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Project 365 Week 46 – Switzerland Adventure Photographer

I admit that the first couple of years living in Europe I enjoyed not celebrating Thanksgiving.  I’ve never been fond of Thanksgiving food and we usually found ourselves alone without extended family around. This year feels different, though.  It’s probably because I have become quite homesick for the US recently.  This is pretty complicated for me to explain, because I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that is causing these feelings.  It’s likely a combination of not liking living in Switzerland as much as I hoped, missing the few friends who have kept in touch with me and realizing that I will most likely not live again on the same continent as my oldest daughter, who is studying in the US.  We are also tentatively planning our first family trip back to the US in 2018 and I am beginning to allow myself to think about what I want to do when I’m there, which adds to the anticipation, excitement and nostalgia.  So to all of you celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so very grateful for so many things in my life – my family, my health, my camera, the natural beauty that surrounds me every day, and the gift of people who appreciate the art that I put out into the world and show their support. Thank you for going on this Project 365 journey with me this year. xxoo Kate.

Switzerland family photographer

woollykindknits - Thinking of you today with so much gratitude. Missing you tons and hoping that 2018 brings us together again. Hugs and love to you all!

Kate - Love you and miss you!

Switzerland Adventure Photographer – 2017 Project 365 Week 45

I’m kind of tired of talking about my process with this project, so I will instead talk about something more cheerful – the holiday season!  I am pretty excited to see that people are following my work and ordering canvases and prints of my images for their homes and offices. Actually, this is a bit of a dream come true and something I’ve been working toward for a long time.  I take photos because I am truly inspired and something is speaking to me that I *must* respond to and translate into an artform. To think that these images are hanging in a format where people can see and appreciate them and *maybe* even fall in love with them and to think that this is happening around the world right now humbles me to no end.  For someone like me who fails even in my daily life to express my thoughts in words, expressing how touched and proud I am is beyond my capacity.  I am encouraged.  I am inspired.  I am grateful.  I am so, so grateful.

Which brings me back to the holidays!  Until the end of 2017, I am offering 20% off of any print or canvas size 8×10 or larger from any nature or travel image included in my Instagram portfolio!  All you need to do is sign up for my very un-spammy newsletter (just over there —->), pick the images that you want and send me an email with your order – kate at katecphotography dot com!

Until next time – enjoy your week!  xxoo Kate.

Vaud family photographer

Family Adventure in Italy – Switzerland Family Adventure Photographer

Last month, after surviving the ordeal of moving house in Switzerland, I became desperate for a vacation during my kids’ school holidays.  Unfortunately, due to lack of planning and lack of funds (both due to previously mentioned move of house), we found ourselves without a destination or reservation just three days before we wanted to leave. What we did have was a strong desire to get out of town and the knowledge and resources of a fantastic group of international moms on whom I constantly rely for information and support. With gratitude to this amazing Facebook group for a long list of ideas, my hubs and I hunkered down with our laptops that night, but found flights too expensive and only two hotels with available rooms within driving distance to a warm location.  We gambled on the less expensive hotel, booked our room and off we drove to sunny Italy, after a scramble to find all our swimming and summer things still packed in moving boxes.

Our first stop was the St. Bernard Pass connecting the Swiss and Italian borders.  Traveling up and over the pass was a new experience for me as my first time to Italy last year we took the tunnel.  I highly recommend the pass – it added only 30 minutes to our trip and allowed us to park and stretch our legs (and use the restroom and take some pictures) in an amazing and geographically interesting location.  There is also a sweet church there and the famous St-Bernard hospice where the dogs are bred and spend the summer.  We were too late in the year getting there to spend time with the dogs, but will plan on doing so on our next trip. St Bernard passOn the far side of the lake in the photo below (in Italy), on the left side is the fantastic Restaurant du Lac, which serves delicious and affordable food April through mid-October.Italian alps

Next time I think we will make the pass itself (and maybe Martigny or Aosta) our destination.  There are plenty of activities and hikes to keep a family busy for an entire day.

After an all-you-can-eat sushi lunch in Aosta, we traveled on to our destination – the beautiful Sestri Levante.  True to form, before we even checked into our hotel, we drove to the water. This rush to the sea has become an important family tradition – the way we begin any beach vacation.

After a tour of the beach on the seaside, we made our way to our hotel, the lovely Hotel Villa Agnesa.  I can’t say enough about this small boutique hotel.  There is a good-sized heated outdoor pool, generous morning buffet serving vegan and gluten-free options, attentive staff and beautiful grounds. The only downside of the hotel were smallish rooms and beds, but we were more than pleased on balance. Villa Agnesa Sestri LevanteSwitzerland family photographerWe headed back downtown to walk and choose a dinner location.  I can really understand why so many Americans dream of going to Italy.  The people are friendly, the food is incredible and offers so many choices beyond pizza and pasta (although those are good too) and the weather doesn’t disappoint.  I love the laid-back vibe, especially as a tonic for Swiss life, which can feel very restricting at times.Italian street cafe at nightitalian street at nightSwitzerland family photographerIn the past when my kids were younger, I avoided making any plans for myself since I was inevitably disappointed when baby/toddler/small child needs took precedence. Now that my younger kids are eight and 12, they can hike a fair distance, stay at the beach all day without napping, and stay up late.  Because of this, I’ve started choosing one activity for myself that I insist upon.  This trip it was hiking the Punta Manara. This hike takes you above Sestri Levante to the ruins of a tower.  On the way you enjoy amazing vistas, cool olive groves and forests and quaint Italian farmsteads.Punta ManaraPunta ManaraPunta Manaraview of Sestri LevanteSestri Levante also has a vibrant Saturday market and a regional architectural proclivity for faux facade painting that is quite interesting. We found the same phenomenon in Cinque Terre, Portofino and Rapallo. Next day, we boarded an early train for the northernmost Cinque Terre village of Monterosso al Mare. Although the Cinque Terre is extremely touristic, I found the two towns we visited to be just busy enough in October to be alive, but not overcrowded. The beaches were nearly deserted, even though my kids and husband reported the water to be approximately the temperature of Lac Leman in July and August. The images speak for themselves in terms of both the natural beauty and the quaint appeal of these towns. After spending some time in Monterosso, we took a boat to Vernazza for just a couple of hours and then took the train back to Monterosso for late afternoon swimming and dinner (and gelato after, of course!). Then we took the train back to Sestri Levante.  One caution when using the train in Italy.  Unlike Swiss rail, our train didn’t have any interior displays of approaching stops nor verbal announcements.  This is fine during the day when you can look out the window and read the name of the station at which you are stopped, but it proved to be difficult at night and we ended up following along with a Google map and counting stops.yellow apartment buildingDreaming of restoring abandoned real estate in Italy – a sure sign that I have fallen in love with a place.  Check out that penthouse rooftop terrace!italian newsstandtrain stationSwitzerland family photographerItaly Cinque TerreThis might be the most special travel photo I’ve every taken!Italy Cinque TerreSwitzerland family photographerVernazza from the boatItalian street sceneItalian street cafeand…back on the train to Monterosso….Italy train stationbeach in ItalySwitzerland family photographerMediterranean Sea sunsetSwitzerland travel photographerItaly beach at nightMore pool time next daycanon 6d double exposureSwitzerland family photographerWe checked out of our hotel happy but sad (as my kids like to say) and headed home by way of Rapallo and Portofino, all the while hearing fantastic stories from my husband about his adventures in this area during his 20s. We stopped for more all you can eat sushi in Rapallo and a walk by the sea.and then headed to Portofino. The drive was gorgeous and Portofino is itself very lovely, but I found it  profoundly overcrowded, especially for the fall and the relaxed vibe of Italy was a bit ruined by the crowds and the jostling of tourists.  We walked a bit and had an ice cream and then headed for home.Switzerland family photographyPortofinoCinque Terrelandscape double exposureSwitzerland family photographerIn spite of our last minute (lack of) planning, I’m so happy we went on this trip and ecstatic to have found Sestri Levante.  We hardly ever go a second time to somewhere we’ve been before, but I have a feeling we’ll return to this lovely little city. I hope you enjoyed my travel journal from Italy.  Ciao!!! xxoo Kate.

        I am now selling prints and canvases of any of my travel, nature and landscape images!  Just pick an image from here or Instagram and send me an email with your choice – kate@katecphotography.com. Although I don’t have a one-click store yet, I promise it will be easy!  Until I am ecommerce-ready, I am offering 20% off any product order for newsletter subscribers.

Just fill out the form at the top of this page and enjoy the savings.

Kate Cuénoud is a family adventure and travel photographer and photo editor based in the Lake Geneva / Lac Leman region of Switzerland.

woollykindknits - A.MAZ.ING! What an incredible adventure – exquisitely captured as always! I feel warmer now. Thank you! xoxo

Tamara - Whoa, those are some AMAZING pictures! Thank you for taking me on an imaginary trip, I needed this today 🙂

Annie - Wow, these are amazing. I really like the pictures outside the aragosta d’oro restaurant. The tunnel image… Oh fantastic!

Joan - I enjoy traveling thru you to these great little towns and seeing what Italy has to offer. Happy for the kids that they have these experiences in them. Thanks for making my day and your descriptive way with words and photos. The color and shading of beautiful content in nature and culture warms my heart. So happy for my girlfriend❣️‍

Hanka - I´ve just added this area to our bucket list. Looks amazing and your photos are pretty awesome! Would you mind if I pinned few of your snaps to Pinterest?

Kate - Hi Hanka! Feel free to pin whatever you like and I appreciate proper credit and tagging. Thank you so much. You will love this place! xxoo Kate.

Hayley - Beautiful location and I love how you document such stunning scenery and family time, bravo!

Into Something Better – Apples, Vaud, Switzerland – November, 2017 » Kate Cuénoud Photography - […] house last month and traveling to Italy caused me to miss the October edition of this global blog circle, and miss it I did!  All month […]

Project 365 Week 43 – Switzerland Family Adventure Photographer

I am going to show Week 42 (also known as Italy Week) in a hot minute, but first here is Week 43 (also known as Finally Getting Closer to End).  Enjoy!

Switzerland travel photographerStanding really, really high above the ground.  Still, it’s all about the shoes, isn’t it?  Annecy, FranceSwitzerland travel photographerAn in-camera double exposure of the mountains with some amazing fall color.  Prangins, SwitzerlandSwitzerland family photographerFinally, some pictures from our new apartment.  Now that we have gone beyond boxes and mattresses on the floor.  She is 12, but still loves her stuffies, dollies and Playmobil.  St-Prex, SwitzerlandSwitzerland travel photographerAutumn in the vineyards is something to behold.  Freelensed.  Perroy, SwitzerlandSwitzerland family photographerWhile sister played soccer, he made six francs washing the car.  And those socks – most photogenic socks ever! Gland, SwitzerlandSwitzerland family photographerAnd his new room.  Can’t officially be moved in somewhere until the skulls are hanging on the wall.  St-Prex, SwitzerlandSwitzerland family photographerView from the new terrace.  Sunset in St-Prex, Switzerland

Kate Cuénoud is a family adventure and travel photographer and photo editor based in the Lake Geneva / Lac Leman region of Switzerland.


Project 365 Month 10 – Switzerland Family Adventure Photographer

It seems every time I post about this project it’s to excuse myself for being late.  Oh, how I love to hate this project!  Seriously, I probably never should have taken it on, but I have loved producing so much work every week and I’m sure at the end I will have all kinds of insights into my process and improvements in my photo making skills.  I am looking forward to looking back (see what I did there?) and reflecting at the END!  I am now in the final quarter of the year, thank the stars above.  I hope you enjoy the images I have published so far this year.  There is much more to come!  If you subscribe to my (very unspammy) newsletter over there ———> I will soon send you a lovely end of year discount on prints and canvases.  Don’t forget, I am still offering a 50% discount on sessions booked before the end of the year for newsletter subscribers. Let’s get something on the books together!  xxoo Kate.

Kate Cuénoud is a family adventure and travel photographer and photo editor based in the Lake Geneva / Lac Leman region of Switzerland.