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My First Fine Art Exhibition! Switzerland Fine Art Photographer

For about a year now, I have dreamed of having my own art exhibit.  I dreamed of a time and place to show my photos to my community and organize them into a cohesive story. But as a completely self-taught photographer with no knowledge of the art world (let alone the art world here in Switzerland), it seemed I was defeated before I even began. Compounding this was the limited time I have lived in my community, in a new country, on a new continent without a command of the local language. With all these cards stacked against me, I felt completely out of my league. Then one day a few months ago, I was at my kid’s football (soccer) practice when I overheard two men having this exchange:

Man 1:  “So, I talked to my guy at Company X and he’s ready to meet with you and your partner on Tuesday.”

Man 2:  “Thank you so much.  We are really looking forward to this opportunity”

What I know about these two guys is that they are acquaintances but I wouldn’t call them friends.  Their kids both play soccer, but not on the same team. It turns out (I found out later) that geeky and incredibly introverted scientist Man 2 simply ASKED the very well connected business guy Man 1 for help turning his unique scientific discovery into a business and Man 1 generously opened his network to him. To say that I was flabbergasted by this exchange is an understatement. And, well, it got me thinking.

What would happen if *I* asked someone in *my* network for a connection into the art world?

Could I maybe possibly get my very own art exhibition?

And, honestly….(quietly to myself)

Geez, what took you so long to come to this realization?  Why do you think you have to do *everything* for yourself?

So later that night, I made not just a list, but a map of all my resources (people, money, other assets, knowledge, formal and informal groups) and I connected these resources to my photography goals. From that map I identified two people who were connected either directly or indirectly to my local art scene and then I did something radical –

I asked them for their help making the connections necessary to have an exhibition.

First and most importantly, not only did these resource people agree to help me, they did so with enthusiasm and kindness.  And, as a result of me asking for help, I not only have one, but TWO secured solo exhibitions in 2019 and a third group show in the works.

Here’s what a dream realized looks like:

Swizerland fine art photography

In the coming weeks I’ll be showcasing some of the images that will be featured in my first exhibition as well as other special items available exclusively through my show and online store.  You can check in with me here, on Facebook and on Instagram where I will also be sharing behind the scenes pictures from the installation and from the gatherings I will have throughout the four months of my show. As always, you can shop my online store or let me know if you would like a custom order.  I look forward to sharing more good news with you in the near future. In the spirit of adventure and connection, Kate.

Malta Family Adventure in Valletta and Paradise Bay – Switzerland Family and Travel Photographer

Last time I promised you a trip to Malta’s National Museum of Archaeology to view just some of the treasures discovered in the ancient temples of Malta.  I was particularly interested in the findings from the Tarxien Temples as we planned to visit there the following day. Conveniently located in the car-free district of Valletta, the museum is easy to find and access.  It’s difficult to describe the wonder and fascination I felt at seeing these ancient relics, some as old as 3600 BC. These symbols have inspired me for decades, since seeing the documentary film Goddess Remembered nearly 30 years ago. I was not disappointed in the least and especially loved being so close to the relics and seeing the enlarged photos of when and where they were discovered.  The spiral theme is ever-present as are representations of the female form (some with interchangeable heads!) as well as a timeline which illustrates the age of the temples compared to other ancient wonders such as the pyramids and Stonehenge. Malta has a long and complicated history with many different cultures laid one on top of the other. In addition to the gorgeous temple artifacts, I was especially amazed to see up close an example of the first written alphabet attributed to the Phoenicians.  Not surprisingly, when I lived in the US I was fascinated with old Europe’s history.  Now that I live in Europe, I have become fascinated by ancient history.  I feel a completion of sorts having been to the museum and the temples – which I will share in my next post.  I realize that one of the reasons I’m a photographer is that my images speak louder than my words, but I hope this post has inspired you.  Perhaps there is a place you’ve dreamed of going; a place that inspired you and that you feel passionately about.  It’s my sincere hope that at some point you get there.  As I recently found out – it’s worth the wait.

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Malta Family Adventure in St. Paul’s Bay and Valletta – Switzerland Travel Photographer

I can honestly say I’ve been dreaming of going to Malta for almost 30 years. Long ago, I watched a documentary about the historical sites on this lovely island and became fascinated with the universal themes present in the ancient temples there.  This tiny Mediterranean island is home to the oldest structures on earth – older than Stonehenge or the pyramids.  In a previous post I explained my interest in history and Malta doesn’t disappoint in that arena.  I will cover some of what has been found in Malta in future posts, so stay tuned.  Today’s post will focus on something I always try to establish when we travel – our home base. In a small country like Malta, location isn’t that critical since transportation by bus and car are relatively simple and everything is close at hand.  It’s easy to find good restaurants, nightlife, shopping and beaches everywhere.  Because of this, we shopped for accommodations by price and ended up in the St. Paul’s Bay area. Even in October, Malta was warm and alive with tourists and services were in full swing.  The sea was warm and we fully enjoyed our beach excursions and getting to know our homebase for the week.

Malta travel photographer

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The second day we ventured into the capital city of Valletta. Our main mission was to visit the Archeological Museum of Malta, which I will feature in my next post.  In addition to the museum, we walked through the car-free zone of the city center and visited both the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens. If parts of Valletta look familiar to you Game of Thrones fans, it’s because several sites on the island have been used as locations since Season One of that series.  I had fun looking at this website to compare some of the locations we visited with how they looked during specific GOT scenes.  During World War II, Malta was a British colony and a critical strategic center for the Allies. Malta was also used as a rehabilitation center for wounded soldiers and itself endured a two year long battle. There are enough war memorials and commemorative monuments and artworks to organize an entire trip around.

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Joan - This reminded me of the walled city of Cartegna Columbia in South America and the buildings are so classical and and the kids are so lucky to see so much of this world and have a personal history lesson from their momma!

Kate - Thank you Joan. I only wish we could go to Malta together. xxoo

Fall Family Photos in Switzerland – Adventure at the Mont Blanc

OK, so the Mont Blanc is really in France, but this gorgeous mountain provides some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery from the Swiss side of Lake Geneva and is a constant source of inspiration for me. Soaring to over 4,000 meters, it is the highest mountain peak in the alps and the second most visited place in France (after Paris, of course). There are many, many adventures to go on in this region but, since we were only there for one day, we chose to take the train to the Mer de Glace / Sea of Ice. The train transports you to a viewing station directly above the end of the glacier.  Originally the train tracks ended with the glacier at your feet, but now you have to board a telecabin which descends about half way to the glacier.  To get to the glacier and the gorgeous ice cave – yes, you go inside the glacier! – you then walk down 500 more steps.  Additional steps have to be added each year as the glacier continues to melt.  Previous levels of the glacier are marked along the way, demonstrating the real life impact of climate change.  In the last three years alone, the glacier has diminished significantly.  If you are a bit of a science geek like me, you might like this website and accompanying short film comparing the glacier in 1909 to what it was last year.

For this quick trip, we stayed at the Hotel Eden, a lovely small hotel that has recently been completely modernized and transformed by a wonderful young couple.  The set up is very family friendly and the decor, service and food are all outstanding, as are the views of the Mont Blanc!  We walked a bit along the river close to Chamonix and spent part of the next morning in Chamonix itself.  Having these little tastes of this region only serve to entice me to go back again and again.  I am all set to explore several alpine lakes in this region in the next few weeks – I think they will be the perfect setting for another epic family photo session.  If you’d like me to join you on YOUR next family adventure and record your memories in photos, contact me at kate@katecphotography.com or by filling out the contact form in the main menu.  In the spirit of adventure, Kate.

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I am an Historian – Switzerland Family Photographer

switzerland family adventure

I am a curious person by nature.  Especially about people – what motivates them, how they change and evolve and the stories they tell.  This is probably what motivated me to pursue a bachelors degree in Psychology and later a masters degree in Social Work.  Over time I have found several tools that have helped me follow my natural curiosity into knowing more about myself and my own motivations and strengths.  Along the way I have found the Myers-Briggs inventory (I like this version) and the Enneagram to be particularly helpful, as well as the Strengths Finder.

Strengths Finder is based on the philosophy that the work of evolving as a person should be focused on finding one’s strengths and maximizing them versus overcoming weaknesses.  This in itself is revolutionary if you think about it in contrast to the western ideal of overcoming the odds to success, the heroic underdog and other similar themes.  The Strengths Finder inventory is based on a series of questions that results in the identification of your top five strengths out of a possible 34.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that one of my top five strengths is that of Context, which means I value history.  Specifically, “people who are especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.” And of course, this is why I am drawn to and value photography so much. As a child I remember pouring over old family photos and sharing stories with my siblings and parents.  I have continued this tradition with my own kids by taking lots and lots of photos (of course) but also printing them, hanging them on our walls, framing them for my kids’ personal spaces and making many, many photo albums and scrapbooks.  This is something I bring to my client work as well.  I can relate to you wanting to preserve your memories in photos.  I also value the record of my family history in time.  I hear you that you want, maybe even NEED to remember what your life was like when you look back at this moment 20 years in the future.  So, whether it’s the everyday episodes of home life, an adventure further afield in Switzerland or nearby France or a longer adventure abroad, let me help you remember this time.  Let me be your family historian.  Contact me soon to schedule your family session – xxoo Kate.

Malta Family Adventure in St. Paul’s Bay and Valletta – Switzerland Travel Photographer » Kate Cuénoud Photography - […] to the oldest structures on earth – older than Stonehenge or the pyramids.  In a previous post I explained my interest in history and Malta doesn’t disappoint in that arena.  I will cover […]