glasses, jars, fabric, pots and dishes can speak of the origins of the food. For example if you see a tagine you instantly link this to its North African origins.

food photography

Tagine by Caroline

Place items around the ‘hero’ to add depth, meaning and a story to the photo. A top tip is that some of the unique accessories can be found in second hand shops. Most other accessories can be found in everyday high street shops. These were some of those we took to the shoot.

food photography props Birmingham

Food Photography Birmingham


Food photography is very much like many other types of other photography.

Layering adds depth to a photo. Photographers speak about this in newborn photography, fashion photographers speak about it in fashion photography, even street photographers speak about this. It may also be referred to as foreground and background interest.

It is a part of your styling and important in building your image. You may want to play around with placing objects in different areas, taking  the shot from the same angles, and deciding on the best photo from the group.


Shooting with a tripod can allow you to make small changes to a scene and compare them all. This will give you an exact like for like comparison.

This is also important for shoots where you may want to shoot a range of ‘HERO’S’ but have the setting exactly the same. We did this on a cocktails shoot for Bottega Birmingham.

New Logo

Once everything is shot and edited, it is worth thinking about your whole package, will you need a new logo and graphic design. How are the images going to be designed on a flyer or booklet or presented on your website?

We recommend a good Graphic Design and Web Design Company such as Creative Media Design to produce your a logo to compliment a new rebrand. A good Graphic Design company will also ensure your booklets, menus, banners and products that feature the new logo are consistent with the rebrand.

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Logo by Creative Media Design

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New logo used as branding on products

logo branding by Creative Media Design

New Branding for Food Company by Creative Media Design

menu design, graphic design, website design birmingham

Menu design, graphic design, website design Birmingham

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Menu Design by Creative Media Design

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Graphic Design Caribbean Menu

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Caribbean menu example

To commission Lensi Photography for your business Food Photography or to have 121 training sessions to improve your own food photography, contact us on

To commission Creative Media Design for your graphic design and website needs contact them on

Fantastic Opportunity to work for FREE!

Anyone fancy working for FREE?



Imagine a job request looking for someone to work for free, but not just ‘anyone’ they specifically looking for someone that is highly skilled, with years of experience, thousands of pounds of high end equipment, an extensive portfolio, ability to work independently and in groups, with their own transport and links to get articles / images / published in international high end publications.

I often come across or are tagged in a ”fantastic opportunity” that arises from someone that needing an “amazing photographer” and professional service but who does not want an amateur and at the same time to pay for professional expertise.

Reserved for Creatives

If you are not in the creative industry (including but not limited to writers, photographers, dancers, graphic designers, web designers, journalists, artists, musicians) you may have read this so far with a raised eyebrow, or a puzzled look. It doesn’t seem to quite make sense? but this offer to work for free , is an offer we (the creative community) get often.

After nearly 10 years of being full time, it kind of grates on you. Having spent all these years perfecting and improving my art (yes there is much more to it than simply buying a camera pressing a button), after having spent a small mortgage on equipment and training, having worked hard to get to the point where I have been published and work internationally, why do people continue to ask photographers (and other creatives) to work for free?

Work for FREE?

So again you may be scratching your head thinking “I’ve never heard anyone ask a photographer to work for free”. But it doesn’t present itself so direct and clearcut, it comes out in other guises, it has pseudonyms and disguises. No one (well not in my experience to date) comes to you and says “Hey professional photographer, can you come and work for free for me” .

To anyone in the creative community, being asked to work for free will not be a new story, but an age old one, rehashed again and again, but the one thing it generally has in common, the thing that does not change about this story is that your payment is usually EXPOSURE, we call it ‘exposure pounds’ in the industry. It doesn’t pay for new cameras, travel, courses or insurance. Some of the things photographers need to pay for to stay in business.

Camera Kit , work for free, free work

Camera Kit that cannot be purchased with exposure – Jeff Hopper


It is not accepted at ASDA when I do my grocery shopping, it is not accepted online when I want to buy a new lens, it is interestingly not accepted as payment terms by the very people offering this as a way of paying you!

work for free, asda

Asda by Lensi Photography




The Work for FREE pitch

The sell usually goes along the lines of “everyone will see your work in our newsletter / on our instagram / website / Facebook and naturally this will bring you lots of pain work”.

So lets test this common sell. Ask yourself when was the last time you read an article in a newsletter or on a website and took time to look at who the photographer was?

If you can remember the last time you did this, then when was the last time this lead to you contacting them for business? If you knew they worked x event free, when was the last time this lead to you hiring them for paid work? Facts show that less than 1% of consumers look for the creator or any piece of online content.

I did look up a photographer from an online image a couple times. I saw an amazing image on google, it was one of those images on the holder screen when you are about deciding which Netflix program to watch, I looked up the photographer, flicked through his Instagram, didn’t even actually add him, and carried on with my binge tv day.

Are you still with us?

I expect many of you haven’t even got to this point – looking up a photographer from an image you see online or in print – let alone an image on a company page / bloggers instagram / corporate website, because in my experience, when these same people want a ‘proper’ job doing, they contact the highly paid professional, not the one valuing their work as ZERO being prepared to work for free. You see, this type of ‘pro bono’ ‘fantastic opportunity’ offer has little value or appeal for most photographers, once they are established.

It’s a LOT of work

Six hours shooting a conference could range from an average of £500 – 1000 for many photographers, is this ‘exposure payment’ going to be worth that amount? And what if you end up getting a potential booking for a big paid job on the same day? Do you turn down the paid booking to work for free? Or break your agreement for the non paying client, for a paying one? Now, if someone wants to paint my house in return for a job such as shooting a conference, that may be pro bono I would accept (painting takes so long!), but funnily enough, no one wants to work for free, not THAT hard for FREE … because that’s just outrageous!


In case anyone needs any tips on recognising when someone is asking you to work for free or even when you are asking someone to work for free, here are a few of the forms it takes:

Payment : Exposure, portfolio images, credit

A “pro bono opportunity”

The conversation usually goes along the lines of – we have an event coming up that we would love some amazing images of that we can use across our social media and printed platforms. We have some amazing speakers and we have spent so much on the venue and food that we have no money for a photographer. You will be able to use the images for your portfolio, and we will credit you. Notice no one actually says the words ‘work for free’.

My response – “sorry I do not bring out thousands of pounds worth of equipment I use to make my everyday living with for free”.

Points to note

It is also worth noting that crediting the copyright owner (the photographer) is legal, not something the photographer is being given as part of their payment.

The photographer being able to use their own images in their portfolio is also something that is legal, not something they are given by the organisation/ person they are shooting images for. So this takes the exchange to simply ‘exposure’ and work for free.

The organisation thinks everyone will see these amazing images of a regular event like a conference (of which you probably have tons of examples already in your portfolio), contact the organisation to see who shot their images, find out you were free, but somehow want to pay for your services.

An amazing image or two

(Here are a couple of our conference / event images by the way, we do cover them, if you are blown away by this image, please feel free to contact us for our services).

corporate photography, event photography, business photography, birmingham, conference photography birmingham, working for free free work

Conference Photography Birmingham – Lensi Photography


Show photography NEC

Event Show photography NEC – Lensi Photography

I have on previous occasions suggested £600 worth of their services or products in return, which would be the cost of an average conference, but that is usually seen as an outrageous exchange.

Please shoot my line for free

I was contacted by a blogger / influencer / insta model who had a clothing line with Pretty Little Thing or Asos I can’t quite remember which one it was now, but to have a line on either of these multi million pound businesses is pretty major in my book

She wanted me to shoot this – for FREE. It would of course be an amazing opportunity to get my images on such a huge platform (which shows no credit to photographers anyway), and her instagram (which does credit photographers) that has thousands of followers. I suggested £600 worth of clothes, but this was so ridiculous to her, I could literally hear the laugh through the text message.

So in reality you are well …working for free.

It is also worth noting that a 6 hour conference would also accrue a couple hours of kit preparation at home, maybe 1.5 hours travel there and back, another 5 hours of image culling, editing, storage and delivery; so you have in fact done near on two days work for free.


working for free, free work

For the poor – Jon Tyson

PAYMENT – Exposure, Credit, Sandwiches and Drink (sometimes a free bag for life with the charity logo printed on it)
A Charitable Cause

It’s for the poor

The conversation is usually along the lines of – we work for x charity, and do some amazing work with x community. We are looking for someone to come along to shoot our event and support our cause, we will credit you on all out social media platforms and there will be drinks and sandwiches at the event that you are also welcome to have.

My response – “I respect your charitable organisation, I am a for profit business and sorry I do not bring out thousands of pounds worth of equipment I use to make my everyday living with, for free”. It is also worth noting here that many of these charities have bosses with 6 figure salaries, millions in the business bank account and not doing too bad at all. They may not be ‘for profit’ but many are in heck of a better financial situation than myself or most photographers I know!


Working for free, free work

Birthday Invite – Sujan Khalifah

PAYMENT – Exposure, credit, having a great day / night out

Just come along … and bring your camera.

This conversation usually goes along the lines of – I’m having a birthday party / launch event / christening / wedding, I would love you to come if you can make it. Can you also bring your camera and “grab a few shots” while you are here.

This actually means you are the event photographer; organising groups, individual shots, wearing working clothes to the event not heels and a nice dress that I may otherwise wear; with the responsibility of making sure everything is covered.

Your work for free soon becomes very professional when the person that made the request comes back to you and ask why there is not a photo of x person, or when nan kissed her, or when x cut the cake – even though you were supposed to be just “grabbing a few shots”.

My response “I’m sorry but I can’t be a guest and your photographer at the same time, as a guest I do not bring out thousands of pounds worth of equipment I use to make my everyday living with, on a night / day out”


PAYMENT – Exposure, portfolio enhancement

As above – but it is stressed that these will be great portfolio images

This is especially so, if it is an event there may be some celebrities there. If it is a wedding it will be an amazing wedding, with a beautiful couple in an amazing venue. If a fashion show, there will be some amazing new talent showing.

You will be able to use the images for you portfolio as they will be so amazing. My response “Have you had a chance to take a look at my website, I have quite an extensive and varied portfolio” – having shot amazing weddings in the UK and as far

Newland Manor Wedding - Lensi Photography, working for free, free work

Newland Manor Wedding – Lensi Photography

afield as Rwanda; public figures such as Barak Obama and celebrities such as Jamie Fox. I also shoot London Fashion Week and The Diamond League athletics – just to highlight some of my diverse work. So to date, I am pretty happy with my portfolio, and dare I say, I have some amazing content.

My response “I already have an extensive portfolio that I use to show clients the quality of my work. I am also sorry but I do not bring out thousands of pounds worth of equipment I use to make my everyday living with, for free”.

red carpet events lensi photography, working for free, free work

Jamie Foxx – Lensi Photography


Anya Hindmarch London Fashion Week - Lensi Photography, working for free, free work

Anya Hindmarch London Fashion Week – Lensi Photography

It is worth noting here that they rely on you being so blown away by the idea of shooting a celebrity, that that will suddenly mean you have no desire to get paid for your job.

If a wedding they rely on the idea that because they are a beautiful couple or are booking a nice venue, you don’t already have beautiful couples and great venues in your portfolio; Or that conventional stereotypical beauty is worth more. All established photographers will already have experience and a portfolio.


PAYMENT – Exposure, credit, seeing your image in print / or a popular platform
“Can we use your x image for free in perpetuity, across all our platforms with credit to yourself”

This is usually line from newspapers and magazines, if you scroll through twitter you will often see tweets from newspapers asking to use images they find online.

It is also common with wedding and such venues after you have covered an event in their venue. Some of these usages would literally cost hundreds of pounds, sometimes thousands if there were to pay the going rate for it. I often get this after fashion shows from models, or events from the people present.

It’s just a photo, its not worth anything

Somehow, some people believe that giving away something of this value is not working for free. There is also a huge misconception that because they feature in the image, they have a right to it. This may come as a surprise to many but being the subject of an image gives you no more right over than image than not being in it. Celebrities do not own the images thousands of photographers take of them, royalty do not own the images taken of them. I also remember my mom having to pay for images that featured me when I was at school. Whats the difference?

The image was created because of the equipment and education you invested thousands in to be able to create it. If you are not compensated for this investment, you are again …working for free. My response to this type of request is “I am a full time photographer, as such all of my images are licensed, as part of my income, I can send you my licensing rates if you would like / the price is x”.


PAYMENT – A thank you / feeling good
“We would like you to come and talk to our group of up and coming photographers, share some of your knowledge and tips”

I have spent a lot of money on education to get to my position; some of that money was spent with other photographers imparting their knowledge to me. I paid for their expertise.

I paid for the shortcut to know how to do particular things, because they had already put years into perfecting that thing. Knowledge has a value. Students pay thousands of pounds to go University …to gain knowledge.

That’s a little stingy of you, not everyone can afford to pay

This is the way of the world. We would not question BMW for not having their cars at a price everyone can afford. No one would complain to Apple for not making their iPhones at a price we can all afford. I also currently live in a two bedroom house because developers are “too stingy” to give me a four bedroom one, because I cannot afford to pay for it …

working for free, work for free

Iphone by Kevin Bhagat

A small business is no different.

My response to this type of request is “I am a full time photographer, as such my time and knowledge has a value, this is my income and I do not work for free”.


PAYMENT – Amazing images you can use for your portfolio to gain exposure and experience from
“Do you collaborate with other businesses / do you do collaboration shoots?”

If I come up with a crazy idea that I would like try out to test my artistic genes, this is a collaboration. A business contacting you for commercial images they need to market their business, is a commercial shoot, not a collaboration.

That’s a little stingy of you, not everyone can afford to pay

Yes some people can’t, they may be a small business like Lensi, and will have to do without some things they need.

Sometimes they are a huge business who wants to give shareholders extra money rather than paying a small business. Sometimes they see no value in photography, therefore just don’t want to pay for it.

Sainsbury’s is one such example, asking for someone to paint their canteen, for experience.

But you do not need to take only these few thought out examples as gospel, the internet is littered with websites exposing the same.

Photographers also need to make a living too.

My response to this type of request is “I am a full time photographer, this is a commercial shoot not a collaboration, the cost would be x ”.



Just like a car, a camera has what I call “click mileage” a certain number of actuations and wear and tear, before it needs a major costly service, then before it dies altogether.

Yes camera’s has a life expectancy! They do not go on forever.

Life Expectancy - Moira Dillon, working for free, free work

Life Expectancy – Moira Dillon


Enough of these free jobs brings it closer to this point, without contributing towards its repair or replacement. If photography is your business, your living, this makes little business sense. To keep using something, building up the wear and tear and click mileage, without any payment to replace that very thing. Imagine and Uber driver giving away free rides to charities, or for exposure because they are carrying celebrities and such. There then comes a day when they actually have a huge fare, someone that wants to travel from London to Birmingham for example, a nice payday … but unfortunately they cannot take up the offer because …their car has broken down due to the extensive free rides! Now working for free has actually ended up costing you the loss of real money!


Another consideration when doing a free job, if something were to happen on this job, who pays? Who would pay for your kit if something is stolen or damaged at this free job?

You are already working for free, so is this organisation / person going to then say “I know we were not paying you for this gig, but here is £2000 for your stolen camera / here is £500 to repair the lens your dropped while covering our event” …

working for free, free work

Broken Camera – Christian Bolt

Would you simply get a sorry and an extra ham sandwich?

working for free, free work

Ham Sandwich – Wilfred Wong


An insurance claim may cost you an excess of at least £250, so on top of the costs of working for free, this could cost the photographer quite a lot, all with any payment.

If the worst were to happen, and you had a paid job the next day, it would be irritating in the least, having to pay to hire a lens for a paid job, because the lens you own was damaged or stolen on a FREE JOB


My last general consideration here is where I ask you to question what happens if you want a service or product you cant afford.

You have a few options:

  • Steal it
  • Do without it
  • Buy a cheaper version
  • Restructure your priorities / save for it


I can think of very few cases where I would ask for it for free, or steal it. So just for fun, I have given you a few examples of putting the same exposure requests that creatives get to other businesses and services.



I would love to have a few months worth of sessions for free to enable me to get into shape.

working for free, free work

Danielle Cerullo – Free Gym Use

I do loads of great work in the community and you would really be helping me out. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to pay for this … but … I will credit you on social media every time I am at a class, naming the gym and instructor. I will also bring extra water with me to class for you to hydrate yourself with.


I need a new bathroom plumbing in. It is a lovely modern home which would be amazing on your website. A real show piece. I cannot afford to pay for the plumbing because I have already paid an electrician so much. I have also invested in some great designer artwork for the walls. You will be able to use images of my bathroom on your leaflets and website to show the quality of your work. I will also give you a great review.


Come along to my BBQ that I am having on Sunday, while you are here can you just bring your hair kit and give me a quick wash and blow dry! It is going to be a great day, great music and my famous BBQ spare ribs. It shouldn’t take you long.

working for free, free work

Hairdresser – Keren Perez


(yes I have been personally approached with all these amazing opportunities)

1. A local council that had had their budgets cut during austerity. They were putting on a conference, but didn’t have the money to pay for this conference. They were asking everyone involved to work for free. Interestingly though, the council workers were being paid as it was part of their day job; so it was actually only small businesses that were being asked to work for free. The bigger businesses such as the one where the event was being held, had been paid. I have a policy to never ‘help’ established multi million pound organisations or companies with FREE WORK.

2. A magazine who contacted me for an image they did not want to pay for (i.e free), to accompany an article about people not wanting to pay photographers. (I kid you not).

3. A very high end fashion house (think dresses in excess of 15k), with A list celebs, contacting me to use an image for free. I am not sure why as they had their own paid photographer at the event. Maybe he did not capture the image that I did … who knows.

I have a policy of not giving free stuff to companies who have dresses that cost more than my car or what some people earn in a year.

4. This was was experienced by a colleague. He had shot a wedding a venue, the venue approached him to use a photo from this wedding. He was willing to do this and asked if in return he would use the venue for a styled shoot. The venues response “there would be an applicable hire charge for this, as a commercial venue for hire”.

So yes … we will happily have your work for for FREE, but please do not be so ridiculous as to ask to use our venue for free.


Before all the critics rolls in, let me also clear up a few things I am expecting.

1. Everyone was new to the business once

People who are just starting in the business, with entry level kit and little experience will take up these opportunities; I did myself; but these are not the types of photographers the people who pay with ‘exposure pounds’ are looking for. Your value increases with the more experience (and kit) you accrue.

Think about how much you may pay a newly qualified solicitor compared to a Barrister. How much a Newly qualified teacher may get paid, compared to a year Head or Principal; an Actress with decades of Hollywood Blockbusters under her belt compared to someone just getting into the business. A consultant compared to a newly qualified doctor.

2. Lots of people do voluntary work.

Volunteer – “a person who OFFERS to take part on an enterprise or undertake a task” – see the key difference there?

3. Remember where you came from or started

I do. I remember starting at the bottom and spending thousands of pounds on courses, training and equipment. The same person invested thousands upon thousands of hours gaining the expertise that allows me to shoot and capture images the way I currently do.

But I see no correlation between remembering your humble beginnings and being asked to work for free.

Just like some of the professions I have named above, I have done my ‘internship’ of FREE WORK. If you were asked to earn the same in your job that you have been in for many years, the same as someone who is not even qualified in it yet, would it slightly raise the irritation levels?

4. I would be overjoyed to have my image in print / on the instagram page of x organisation / x celebrity

Thats fine, and your choice. I would rather be paid with real money.

I will update this article periodically, but as of its publication that last time I was asked to work for free was August 2019.

5. I cannot see the big deal, what are photographers going on about, it is just a picture.

Try saying this to Karen Anvil who is rumoured to have made £50,000 from a photo she took on her phone of The young Royals on their Christmas walk.

Photos are how I pay my bills. Yes in todays world they have become so accessible. But each photo is worth something to a photographer, especially full time ones. Imagine being asked to come into work at the local council for one month for free …

Would you be jumping for joy at the opportunity or working for no pay. Even if they put you in their newsletter!

6. I have seen you advertise for emerging photographers to attend gigs with you

Yes, as part of me helping someone on their journey or as part of my mentorship. See my Patreon mentoring page for this.

Neither I or my clients need or use any of their work, most times I do not even see the images until I see them on socials. If I have a job that NEEDS an assistant, I pay them, because I do not have time to explain, I just need it done!

My free work offers totalled £17,000 in 2018 

My free work offers so far in 2019 total to £7,000 (August 2019) 

I would be interested to see which other average everyday people give this amount to charity in a year.

This is what some other creatives have said about it?

My hope for this article.

I hope the article reaches some of the people it needs to…

We (creatives) hope those who ask people to work for free understand their request.

I wish that professionals that work for free understand what they are giving away.

Thanks to all my clients for the respect of paying me in real recognised currencies!! (Even if some of you haggle!)

Follow us on instagram to view some of our “working for pay” jobs!

Lensi_Photography and Lensi.Photography.Weddings

Wedding at Aston Villa

Wedding at Aston Villa

If you are thinking of having your Wedding at Aston Villa, and are looking for photography and cinematography, consider our team.

We covered the beautiful wedding at Aston Villa of J&A, in the main Holte Suite, with photos at Aston Hall across the road.

At day that started at 10am and ended a little after 10pm.



We started with bridal preps at the house.

Your Wedding Aston Villa Bridal Preps Your Wedding Aston Villa Bridal Preps



Then moved onto The beautiful Church of St John and St Peter’s a hidden away gem in Ladyhood, Birmingham, with many of the features people look for in a church to get married in. A long aisle, big stained glass windows at the alter and Ministers that understand the importance of photography in this special moment for the couple.

Your Wedding St Johns and St Peters (ARC) Your Wedding St Johns and St Peters (ARC)



When you have a Wedding at Aston Villa or Villa Park as it is known to some, the steps leading to the stalls is an ideal place to have a group photo where all your guests can easily been seen, and the tiers will hold big groups of people.

Your Wedding Aston Villa Bridal Party Your Wedding Aston Villa Group Shot

When you hold your wedding at Aston Villa, Aston Hall is right across the road, and ideal for your couples and bridal shots images.

Your Wedding Aston Villa Portraits




We ended the day with reception games, and of course the party … which the bride took very seriously …

Your Wedding Aston Villa Games Your Wedding Aston Villa


When we cover your event, we provide true all day coverage. We tend not to miss out bits that some other photographers do when they leave early, after a mock cutting of the cake. We cover the emotion, the love, the fun and the people. Everything you want to remember for years to come.

Contact Lensi Photography if you would like a quote for your wedding at Aston Villa.

No Photos in Church Please – Wedding Photography

“No Photos in Church Please” – Wedding Photography

As a wedding photographer this may seem like a crazy statement to see or hear, Wedding Photography is all about taking photos in Church or a Gudwara or any other religious place, but this has literally been what we have ben told in some churches when covering some weddings “No Photos in Church Please”.

You may be reading this with a puzzled look on your face, I certainly thought that the first time I was told this by a Minister.

Some churches (and I find this is common in churches of a certain denomination – naming no names, we have never had this in any other religious ceremony) and we cover all kinds of Weddings in Birmingham and beyond, from Muslim Weddings to Sikh Weddings to Christian Weddings to Hindu Weddings and secular weddings.

This seems to have been a topic in many forums, with wedding photographers firm on each side.


There are photographers who believe that the Minister’s wishes for his / her church are paramount, and will happily sit at the back of a church for the whole ceremony, and only get shots when he bride is walking in, walking out and signing the register, which is what is allowed by that Minister.


There are other photographers who believe that their clients (the Bride and Groom) wishes are paramount, and if they want images of their ceremony, even if that means going against the Minsters wishes, so be it

I genuinely find that many couples do not know that some churches do not allow Wedding Photography or are not friendly to Wedding Photography at their venue. I photograph a lot of Asian Weddings where it is common for at least 4 photographers and cinematographers to be at one wedding, but not uncommon for there to be as many as 8 staff capturing the day.

So what are the reasons for this, these have been reasons we have been given:

1. Over zealous previous photographers, rolling on the floor etc to take photos.

I have never personally seen over excited photographer rolling on the floor etc during a service . I do not  know any photographers that have personally seen this at a wedding, and I have a lot of photographers in my circles.

2. The couple need to concentrate on the vows they are making before God.

You have to question if having pictures taken make them think any less about what they are undertaking.

3. It distracts the guests / couple.

Wedding Photography and Cinematography are now such a normal part of a Wedding Day, again I would question who it distracts. I know that when I photograph weddings, I wear soft loafer shoes (as do my other staff), and dress in all black, a ninja would be hard pressed to be more slight than me.

On the guests side, I find guests phones pinging, children crying in church, and guest photographers with iPhones and iPads that need to go right up to the Bride and Groom or couple to get a shot, much more distractive.

Churches have people in them, as such there will be children playing, people crying, people laughing all kinds of things that people COULD get distracted by.

wedding photography, lensi photography, church wedding, birmingham wedding

Guests in church


4. The couple will remember it better if they concentrate on what is happening.

I find that for many brides especially, the day goes by in whirlwind, they have been planning their wedding day for years, and before they know it, their wedding day is over. So what do they have to remember their wedding day by? Their Wedding Photography and Wedding Cinematography.

Wedding photography, lensi photography, photography in church, church wedding photography

Wedding Photography Birmingham

5. It is Gods House and it is disrespectful for anyone to be snapping away or moving about the place.

Some churches stream church services to millions across the world. Images taken in churches are so common now.

Some churches have no problem with wedding photography, so it makes you question what is it about particular churches that do not see it in this way?

We live in a world documented by images, and sharing so many parts of our lives.

Imagine if on one of …if not the biggest day of your life, and whole chunks of it are missing, because the minister was not happy with it? In fact if you have a minister like this, and you follow their wishes instead of stating yours, you may end up having more photos from your works trip to Nandos than you do of your wedding ceremony? This somehow just does not seem right.

6. Data Protection (especially when signing the register)

When this reason is given you may question, if the data that is being protected, the data of the same Bride and Groom whose wedding you are photographing for them? It’s their data, their signatures, their names?

This data later becomes a publicly available document that can be looked up in any library or obtained online for a few pounds? So if you are given this reason, does it add up.

Previously we have photographed weddings where Ministers have suggested a shot where the Bride and Groom hold up their register towards the camera. So not every minster feels this way, which points towards the idea the idea that this is the personal choice of each minister.

7. We simply do not allow it! No Photography in Church please!

If you are given this reason, you have paid for a photographer to deliver a service. You have also paid to have your wedding at a church and a Minster deliver a service. If one vendor (the photographer or Minster) obstructs the other and stops them delivering that service, are they doing the best for their customer? The Bride and Groom or wedding couple?

The guests on the other hand, can snap away at any point, and more than a few with have DSLR cameras …. for all of us at Lensi, the Wedding is always about the Bride and Groom, we will advise  so that they get the best from their day, and always do our best for them.

wedding photography, female wedding photographer

Guest taking photo

Now this is not meant to sound like a moan about churches or other religious or wedding establishments, we have worked with some fantastic Ministers, Churches and places of worship and celebration, in fact most of them have been, but just a short post for you to consider when choosing a church for your Wedding Day.

If you have read this and thought … oh that wont apply to us, we are getting married in a …country house, register office etc. Think again, we have also seen this at non religious establishments.

If you have already chosen and booked your church, this is something worth explicitly stating to your minister or person leading your service.

It is something most couples do not know, so we share it to make your planning journey a little bit more informed.  This has genuinely only happened at weddings we have photographed a few times, but when it has happened the Bride and Groom were not made aware of this rule about wedding photography, and therefore did not have the chance to question it.

Their photographer has either had to ignore the Minsters wishes, much to their disdain. Debate with the Minster, again also much to their disdain, or not get any pictures during their ceremony, only images of them coming into church, walking back up the aisle, and signing the register! And thats it!

So when you are looking at a venue for your Wedding Photography, consider all the things you normally would for your wedding day. The sentimental links that church may have to your family, its location, how beautiful it looks, if it can hold all of your weddings guests, how far it is for you to travel….and also if they have issues with photography!

If you are happy with limited images during your ceremony, none of the guests or mom and dad smiling or crying during the service. If you are content with no close ups of the special exchange or rings moment, none of the bride looking into the yes of the groom or vice versa, this is fine.

exchange of rings, wedding photographer, lensi photographer, wedding photography

Exchange of rings

If not think about asking the question on their approach to photographers in the ceremony! And decide if you want photography or not, it may be such an issue where you have to consider changing your venue (if you want Wedding Photography!).

Commercial Business Photography in Birmingham – Advertising Billboards

Commercial Business Photography in Birmingham

Advertising Billboards

If you are in need of Commercial Business Photography in Birmingham look no further than Lensi.


We were commissioned by The New Alexander Theatre in Birmingham to produce images that would be used to advertise their Footloose Theatre Production Footloose, for those that remember it is the 1980’s film classic starring Kevin Bacon. So we had a lot to live up to.

We storyboarded the shoot from scenes in the movie, and came up with this :behind the scenes video commercial for the Footloose Production Poster for Alexander Theatre

Posters were displayed on billboards and street panels across the Midlands, as well as at the Alexander Theatre leading up to the show.  As we did the Commercial Business Photography in Birmingham before the show was even cast, we had a brief to keep the posters as generic as possible, so that they could look as though any actor or actress could be in them.

We worked alongside the Theatre marketing department to storyboard outfits that would match the film, come out under budget and but again be generic enough to appeal to a wide market. This is what we came up with for the Commercial Business Photography in Birmingham for the Alexander Theatre.

Commercial Business Photography Birmingham

Commercial – Footloose Poster at Train Station Platforms

Commercial Business Photography Birmingham

Commercial Business Photography Birmingham Footloose Poster

Commercial Business Photography Birmingham

Commercial Business Photography Birmingham

Big Poster Photography

Photography for Alexander Theatre Birmingham

Commercial Photography

Theatre Photography Birmingham

Corporate Photographer Birmingham

Commercial Photographer Birmingham








If you are looking for Commercial Business Photography in Birmingham, contact us for a quote

Event Photography for Festivals – Ten Tips on How to Photograph a Festival

Event Photography for Festivals – Ten Tips on How to Photograph a Festival

Lensi Photography offer event photography for festivals and all types of events, from conferences to corporate events to personal events.

This year Lensi Photography were one of the event photographers for The Parklife Festival in Manchester. As always The Parklife Festival 2015 did not disappoint, a great mixture of Artists and DJ’s, a myriad of tents and stages that festival goers would be entertained by, great security and planning, all in all a great festival.

If you are a photographer, and are covering a festival for the first time, this blog may be of use.



Photographers will all give you stories of no one knowing how to direct them to the press room, confirmed passes not being where they should be, having to drag heavy kit across a field of drunk revellers or the press room simply being miles away.


So if the first act you plan to shoot is on at 1, get there at at least 12, especially on the first day.


As a photographer, although it is hard work covering a festival (wear the most comfy footwear you have) and don’t be fooled by there being no rain, the festival WILL be muddy, wear your your wellies to be safe. Also bring a number of layers to pile on as it gets colder in the evening, I started out in shorts and a top, built up to a sweater, then a hoody on top of that, then changed shorts for leggings, and finally added a coat … once the sun drops it gets pretty cold, and although it may look and feel great in the day to be in your summer festival clothes, many women looked on at me envious by the time night came.



Know your acts!! There will be a host of celebrities and public figuresThe highlight of this years festival for me was Grace Jones, what a legend! What an honour to be able to shoot (photograph in none photographer speak)  someone like her, the trail blazer for artists like Lady Gaga, and even at age 67, she still has it, and all minus cosmetic surgery! The press pit was full for her performance, which shows this was the shot that everyone wanted.

Grace Jones performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 in Manchester, true to her usual form Grace appears on stage bare chested wearing only body paint.

Grace Jones performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 in Manchester, true to her usual form Grace appears on stage bare chested wearing only body paint.

It will be impossible to cover everything, so work out who you want to cover beforehand or at the start of the day so that you have a plan. This will depend on who you are shooting for, some photographers need lots of crowd shots, some only need main stage acts and so on, you just need to be clear on what you need to shoot.



I carry two bodies on a Black Rapid Double Strap to a festival like this. Two Canon 5d3’s a wide angle and a telephoto zoom, one body would be lighter, but I prefer to carry two for speed when a shot appears and you need to suddenly have a different angle. Carrying my camera around my neck simply does not work for me, its painful and uncomfortable, being able to carry my equipment on my body is much more comfortable.


Some photographers also bring a 300mm (or above) in case we have a shoot from the mixer. Others also bring a super wide angle (if we are really close to the stage) or a fish eye (for those fun type shots), but this is just too much to carry around for me.



Most photographers will be filing back to their respective agencies / magazines / publications, so there will be a lot of time spent doing and fringe getting to the various stages, then heading back to the press room to upload your images. A plus for this year was that we were transported via buggy a few times, which really saved on the legs! (image courtesy of fellow tog and Friend Paul Torode)







Research images from pervious events, it will give you an idea of what kind of spaces and backdrops you will be working with. From an image point of view images taken at night or in the various tents look amazing as the lighting is always well put together.


The more you photograph these events the more you learn and know what to look out for, for example Rudimental who have won awards for their festival performances always enter stage with a jump from their front guy, going out into the crowd to shot the main stage from far away once your press pit time is over also may get you some exclusives as well as a great full stage shots, such as the ‘Disclosure’ shot in this set.

I also shoot video snippets (which can be found on our YouTube Channel) as it adds a little more life to your coverage, and is great for most agencies and publications.



You will get the first three songs or 15 minutes of a DJ set in the pit. Use this time effectively. Resist any temptation you may have to let go and enjoy the music, you are not there to party! Get your shots, and then you may relax for a bit …until you have to head to the next stage.

It can be tempting to get close up shots of some of your favourite artists, shots where they can clearly be seen, but be sure to also get wide ones, where they form a tiny part of the image. Some of my favourite shots from this year are shot way away from the stage, after your time has finished in the pit, don’t be scared to walk into the crowd to get a different angle. I shot these once our 15 mins were finished in the pit.

House DJ Duo Disclosure close Day one of Parklife 2015 performing live on stage

House DJ Duo Disclosure close Day one of Parklife 2015 performing live on stage

Manchester, UK, 06 June 2015 Stage Crowdsshots at The Parklife two day festival 2015 at Heaton Park in Manchester © Denise Maxwell/ Alamy Live News

Stage Crowdsshots at The Parklife two day festival 2015 at Heaton Park in Manchester

Manchester, UK, 06 June 2015 Stage Crowdsshots at The Parklife two day festival 2015 at Heaton Park in Manchester © Denise Maxwell/ Alamy Live News

Stage Crowdsshots at The Parklife two day festival 2015 at Heaton Park in Manchester










Your first time at a festival can be daunting! The pros will know where to go for what time, the quickest way to the different tents and so on. I remember my first festival I fought my way through crowds many times to get to a particular stage, to then find out that photographers can take a backstage route!


Festivals are generally friendly places, (not all photography environments are!) and I have made some really good friends who are also fellow photographers there. I have helped people out with batteries and memory cards and shooting, as they have me. It’s also nice to be able to work and have someone to talk to and laugh with. It is most definitely still work, but it is great fun too!



Bring some unless you wish to sacrifice your hearing for the sake of getting your shots! The speakers are designed to project to thousands of people in front of a stage, and you are standing next to them ….figure that one out!



Bring sanitiser and tissue, these are festival toilets, need I say more?!! Unless you have VIP tickets, which have assigned cleaners who monitor the tissue, cleanliness etc.


Roll on next year, and more festivals!

To book #LensiPhotography to #photograph and #event (#EventPhotographer, #EventPhotographerBirmingham) or #festival (#FestivalPhotography) contact us via our contact sheet or :

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Not one to be in the spotlight Award winning DJ EZ DJ's in no lights focussing on him at the main stage

Not one to be in the spotlight Award winning DJ EZ DJ’s in no lights focussing on him at the main stage

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Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

2015 evicted Big Brother Housemates spotted at Parklife 2015

2015 evicted Big Brother Housemates spotted at Parklife 2015

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Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Jessie Ware performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 Festival in Manchester, UK

Jessie Ware performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 Festival in Manchester, UK

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester

Crowds enjoying the Parklife 2015 Festival held annually at Heaton Park in Manchester


Manchester, UK, 06 June 2015 George Ezra performing live on stage at The Parklife two day festival 2015 at Heaton Park in Manchester © Denise Maxwell/ Alamy Live News

George Ezra performing live on stage at The Parklife two day festival 2015Nas performing live on stage as the headline act at Parklife 2015 Festival in ManchesterNas performing live on stage as the at Parklife 2015 FestivalRudimental Performing Live on stage at Parklife 2015 Festival in Heaton Park, Manchester, UK


Rudimental Performing Live on stage at Parklife 2015 Festival in Heaton Park, Manchester, UK


Rudimental Performing Live on stage at Parklife 2015 Festival in Heaton Park, Manchester, UK

Rudimental Performing Live on stage at Parklife 2015 Festival

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Grace Jones performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 in Manchester, true to her usual form Grace appears on stage bare chested wearing only body paint.

Grace Jones performing live on stage at Parklife 2015Grace Jones performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 in Manchester, true to her usual form Grace appears on stage bare chested wearing only body paint. Grace Jones performing live on stage at Parklife 2015 in Manchester

Commercial Business Photography in Walsall – Construction Hoardings

Commercial Business Photography in Walsall – Construction Hoardings

Commercial Business Photography in Walsall by Lensi Photography.

We worked with Walsall Housing Group on a Project to provide commercial business photography in Walsall for hoardings that were about to grace one of their local areas that were having new housing constructed.

We are all used to seeing the plain white hoardings, aren’t they a little boring? So we decided to bring a little interest to the boards that will protect the buildings site in the Goscote Area Regeneration, with Commercial Business Photography in Walsall by photographing local residents whose images would feature on each boards.

Photographs of local people!?? Yes!

Photographs of people who are well known in the area, people who great achievements, people who work in the area. We came up with something like this ….

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Something bright vibrant and relevant to the area. Photographs of local people that everyone would recognise and be able to relate to.

If you are a building company, or construction company that are working on a construction site that you would like to brighten up with photography that local people can relate to, why not contact us for a quote.

We also provide Commercial Business Photography in Walsall and beyond for all aspects of your marketing, press and advertising.


If you are looking for a Commercial Business Photographer in Walsall for any photography needs for your business, contact us for a quote.

#BusinessPhotography #BusinessPhotographyWalsall #ConstructionWalsall

Funeral Photography in Birmingham

Funeral Photography in Birmingham

Funeral photography in Birmingham (and other places) can seem like a strange life event to document, but in many communities, it is seen as a celebration of life as well as mourning a passing, therefore Funeral Photography is totally normal and acceptable part of planning a funeral. So once the funeral flowers and funeral songs have been chosen, many people then think about their funeral photography.

If you are looking for Funeral Photography in Birmingham and further afield, we can document the home going of your loved one with sincere respect and discretion.

For our funeral photography in Birmingham we will cover your event with minimal trouble to yourself, we are versed in  funeral photography in Birmingham, so only need to ask a couple of questions from you, and the rest can be left to us.

For our funeral photography in Birmingham we can cover your event starting from you gathering at or leaving your home or beginning from the church ceremony and ending at the graveside or wake.

Funeral Photography in Birmingham and beyond is more important than some people see at the time, it can be a day that goes by in a whirlwind, without you being able to remember what happened; documenting this event is important for many people for this purpose.

Some families also find it comforting to be able to gather and look back on the images of the day, it brings comfort to see how well the send off of their loved one went, the people who turned up to pay their respects and the emotions of love on the day.


Funeral photography in Birmingham is done is a very none intrusive respectful manner. Our funeral photography in Birmingham starts from £250, contact us to discuss a commission for funeral photography in Birmingham and beyond.

Below are a few images from a Funeral in Birmingham as an example of our work, including an on site event studio which was also booked by this family. For this family this was a key event in which they would all be together, they wished to use the as an opportunity to get family portraits with family members that lived across different areas of the world.

If you would like to commission us for Funeral Photography in Birmingham contact us to discuss your requirements.


#PhotographyForFunerals #FuneralPhotography #FuneralPhotographer #FuneralPhotographerInBirmingham #BirminghamFuneral #BirminghamFuneralPhotographer #FuneralHome #HomeGoing #SendOff #FuneralDirector #FuneralServicesBirmingham #FuneralServices #FuneralServicesWalsall #FuneralServicesWolverhampton

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