After two years, Notting Hill Carnival returned over the August bank holiday weekend! The UKBFTOG group hit the streets for carnival with kit lent from MPB to document the event. Below, they share their experience of carnival, the kit they used and why they liked it, along with their favourite photo from the day…

Renée Mia


Kit used: Sony A7r IV (my own) and Sony 85mm f1.4 GM  (borrowed from MPB)

renee mia from UKBFTOG at notting hill carnival

This was my first time shooting at carnival. I usually shoot zooms so wanted to try a prime lens and the 85mm is the go to portrait lens for most photographers. Being a GM lens the images were super sharp and quick to focus. I especially liked the separate aperture ring and the build quality reflects the price point. It’s definitely being added to my kit after this trial.

group of friends at notting hill carnival

Image: Renée Mia

Bethany Peters


Kit used: Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM (borrowed both)

beathany peters from UKBFTOG at notting hill carnival

Bethany Peters taken by @vicmoy_

I am a Dominican / British photographer who specialises in Portrait and Event Photography.

After I got used to using the new kit, I really enjoyed it! The wide angle on the lens allowed me to get some incredible fisheye looking portraits and the versatility of the kit as a pair was way better than I could have imagined! The 5D mark iii was super easy to adapt to (as a canon user) and I’m looking forward to seeing the printing capabilities of a full frame body. 100/10 would buy one for myself!

two people dancing at notting hill carnival

Image: Bethany Peters

The Little Pop-Up Studio by Shani Weekes – The Little People’s Photographer


Kit used: Canon EOS R6 with borrowed lens from MPB, Canon RF 35mm 1.8

The Little Pop-Up Studio by Shani Weekes - The Little People's Photographer with canon eos r6

Shani Weekes. Image: Nigel Atherton

As I travel to my client’s homes to photograph, I often shoot with my Canon EF24-70 so that I can fit into small spaces with ease, however I was really curious to work with the new mirrorless 35. With primes, I like the idea of me having to think more about my positioning and it naturally forces me to be more creative and confident to get up close. The lens couple with my R6 was incredibly lightweight, and the focus, speed and picture quality was amazing. I better tell the Mr that I’ve got another piece of kit on my Christmas list!

child on the streets of notting hill carnival

Image: The Little Pop-Up Studio by Shani Weekes

Nannette Parker


Kit used: Sony A7

I’m a Chef that takes photos or a Photographer that cooks, either way it’s all about the food.

I liked the Sony A7 because it’s light and easy to use. I like the image quality. I sometimes use it with an adapter with my Canon lenses. The only downsides are battery life and focus, it can also be a little slow especially when using adapter.

This is something I learnt more about today during the shoot/walk. I usually shoot food so in that environment this camera set up isn’t usually an issue. However, I would upgrade or hire different model if I decide to do more of this sort of photography.

chef preparing food at notting hill carnival

Image: Nannette Parker

Elizabeth Okoh

Company name: Okoh’s Boudoir


Kit used: Nikon D750 with a Tamron 24-70mm lens.

Elizabeth Okoh with Kit used: Nikon D750 with a Tamron 24-70mm lens.

Elizabeth Okoh. Image: Nigel Atherton

I am a Nigerian Author and Photographer based in London with a penchant for storytelling and wanderlust. I work as a writer and empower women through the art of boudoir photography. I hold a degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Sussex, and my work is inspired by my culture, social justice and immigration.

The Nikon D750 with Tamron 24-75mm is my go to kit for every style of photography that I currently shoot and I love them. Though I’m now looking for a lens with a sharper focus.

two people at notting hill carnival with roller skates around their neck Image: Elizabeth Okoh ukbftog

Image: Elizabeth Okoh

My portrait collections have been published in online and print magazines such as The Guardian, Amateur Photographer and Positive News. They’ve also been curated in exhibitions across the UK and in Athens, Greece. My debut novel The Returnees was published in 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton.

two women pose in feathers at notting hill carnival Image: Elizabeth Okoh ukbftog

Image: Elizabeth Okoh

Sophia Loren, from Just Nevaeh


Kit used: Canon EOS 6D

Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren. Image: Nigel Atherton

On the day of the photo walk I used my first camera that I bought 7 years ago, the Canon 6D. I wanted to try the mirrorless EOS R6, but I also wanted to prove that what you have right now or what you can budget for, can produce beautiful images.

My biggest tip is to start where you are.

children dancing in feathers down street of notting hill carnival

Image: Sophia Loren

Morlene Fisher

IG: @morlenefisherphotography

Twitter: @morlenefisher

Kit used: Sony A7, Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

Morlene Fisher with sony alpha 7

Morlene Fisher. Image: Nigel Atherton

I have been a photographer for more than 10 years and enjoy making fine art portrait and landscape photography.

Carnival and the opportunity to do the photo walk with UKBFTOG meant I could use my new mirrorless camera. It didn’t disappoint. Lightweight and nimble, its small form felt comfortable yet stable. I’d read that its battery life is short but I didn’t find that to be the case. It held its own in the crowded streets and all in all I’m happy with the results.

woman wearing flag at notting hill carnival Morlene Fisher ukbftog

Image: Morlene Fisher

Sahara Williams of Ashanti Maroon photography

@snapsbysahara, @ashantimaroonphotography

Kit used: I used my camera body Canon EOS R and RF lenses from MPB, 24-105mm f.4 & 70-200mm f.2.8.

Sahara Williams of Ashanti Maroon photography

London based photographer of many genres, candid are my favourites as they tell a more authentic story!

The lenses were the correct choice for me, I was able to capture candid images with the 70-200 easily while maintaining sharpness, the lens looks sleek and is a little lighter than the EF version. For variety I switched over to the 24-105 lens to capture action shots a little closer, as well as portraits.

I would both buy these and recommend to others, they came from MPB looking really well looked after and at a competitive price.

two children at notting hill carnival Sahara Williams of Ashanti Maroon photography ukbftog

Image: Sahara Williams of Ashanti Maroon photography

Angella Mofondo


Kit used: I used my own kit on the day, Sony A7 III and 35mm 1.8. This is my first camera and favourite lens.

Angella Mofondo ukbftog at notting hill

I am a mother of 3 beautiful boys and decided to take photography more seriously during my most recent maternity year. Best decision I’ve made! I specialise in family lifestyle photography.

I am still mastering it and learning so much every time I shoot. I love that it’s lightweight and quite compact. The AF system on this camera is what won me over.

I love shooting wide, capturing my subjects while continuing to tell their story through their environment.

children at notting hill carnival Angella Mofondo ukbftog

Image: Angella Mofondo

Ruth Teague

@rteaguephotography, @rteaguephoto, @rteagueretro

Kit used: I used a Canon EOS R6 with an adapted EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L lens.

Ruth Teague with Kit used: I used a Canon R6 with an adapted EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L lens.

Ruth Teague. Image: Nigel Atherton

I’m a unit stills, events, church worship and portrait photographer who loves to find and capture special moments.

I love the R6 as it is very easy to use. Three dials for shutter, aperture and ISO make it easy to adjust quickly for changing light conditions. Paired with the 70-300m lens I love the images produced. Even though it’s a slow lens, the low light capability of the camera makes it possible to get good images in darker situations. I would absolutely recommend the R6 to anyone. The 70-300mm is an old lens but if you can get a good one it is very useful and affordable.

women dancing at notting hill carnival

Image: Ruth Teague

Rele James


Kit used: Fujifilm X-T2, 56mm f1.2 R

Rele James with fujifilm xt2

Rele James. Image: Nigel Atheron

I am passionate about people and portraits. I love Fujifilm kit as exposure dials are on top with a petite yet solid build giving an old school film camera feel, I can make adjustments without using an electronic menu. It produces beautiful colours with an ethereal quality.

The 56mm is my favourite portrait lens, it can shoot wide open and when you hit that sweet spot. Muah! Definitely recommend.

woman covered in paint of streets of notting hill carnival

Rele James

Saph, from Sacimi Studio


Kit used: My own kit; however lens purchased from MPB. Nikon D750, Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G

Saph, from Sacimi Studio

Saph. Image: Nigel Atherton

I’m and first time mummy and photographer; who loves people and portraits!

I used two lenses at carnival, 35mm and 85mm. For me, the 85mm lens was ideal as it was lightweight and easy to store in my compact camera bag alongside a larger lens. I would highly recommend the 85mm lens as it is a great lens choice for multiple uses with an affordable price point.

walking down the road of notting hill carnival

Image: Sacimi Studio (Saph)

Rebecca Orleans


Kit used: 12-40mm 2.8 pro lens from MPB used on Olympus OMD E-M10 II body.

rebecca orleans with 12-40mm 2.8 pro lens brought from MPB used on Olympus OMD E-M10 II body.

Rebecca Orleans. Image: Nigel Atherton

I love to capture moments that can be looked back on with fondness.

I had recently purchased my 12-40mm lens and it was heavier than I was used to. It provided me with some great shots and look forward to challenging myself to use it at sporting events as well indoors.

dancing at notting hill carnival Rebecca Orleans ukbftog

Image: Rebecca Orleans

Nino K Photo

Kit used: Canon EOS 5D IV and lens 70-200mm IS II from MPB

nino photographing at notting hill carnival

Nino K Photo, image by Ashanti Maroon

I’m a self-taught artist, I have attended a few meetups, my art is contrasting, abstract still lifes and cityscapes. My roots are from Madagascar #firstfemalemalagasyphotographer.

I really loved loved the Kit, and missing it already. It was a huge difference in the terms of the quality of the pictures, great resolution, sharp and so detailed.

The lens was very beneficial as you could take pictures from a distance, and it was also such a great advantage for an event such as the carnival as I could take pictures at height with a great exodus of people.

It was a thoroughly great experience using the camera from a professional perspective. I would definitely recommend MPB, and buying the camera.

group of friends dancing down the road of notting hill carnival

Image: Nino K Photo

Laura Rose


Kit used: On the day I got to shoot with the amazing Nikon Z6 II hired from MPB which I paired with a NZ adapter to use my own F mount lenses which were the 24-85 f3.5-4.5 G and the Nikon ( Nifty Fifty) 50m 1.8

laura rose with Nikon Z6 II

Laura Rose. Image: Nigel Atherton

I am a Lifestyle portrait and Events photographer, I love taking candid shots of people capturing the real natural beauty and energy of the moment.

For my first time using Mirrorless taking the camera out of the box, it had a very sleek design a lot lighter than my current Nikon D810 DLSR but still really robust, it took just a few short moments to get everything connected and taking just a few test shots I could tell this camera was going to be a dream to use.

Amazing detail, sharpness and the Focal and Face tracking ability was amazing, the image review from either the flip out monitor and the viewfinder feel like you are already watching a high def movie. It really captured the energy, people and culture of the day so well that I have decided to add it to my kit and buy it. So if you have been on the fence about mirrorless go hire one, play with it and I guarantee you will fall in love with it.

children wearing green outfit and feathers dancing down notting hill carnival

Image: Laura Rose

Sigrid Gyasi

Kit used: Canon EOS R6 & Canon RF 24-105mm borrowed from MPB

Sigrid Gyasi at notting hill carnival

Sigrid Gyasi, image by Just Nevaeh

I am a Healthcare Management Student and a Photographer.  I am passionate about Photography because it’s adds so much value to our lives – by recording special events, people, and places, while also helping us learn and grow as people.

The Canon EOS R6 full-frame mirrorless camera offers incredible autofocus. The smaller, slimmer body has less space for controls and has too few buttons for my liking. Impressive image quality however, It’s a little pricier than competitor models but it’s a worthy long term investment for a beginner.

I will definitely recommend Canon R6 to anyone looking to change gears or wants to get a new camera.

girl in green carnival outfit smiles at camera

Image: Sigrid Gyasi

Anita Waithira Israel


Kit used: Fujifilm XT-10 and 35mm lens.

portrait of Anita Waithira Israel

Anita Waithira Israel, image by Domizia Salusest

I am a South London based artist, specialising in portraits and conceptual photography. I use my art as a tool to explore grief, mental illness and displacement. Drawing inspiration from my own experiences as a black queer person, the portraits I make focus on empowering marginalised communities and exploring the nuances of black culture.

I photographed Notting Hill Carnival on my Fujifilm XT-10. I use a 35mm prime lens which meant I had to do a lot of moving and be a lot more considered with my framing. However This camera is small and agile; which allowed me to get into tight spots and take photographs without being intrusive. I love the way this camera captured the rich colours and tones of carnival.

two people posing at notting hill carnival

Image: Anita Waithira Israel



Kit used: Canon EOS 6D Mark II with 24-70mm lens.

Chantelle photographing at notting hill carnival

My favourite picture of the day had to be, an image I took when outside Westbourne park train station of a lady dressed in silver blues. It was a one off shot I caught in the moment of her dancing to the music and purely in her own zone enjoying herself!

I find the 24-70mm lens and a Canon Flash Gun gives me a lot of flexible and capture great light. Which was how I was able to capture those strong colours with little next to no edits.

My joy of capturing events is shown in this images as its very live and of the moment, almost like your performing with people that sometimes don’t notice that you’re their but their energy fuels which creates really cool images. Portrait also allows some sort of performance but a silent persona encapsulated, identifying prominent features and eye colours, bone structures and all-sorts.

woman in carnival outfit dancing

Image: Chantelle

Jumi Popoola of Black Daffodil Photography

Kit used: Canon EOS 1200D, Yongnuo 50mm F1.8, Canon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

I am a British-Nigerian mixed medium artist with a documentary-style approach to film and digital photography.

My Canon EOS 1200D is my first DSLR and has perfect for my first year of photography. When I switched from my Yongnuo 50mm F1.8 to the Canon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6, I saw a real difference in my framing and how people interacted with my camera. This was the perfect lens for the carnival to document more personal moments without interrupting it.

man in beanie hat poses at notting hill carnival with peace sign

Image: Jumi Popoola of Black Daffodil Photography

Funmi Akingbe


Kit used: Canon 6D + 24-105mm kit lens (own kit)

Funmi Akingbe with canon eos 6d

Funmi Akingbe. Image: Ashanti Maroon Photography

I’m a London based portrait and event photographer. My Canon 6D has been my trusted companion for about 8 years! I was in several minds about what lens to take to the carnival – prime or zoom – but knew I wonted to travel light and also have the option to get some wide or very close shots. The 24-105mm was the perfect choice for me as it ticked all the boxes for what I had in mind.

girl in orange tshirt dancing at nottinghill carnival

Image: Funmi Akingbe

ukbftog headshots in tile grid

UKBFTOG at Notting Hill Carnival



See more advice for buying second-hand here.

Further reading:

UKBFTOG: the success of a group dedicated to black female photographers

Carnival Slayers return to Notting Hill