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a day in the life of

Geneva as seen by Samuel Zeller

Hello! My name is Samuel Zeller. I have been a freelance photographer for a few years now, self-taught with a background as a graphic designer. I was born and have lived in Geneva for 28 years. My parents, both artists, have strongly influenced my life, add to that a pinch of Swiss style graphics and you can understand where the frequent millimetre-shaped construction of my images comes from. For me, photography is above all a passion and a way to open up to the world. I often travel but I always come back to this beautiful city on the shores of Lake Geneva. I would like to show you some aspects of Geneva that I particularly appreciate.

Samuel Zeller - Website

Easter Baths, Musical Day Break
samuel-zeller-Easter Baths-geneva


Out of bed at sunrise, I head to the lake. It's a quarter to six. I walk along the harbour, cross the small bridge and find myself at the Bains des Pâquis. There, like every year, the partygoers and early risers meet in the wee hours of the morning. This is the thirteenth edition of Les Aubes Musicales: forty-two concerts at the break of dawn. Under the orange glow of the rising sun, intrepid people bathe with swans. The band plays a series of songs, the guitar sound resonates off the water and little by little, the city awakens.

Conservatory and Geneva's Botanical Garden
samuel zeller botanical garden geneva


I continue my walk along the docks. The view is superb. I cross the road and find myself in another universe, a real oasis of greenery with wind chimes playing percussion in harmony. Between the greenhouses of hundreds of trees and plant species, a few joggers are training. It is one of my favourite places in Geneva, a haven of peace. The greenhouse in the background is particularly important to me, I photographed it from every angle for my first photo album, Botanical.

Rue du Vuache
samuel zeller rue vuache geneva


I just had breakfast at Quartier. Out of nostalgia, I go by Rue du Vuache, where I did my first year of art school. In the corner of the ceramics workshop, I see a figure in the window: a model used for observational drawing, or perhaps a sculpture that a student has recently finished. The "cathedral" glass, the same as the one used in one of the greenhouses in the botanical garden, transforms the scene into a small painting.

Old Town, St Peter's Cathedral
samuel zeller St Peter Cathedral geneve


I walk through the old town by foot, as usual. The streets here are full of history. Whether in the mid-summer or in the mid-winter, this part of the city always has something to offer: a street scene, an atmosphere. Along the cathedral I walk past this tree, it's always slightly different but each time it has the same effect on me. I feel like I'm standing in front of a painting.

samuel zeller mamco geneva


While descending from the old town, I cross the Bastions park then the Plainpalais flea market. I stumble upon a courtyard, at the bottom of the railway tracks, remnants of an industrial past. Metal plates on the floor echo under my feet. I enter the MAMCO, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. As with every new exhibition, I like to walk around with my camera on my shoulder, looking for different angles to view the art.

Junction point
samuel zeller junction point


I end my day peacefully, by the water. Where the Arve joins the Rhône. The city had wooden pontoons installed a few years ago, a friend manages a bar there. It is one of the many pleasures that Geneva has to offer, swimming in a blue-green water at 21°C for a great part of the summer. In a few days I will be leaving for another destination but I will always keep a smile on my face as I know that I will be happy to return to my city.

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