Into Something Better – Vallorbe, Switzerland – June, 2017

It’s month two of our new international blog circle celebrating mothers and children in nature.  The group was created to provide an escape from technology for our children and an opportunity for mothers who are photographers to use the specific technique of freelensing during these adventures. This project is already proving to be a powerful force in my work and I can honestly say that I am loving the work I’m creating during these sessions. While I typically shoot at least a couple of shots using freelensing during each of my photo outings, shooting an entire session freelensed is something new for me.  I love the dreamy quality of the entire story told this way and when I do happen to shoot a normal shot, when I see it later while editing, it almost seems intrusive.

This month’s images were taken near Les Grottes de Vallorbe, a grand collection of underground caves carved by a powerful river.  Where the river comes bubbling up from underground, there is a beautiful forest and sweet little refuge.  It was there that we celebrated Fathers Day this year. On any given Sunday, you will find my husband and myself with our two little kids somewhere in nature.  Most often, we are in the forest.

 
Sleeping In The Forest
by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me,
She took me back so tenderly
Arranging her skirts
Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before
A stone on the riverbed,
Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,
But my thoughts.
And they floated light as moths
Among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
Breathing around me.
The insects and the birds
Who do their work in darkness.
All night I rose and fell,
As if water, grappling with luminous doom.
By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times
Into something better.Switzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerSwitzerland family photographerPlease continue to follow the blog circle by clicking over to Sherri Davis‘ post and discover the beauty of British Colombia, Canada.
 Kate Cuénoud is an American family adventure photographer based in canton Vaud, Switzerland.  You can contact Kate by email at kate@katecphotography.com or through the contact form on this blog.

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woollykindknits - Truly breathtaking! If I didn’t know bettter, I’d think you were in my beloved PNW, but talk about something better…
xoxo

Nikki - Kate we (me and little legs) completely lost ourselves in your adventure! The open fire! Marshmallows, just the best! I often pick up all sorts of heart treasures on days out but you found a WHOLE stepping stone <3

Lea Jones - what a lovely day among the trees. I adore the photo of your little one hugging dad. it looks like a perfect day out.xo, Léa

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Project 365 Week 23

It’s nearly 10:00pm here and the sun has just set.  These late spring (almost summer) days are looooong here in Europe!  I often wake up at 5:30 am and the sun is already shining. These long days remind me that waiting until late in the day – also known as the Golden Hour – to shoot pictures is just nearly impossible.  As I’ve written about before, photography has to be fun and easy for me and restricting myself to a mere hour during the busiest part of my day doesn’t sound fun OR easy!  As a result, I’ve become adept at shooting in all kinds of light and finding good photography conditions when the light isn’t ideal. And yes, there is a certain time of day that just doesn’t work for me.  It’s OK because that’s around 5:00 and I’d rather sit down and have a glass of wine instead. Here are the seven images I’ve chosen to highlight this week – xxoo Kate.

switzerland landscape photographerThis place is a lovely little hidden gem that was absolutely overrun with people on this day.  In this image I had to edit  out four people! Photo editing is something that I really love to do, though. La Sarraz, Switzerlandswitzerland landscape photographerGardens are now in full bloom and the public containers are bursting with color.  I love these roses on the side of the vet’s office across the street from my house.  Freelensing makes this scene even more romantic.  St-Prex, Switzerlandswitzerland family photographerBecause summer means Annabelle’s pineapple/mango/coconut milk ice cream.  St-Prex, Switzerlandswitzerland landscape photographerOur tour of forest refuges in canton Vaud continues.  We named this one the Mosquito Forest.  Much pain and itching followed.  Apples, Switzerlandswitzerland travel photographerThe foundry at the Musee du Fer.  It was really cool to see a working foundry and the model trains. My husband is fascinated by water systems (who isn’t, right?), so he loved seeing the system of water wheels in the river that drive the forges.  Vallorbe, Switzerland

switzerland family photographerMy sweet eight year old.  St-Prex, Switzerlandswitzerland travel photographerThis beach has become a favorite that we return to often.  That is saying a lot about this place, considering we think of ourselves as recreational gypsies who constantly seek out new adventures.  Morges, Switzerland

Kate Cuénoud is a family adventure, travel and landscape photographer in canton Vaud, Switzerland. If you are interested in finding out more about a family adventure session, please email kate@katecphotographer.com or use the contact form on this blog.

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Adventure Can Happen Anywhere, Even in the City!

A couple weeks ago, our weekly family adventure found us in Lausanne at Luna Parc, the annual spring carnival.  We celebrated my son’s 8th birthday with rides, games and carnival food.  This outing also provided my husband with an important nostalgic adventure – down memory lane.  I loved hearing him describe his outings to Luna Parc with his parents and brother and then later with his high school friends.  His eyes lit up looking at the lights, hearing the sounds of laughter and happy conversation (and all the screaming!) and tasting the soft-serve ice cream. He was brave enough to take our 12 year old up on the 60 meter high swings and I had a go at the ferris wheel, both of which provided an outstanding view of the gorgeous landscape. While my middle child dared some of the scarier rides, my little guy stuck to the Fun House, swings and bumper cars, which he rode five times!

Is your family planning a fun adventure this fall or winter in Switzerland or close-by Europe?  Would you like to create a custom photography package to provide a record of your adventure?  I am currently working with some model families and creating a portfolio, while at the same time scheduling sessions for the rest of 2017 and into 2018.  You can contact me by email at kate@katecphotography.com or on the Contact form on this blog.  xxoo Kate.

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Kate Cuénoud is an American family adventure photographer based in canton Vaud, Switzerland.  You can contact Kate by email at kate@katecphotography.com or through the contact form on this blog.

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woollykindknits - Such a fab day! Love the puddle reflection with ferris wheel and the close up still of your two beauties!

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Project 365 week 22

The blues are getting bluer and the greens are getting greener and the temps are getting hotter and our skin is getting browner.  Summer is coming!  And while my kids still have three weeks of school before their summer break, we are enjoying longer days to play outside, swim in the lake and have tons of adventures.  Last weekend marked our 2nd anniversary of living in Switzerland.  It has been 24 months of extreme highs (I mean, just look at this place!) and lows (culture shock is no joke, people!), but we keep on keeping on in our true American spirit. I am so grateful for my photography gear, training and experience that allow me to capture this time in our lives in photos.  I hope that I am doing it justice.

Here we go….

switzerland_landscape_photographer

This scene is repeated in every little and big town around Lake Geneva.  Boats waiting to be taken out and a gorgeous lake full of happy boaters nearly every day in warm weather.  Prangins, Switzerlandswitzerland_family_photographerOur first time going to a pro soccer/football game here.  Even though I consider myself active, I am by no means an athlete, but there is something about watching team sports that I love.  FC Servette did NOT disappoint!  My Swiss hubs has learned to sit far away from me because I am a whistler and a cheerer (and an occasional booer)! Geneva, Switzerlandswitzerland_nature_photographerI busted out my old 50 mm lens to do some reverse freelensing, which essentially transforms this lens into a macro freelenser.  Doing this daily project is really satisfying my need to experiment IN CAMERA – I emphasize that to contrast it with experimenting IN COMPUTER. I like to push my gear to its limit and play with it outside the box. St-Prex, Switzerlandswitzerland_landscape_photographer

My in-laws are not in our life for several reasons, but we do have Aunt Nellie and we go visit her as much as we can.  She lives in the gorgeous wine-making region of Lavaux in my husband’s historical family hometown.  It is really fun to walk around town and see our last name on businesses and mailboxes.  Cully, Switzerlandswitzerland_landscape_photographer

Another little trip to Valais to get above it all.  One main difference living in Europe I have felt keenly is how densely people live here.  I admire that so much, but often feel the need to get out and feel some space around me.  The mountains do this for me and I am always in awe of the simple pleasure of just BEING there.  More freelensing.  Martigny, Switzerlandswitzerland_family_photographerWords often escape me when describing my children and the emotions I feel when I reflect on the amazing people that they are.  This one loves life and lives it fully.  Her interior world is juicy and complicated and inspired and beautiful. There are many pieces of her that remind me of myself and so I try to mother her the way I wanted to be mothered at her age – with unconditional love, lots of gentle guidance and the opportunities and resources to pursue her passions.  I am even transcribing her handwritten novel (more about that in the future, I’m sure!). Martigny, Switzerland

switzerland_family_photographer

Many thanks to this one for posing for my double exposures without fail. I guess when you take lots of pictures of the same thing or create variations on a theme, a set starts to emerge.  I think I will keep pursuing this and see what comes of it.  Maybe I will call it Nature Boy.  Etoy, Switzerland

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woollykindknits - So glad that you’re posting full captures of these awesome weekly photos! xoxox

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Project 365 Week 21

Week 21!  Week 21?  I have neglected to post weeks 19 and 20, but the collages are on my Instagram account for all to see!  A friend (OK, my sister…) suggested that I share my images full size on the blog, so that’s what I’m going to do starting now.  Enjoy!  xxoo Kate.

Switzerland family adventureWarmer weather and a new platform in the lake mean LOTS of swimming (and still a month of school to go!).  Freelensed.Switzerland family adventureVisiting Aunt NellieSwitzerland family adventureMuseum in MartigneySwitzerland family adventureSpring bud. Reversed freelensed with a 50 mm.Switzerland family adventureMountain Man.Switzerland family adventureOn the way home from another adventure.Switzerland family adventureLuna Parc carnival juuuust so happened to coincide with a special boy’s 8th birthday!

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