Kate Cuénoud Photography »

  • Family Adventure Sessions / Fine Art Photography / Photo Editing

    Switzerland / Europe / United States

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….


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


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

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

Kate - So glad you are enjoying them! xxoo

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!

Into Something Better • St-George, Switzerland • May, 2017

I’m thrilled to be part of a new monthly 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.  Those of you who follow me know that I use freelensing a lot.  I love how freelensing creates a dreamlike effect in photos.  In freelensing, the lens is detached from the body of the camera and floated and rotated in front of the sensor to capture slices of focus amidst a background of bokeh, or blur.
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.

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Thank you so much for your support!  Now please head over to Nadia Stone’s blog for more from our collaborative.  xxoo Kate.

Joan Seivert - I am so excited about this. Congratulations for being part of it. How I enjoy watching the kids explore,play,be with one another in such a wholesome and sacred place.
Mary Oliver is such a great poet and you are such a great photographer. Quite the pair. Makes me happy.
The symbolism in the photos is rich. Sending you hugs!

Amanda Voelker - What a wonderful place to be. These images are beautiful and filled with so much love. I love seeing your children interact with one another and the stunning scenery that surrounds them. Man I miss the woods.

Anna - These are gorgeous! Moss, moss and more moss. My favorite!

Beth Urban - Kate, I love every image. Such beautiful colors and I can feel the laughter <3

Lea Jones - when I looked at these first, I thought: wow these look like home, then realised you are in Switzerland. (I am from France). Such a lovely outing, and you captured the kids’ relationship so wonderfully! xo, Léa

Heather Robinson - I just knew I was going to love seeing your images each month. I mean c’mon you are in the forest in Switzerland!! Like a fairly tale. And your kids are so happy.

Joni - These are beautiful. The landscape looks familiar and now I want to revisit Switzerland even more! Love the quiet beauty in these.

Nikki - Our landscapes are so similar Kate! I’m totally at home in your earthy shades, and the spirit of adventure and exploration your children are experiencing. Sometimes you just see an image and evokes memories of home.

Melissa L - Wow, so much eye candy to take in. I’ve never been to Switzerland but it is enchanting. I loved that diptych of the same image in color and black and white, so creative and fun to look at. ALso, the multiple exposures and the incredible very last image….exquisitely beautiful.

Kate - Thank you so much, Melissa! Your comment means a great deal to me. xxoo Kate.

Kate - That is precisely why I love freelensing, Nikki! It has a quality to it outside of time and space. Thank you for your comment. xxoo Kate.

Kate - Thank you so much Joni. I would love to see what you do with the Swiss landscape. xxoo Kate.

Kate - I do often feel as if I’m living in an enchanted place, Heather. Thank you for creating this amazing project and including my work. xxoo Kate.

Kate - Merci, beaucoup Léa!

Kate - Thank you Beth!

Kate - Mine too! Thank you Anna!

Kate - Thank you so much, Amanda. I am thrilled that my images evoke this in you. xxoo Kate.

Kate - Thank you my sweet friend for your support and encouragement! xxoo Kate.

Project 365 week 18

Week 18 is in the bag and with wet and cold weather this week, I had to get pretty creative like I was in January and February because I didn’t get outside much this week. I have learned to just take my camera everywhere and pull over when the sky clears.  I notice that I’ve been taking a lot of shots of the sky, probably because I want to remember these blue and sunny skies when they happen, which is not very often lately!  I also challenged myself to shoot at 1.4 this week in order to work on nailing focus (a never-ending battle for me) and I worked with my 85mm lens a bit too.

I’ve been invited to join a freelensing blog collaborative that includes some fabulous photographers from all over the world.  Our first post will be published in a few weeks and will include only freelensed images of our children in nature.  I can’t think of anything more beautiful (and I hope my kids cooperate!).

Today I will also be notifying the three families who have won a free adventure session with me!  I am so excited to explore this genre of family photography and perhaps develop it further into a business.  Stay tuned for that!  xxoo Kate.

switzerland family photographer

Family Adventure in Provence

We took the long Easter weekend and set out on our longest roadtrip yet in Europe – 4.5 hours to Provence!  Specifically, we ventured to Arles, Nîmes, St-Rémy, and Sts-Maries de la Mer.

The last time my husband went to Arles was on a high school field trip, so he was a pretty good guide. We started our adventure at Le Pont du Gard, a magnificent Roman bridge and aqueduct over the Rhone River.  We actually needed more time there to explore the museum properly, but that’s a great excuse to go back!

We headed into the old town of Arles for dinner, took a look at the Arena and called it a night.  The weather was incredibly cold and windy and the town had just had a long Easter weekend celebration, so there was literally no one around!

The following morning, our adventure began in St-Rémy for the weekly market.  And, of course, my son Rémy thought this was the coolest thing ever!  The market was crowded with people and vendors and lots and lots of things to look at and I was completely uninspired to shoot any images.  I had no way of accessing a high enough vantage point to make any coherent pictures, so I left my camera in my bag and simply enjoyed the day.  We got some great African baskets and some yummy local treats and had a fabulous bistro lunch with amazing music.  I loved the energy of St-Rémy!

That afternoon we headed toward the Camargue – a beautiful area where the river meets the Mediterranean Sea.  The Camargue is really a network of waterways that create a marshy swampland.  But this extraordinary place is home to a collection of amazing wildlife, including flocks of flamingos and the famous white horses of the Camargue.  The weather continued cold and very, very windy, but we managed to get all the way to the beach and enjoyed the town of Sts Maries de la Mer in the late afternoon and evening, after all the tourists had gone.We spent the following day in Nîmes. For me, this small city was the perfect destination.  It reminds me of a little Paris with clean, wide boulevards, tiny narrow side streets and alleys, museums and public art and plenty of history and amazing monuments.  It also has a charming downtown with pedestrian-only streets that include large central squares with plenty of restaurants.  We enjoyed the Arena and the Jardin de la Fountaine with its Temple of Diana and Tour Magne. My dream is to return by train and stay in the city center where you can walk anywhere you please! 

Thank you for coming on another adventure with me!  I would love to go with your family on your next adventure and record it for you in photos!  Have you entered my adventure session giveaway yet?  There’s no time to lost – winners will be announced tomorrow, May 10th!