Valentine's Day Anniversary | 4 Years

Four years ago Nick and I sat on a bench next to the bean in the freezing cold Chicago February weather and he asked me to be his girlfriend. We were 17 and 18 at the time, I had just had my first interview for admission into The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to study photography, and we had both been taking the train from our repsective suburbs every Thursday to meet in the middle and see each other. Today - yes, Valentine's day - is our four year anniversary, and I think it's always fun to look our ourselves when we were younger to remember how long of a road it's been to get here. :) I've seen Nick graduate high school, graduate college now (cause he had to beat me to it, that smarty pants), and now beginning his career as an audio engineer.

We've traveled to Paris (twice), Amsterdam, Madrid, California, and Washington, D.C., taken road trips to Detroit, Wisconsin, and Indiana, and Nick has shown me how beautiful the world is and how to appreciate new places and experiences with someone you love. He's shown me the joy in cooking and has been patient when I wasn't always so good at it, he laughs at all my bad puns and I laugh at his, and he'll watch romantic comedies with me and not make fun of how I always end up crying. We've come a long way from the first time I met Nick when he was an awkward and adorable 17 year old who was too scared of me to respond when I tried to make conversation. Now, he's my best friend, my favorite comedian, and my biggest inspiration when it comes to photographing other couples love, following my dreams as an entrepreneur, and using my art to empower others.

Whether or not your'e spending Valentine's Day with someone else, I hope that it is filled with loved ones and lots of sweets like mine has been. Remember, love isn't reserved for couples - show yourself some care today if you need it. There's plenty of chocolate to go around. ;)

Katharine Hannah

Chicago, IL

Katharine’s work has graced the walls of institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harold Washington Library of Chicago, and local galleries such as Dreambox Gallery, Siragus Gallery and Blick Art Materials. She has also been featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, Phlearn, Fstoppers, Tigress Magazine for Girls, Bitchtopia, and Golden Boy Press.

In addition to photography, Katharine has been a mentor and educator in the arts since 2013. She has worked with students in various organizations and projects over the last two years, including Hive Chicago’s PROjectUS initiative and Digital Youth Network’s Digital Diva’s and Chicago City of Learning programs.