One of the West Midland’s few black female photojournalists is to lead a special photography skills workshop in Wolverhampton next week to inspire and empower refugees and migrants to share their stories.

Denise Maxwell, who founded and pioneered Lensi Photography, is one of very few female photojournalists of black and minority ethnic origin working within the UK and will be sharing her knowledge with refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.

In the West Midlands, she is often the only black female photographer covering the region’s biggest political, showbiz and current affairs events; and one of only a handful of women photographers.

Having documented the social landscape across Britain, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, Maxwell has shot everyone from Barack Obama, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Usain Bolt, Usher, Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z.

Denise Maxwell is a Birmingham-based photographer who shoots all around the world Lensi Photography / IAB
Denise Maxwell is a Birmingham-based photographer who shoots all around the world

Also the Chief Photographer for news website I Am Birmingham, the only black photographer to hold such a position in the regional media industry, Maxwell’s clients include design pioneers at London and Paris Fashion Week. Earlier this year, she was invited to join a BBC Fierce Women in Media panel to coincide with International Women’s Day.

And now, Maxwell is aiming to empower the next generation of under-represented talent from the region by hosting a workshop with Migrant Voice for those born outside of the UK, including immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Conducting her Media Lab session at the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, she will be teaching and demonstrating how migrants can share their stories and experiences through the medium of photography. The session is part of Migrant Voice’s collaborative work with the West Midland’s MiFriendly Cities initiative.

Migrant Voice, a national organisation that aims to amplify the voices of migrant communities, is working with West Midlands based organisation MiFriendly Cities to host several Media Labs each year as a way of training attendees to control their own narrative around migration and the migrant experience.

Photographer Paul Stringer facilitating a Migrant Voice 'Media Lab' workshop in Birmingham MEDMigrant Voice
Photographer Paul Stringer facilitating a Migrant Voice ‘Media Lab’ workshop in Birmingham MED
Photojournalist Alison Baskerville with Media Lab participants in CoventryMigrant Voice
Photojournalist Alison Baskerville with Media Lab participants in Coventry

Previous media professionals who have led the sessions include radio presenter Vimal Korpal, photojournalist Alison Baskerville, filmmakers Sheikh Shahnawaz and Paul Stringer; and photographer Inès Elsa Dalal. Future planned sessions will be attended by writer Jordan Garvey, journalist and artist Rangzeb Hussain, and Birmingham Live community reporter Rakeem Hyatt.

Anyone wishing to join photojournalist Migrant Voice and Denise Maxwell on Tuesday 30th July in Wolverhampton can register by emailing Selbin Kabote on [email protected] or calling 07821 147 341. For more information, visit

See more of Denise Maxwell’s work at Lensi Photography:

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