Kate and Keith
how we met
It’s a dispute over when Keith and I actually met. Keith ran an educational social group in Southern NH for photographers and I attended my first gathering at Bensons Park. I’m fairly certain Keith never noticed me as he was busy with a fan club following him around. When we actually began to talk escapes our memories but both being in other relationships there was never a thought of a future. We began a professional relationship attending photography events together, and starting a new smaller group with breakfast conversations.
One morning at the Purple Finch in Bedford NH we were stood up. As the only ones to attend the breakfast meet up our conversation drifted to personal realizing we were newly single. I invited him to a weekend photo retreat I had organized in Acadia National Park and he instantly accepted. Over the course of that autumn weekend in the beauty of a red, orange and yellow canopy of Acadia we began our friendship which soon turned into a merging of our photography businesses and a romantic relationship which spanned a distance as I moved to Hawaii for 6 months.
We joke that we are partners in business and in bed, and Keith told me from the very beginning with whispers in my ear, “One day I’m going to ask you to marry me.” That was two and a half years ago.
how he asked
Keith and I started an account of “adventure selfies” on IG @kateandkeith. To understand what an adventure selfie is, you probably need to have a little back story. Both of us are professional photographers with a love for travel and anything outdoors. Our job take us to some awesome places in some very unexpected circumstances, like flying an airplane over Hope, Alaska and snorkeling with wedding clients in Aruba. What better way to share our adventures than to take selfies mid-adventure. So Keith holds his iPhone in selfie mode while I engage in our adventure of the week in the background.
On Sunday, August 14th the story changed a little! I had just returned to our family home in Maine from a job in Seattle and Keith from Florida. My brother and his family were visiting from their home in Hawaii. We had rolled in late the previous night and after a big family breakfast I was feeling the jet lag and sleep deprivation. I promised myself it would be a quick nap before our planned hike, but after laying down my body just didn’t want to get back up and I told Keith I wasn’t going to make it.
He didn’t pressure me, but rather kissed me gently and asked me if there was anything he could do. Then my mom came in and announced that it would “mean so much to me if we could take one last family hike.” Yes, this was her well honed Jewish mama guilt trip, and it always works. So I slogged my way downstairs and into the car feeling less than stellar.
The hike seemed much longer than normal as I struggled with dizziness, but we all made it to the summit with a gorgeous view of Somes Sound and Maine’s quintessential foggy horizon. I began taking pictures of my Hawaii ohana sitting on the rocks when Keith suggested we do a family adventure selfie. But this time, he said wouldn’t it be cool if I was the one holding the iPhone! I passionately opposed saying, “But that’s not how we do it!” Lacking my usual fight, I gave in and took my position. I was so focused on making sure everyone was in the frame that I completely forgot to smile, instead squinting from the bright sun, and totally oblivious to what was happening behind me.
I turned around and saw Keith standing in front of my family with a white box in his hands and I’m pretty sure the world stopped! Tears instantly began as he asked me to marry him. I was almost too overwhelmed to remember to say yes! If he had told me “I’m going to ask you to marry me in front of your family” I would’ve thought that a crazy idea. But as my dad came over to embrace us both, then my youngest nephew, and brother I couldn’t imagine the moment being more perfect.
Anyone who knows me understands that those 6 people are the most important to me in the world, and if you aren’t in with them, you’re not in at all. Keith seems to get this more than anyone, and love them himself in a way I couldn’t have imagined. He not only sat down with both my parents back in April to ask for their blessing but also called my brother. Feeling their palpable joy made mine exponentially greater.
What made this moment even greater (if that was possible) was the presence of a dear friend and amazing photographer, Haley, who had driven on island just in time to scamper up the mountain and hide behind a cluster of trees waiting for the moment. Her ability to capture such an amazingly special event was the icing on the cake and allows me to relive the moment over and over. Now on to planning an adventurous wedding!