Humphrey Spender was born on 19 April 1910. He initially studied art history at
During this time he took many photographs for adverts and magazines and by the mid-1930s his photographs were appearing in the Daily Mirror under the name 'Lensman'.
Humphrey Spender is considered to be a pioneer of the documentary photography. New smaller technology was making it possible for photographers to be less noticeable in public. In 1937 Spender joined the Mass-Observation team taking documentary photographs of
He found the experience of the Mass-Observation very stressful and abandoned his photography in favour of painting and textile design. Spender continued to paint until his death in 2005.