Hilary Franzen | On The Broads

It was a pleasure to visit Hilary during the lovely summer of 2019 – sitting by the Broads, talking about her colourful life on the Broads.

Hilary Franzen Works and plays in the Broads
Hilary, who is Great Yarmouth born and bred, lives, works and plays in the Broads.
A former Great Yarmouth Mercury reporter, she first fell in love with the Broads at the age of seven, when her parents, Sybil and George Blowers, bought a historic Broads yacht, Martlet, built in 1907. Every November the family would sail past the village of Stokesby to a boatyard at Great Yarmouth for Martlet’s winter maintenance and Hilary would admire the pretty riverside cottages which lined the banks.
After 26 years her parents sold Martlet and despite dinghy sailing and horse riding there came to be a gap in her life which widened as the years passed.
Sixteen years later the year 2000 proved to be a turning point for Hilary. She managed to track down Martlet and bought her back and now races her regularly with an all-female crew. The same year she landed her dream job as press officer with the Broads Authority and in 2007 she bought her dream home – one of those riverside cottages at Stokesby she had fallen in love with as a child. It was the first time it had come up for sale since 1932!
Her historic riverside shed, aka The Slip Inn, is also a magnet for parties and weekly get togethers.
Now semi-retired, Hilary is visited regularly by a pair of swans and their ten cygnets who queue up regularly at her front door to be fed –and sometimes walk in – as well as resident geese and ducks.
“It’s been amazing watching them hatch and grow from close quarters,” she said. “They allow us to hand feed them, and we have built up a special relationship with them.”

Hilary Franzen | On The Broads#norfolk #Broads #Broadsnationalpark #portraiture #portrait #mercury #greatyarmouth #reporter

Joao Ventura Pâtissier – Great Yarmouth – spoken in his own words.

From the 2019 Portraiture Series.

Joao Ventura Pâtissier – Great Yarmouth – spoken in his own words.


“I am from Lisbon originally; it is such a beautiful city. I have always worked in bakeries, that is 35 years as a master baker, whilst I have been the boss for 30 of those years.I came to Great Yarmouth 10 years ago, I had the opportunity from the Portuguese community here, to starting baking in the town. Many of the cakes I bake were bought in, so when I started baking the people simply loved what I was doing. It was as if they were back in Lisbon.
When I first came to the town I worked as an employee, which was ok, but soon I setup my own business and I am glad to say that I am the boss again, which suits me.Our business is so good at the moment. Of course, it is a lot of hard work, but we are prepared to do that, we came from Portugal to start a new life and that comes from hard work and determination.You arrive in a country without fear, anything is possible.Being a baker is a tough job, I work all night, normally starting around midnight and finish baking in the morning. I then stay in the patisserie serving coffee and cake until around 5pm.
People come for coffee and then cakes, the English love the cakes as well, which is great.At the end of the day, I must please the English with my baking, as I need to live with them.Our bestseller is the Pastel de nata, I make 500 of these a day here, but of course I make many other cakes.”


Sarah | Studying, Rural Uganda

Late last year I had the pleasure of visiting again the country close to my heart – Uganda. Obviously I was there to run Give a Child a Camera (www.giveachildacamera.co.uk), but while staying in the property of my dear friend Sarah, I had the chance to get to know her friend/housekeeper and the daughter – also Sarah.

On my second evening, I arrived home late to find young Sarah sitting outside, on the edge of a garden wall, devoting her time to homework, under torchlight – where she stayed for around an hour.

Amazing dedication from the bright young Ugandan girl.

#Africa #Uganda #School #Life #Portrait #night

Cancer Research UK Shoot

Another Pre-Covid19 shoot – this time in the clinical labs of Cancer Research, documenting some of the fabulous work they do, along with some modern, bright portraiture and group shots

A Portrait of Lily.

A Portrait of Lily. Spoken in her own words in 2019.
Lily Boulton – At the Car boot Pitch

“I was an evacuee, put on a farm for 3 years near East Markham, it was a big house in the county,
they were lovely, but all I wanted was to be with mum and dad at home.

I used to do the milking, getting the cows out of the sheds and into the fields. I was a town girl, it was a completely different life for me.
When I returned to Great Yarmouth, I started dancing. I used to dance regularly on the Wellington Pier, big shows. I was always dancing. We were called the Five Steppins.
Oh the fun we had, it was tremendous.
After the dancing I became a proprietor of a guesthouse. A lovely guesthouse in the town. It was always alive with people, lovely people. Eventually I turned it into a care home.
I might be 91, but I drive anywhere. I did do the advance driving course, I just love driving.

These days I regularly do car boot sales, it makes me happy and makes others happy. Everyone knows each other and they all help me setup. It’s a real community”

#portrait #norfolk #portraiture #carboot #sales

Final Covid19 Response Images

The final small set of images from my time with Age UK Camden documenting their Covid19 response.

A real pleasure to work with such a passionate, motivated & really great bunch of people, who have given a lot to their community.

#commuinty #covid19 #response #camden #london #ageukcamden #charity

Community Response | London

Around two months ago, I spent a couple of days with the inspirational & hardworking staff of Age UK Camden – documenting their proactive, community response to the #Covid19 crisis.

I’ve previously posted a couple of portraits, here is a collection of some of the other images shot whilst in Camden, during the difficult period in May 2020.

#AGEUKCAMDEN #London #Response #pandemic #documentary

Our Labrador

I’m not normally one to share pictures of ‘family’ but I simply couldn’t resist posting this beautiful photo of the boy – shot last weekend, in the late evening light.

#Labrador #pet #dogpicture

Simon – The charismatic owner of Risi Bici

Simon – The charismatic owner of Risi Bici


Part of my on going portrait project


“I grew up in Stamford in Lincolnshire with my grandparents Margarita & Petro. They were from the south of Italy, borrowing money to come to England following the Battle of Monte Cassino which saw their region reduced to rubble and cost the lives of an estimated 75000. Despite my age I had a 1950’s upbringing with chickens, home grown vegetables and wooden outhouses which were converted into a distillery in which there were 100’s of litres of red wine fermenting. Different nationalities bring their cultures and it seemed my destiny to either become a builder, chef, ice cream man, cobbler or barber. I’d like to add I wanted to be a pop star at this point not an ice cream man. It’s hard to describe the level of importance that food plays in an Italian household but I suppose this belief shaped my 20 year career in Italian delis in the U.K. The long story short is Norfolk offered me an opportunity via time spent in London & Norway studying to teach music and media. As time went by I built up a commercial recording studio here which I ran successfully for 10 years. In 2012 I moved to Great Yarmouth where I live to this day. As the years rolled by I began to reassess my upbringing which inevitably brought me back to Italian food. There is a link between food and memory and through my cooking. My grandparents lives are remembered and celebrated”


#Norfolk #risibici #cafe #greatyarmouth #norfolk #food #portraiture #portrait #italian #healthy #livestories

Inspirational Story for #Suffolkday

As #Suffolkday is around the corner, I wanted to share an inspirational portrait and an incredible story from someone I met in 2019 and photographed as part of the Water, Mills and Marshes: the Broads Landscape Partnership funded portraiture project.


Ivan Humble
Ex English Defence League Regional Organiser

“I’ve been a Lowestoft lad all my life. I had the usual upbringing, to be fair it was pretty good compared to most on my estate.

I suffered with Mental health issues and had a craving to be normal. I started smoking cannabis, which helped in a way, but then I was spending a lot of time indoors, reading stuff, browsing the internet and stuff like that. I guess it all really changed in 2009.
Our troops had a homecoming parade in Luton and I remember seeing the abuse the troops were getting from some of the Luton residents. It was a real concern for me and I felt disgruntled.

I put a paragraph on Facebook, ranting about what had happened. Within minutes, someone got in contact and it felt like someone was interested in me and we talked for hours. He mentioned about a street protest and to be honest, you got to remember my life was shit at the time. It was a tough time. Suddenly I felt part of something. Within four months we went to a protest and it kicked off, people started to notice me and I was becoming something. I was becoming something in the EDL, it was like a football awayday. I felt like a man again.
I guess things began to change a little after a demo in Peterborough. We caused a lot of problems.
A couple of weeks later, the mosque we harassed invited us (regional EDL) back for a cup of tea and cake. I couldn’t get my head around it. But that stuck with me for a year or so.
Life changed when I was in Norwich a year later. Two Muslim women passed me; they were at a religious meeting in the forum, so I followed them. I was angry, knocking on the windows. A man came out, an awkward silence followed, I had adopted a stance, ready in case something happened. I then said I’m EDL.. he moved towards me and hugged me, saying he had wanted to meet with the EDL for some time.
Over time we started talking weekly, monthly and gradually life began to change. It took a long time and was a slow process, but was really productive. I started talking to a former Jihadist in Ipswich and we understood each other. I learnt a lot from him and a bond was formed.
I now work with intervention charities and put something back into the community. Labels are dangerous, I’ve learnt that”

#suffolk #lowestoft #mentalhealth #lifechanging #access #portraiture