Dr. Simone Blaser and Vincent Houzé had only been dating for two months when a New York Times photographer snapped a photo of them in mid-embrace at Storm King Art Center, an open-air museum in Mountainville, N.Y., that features one of the country’s largest collections of contemporary outdoor sculptures.
Neither can remember what warranted that particular embrace in July 2015. “We hug all the time, so there didn’t have to be a specific reason,” Mr. Houzé said. But the photo reminds them of the start of their relationship after meeting through Tinder.
“I wasn’t sure if we were going to last as a couple,” said Dr. Blaser, 34, a second-year internal medicine resident at N.Y.U., where she rotates at Bellevue Hospital, the Manhattan Veteran’s Affairs Hospital and N.Y.U. Tisch/Kimmel Hospital.
And, that was why she balked when the photographer asked for their last names for the purpose of writing a caption.
“It was just way too early in our relationship to put our names out there like that,” said Dr. Blaser, who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received a medical degree from N.Y.U.
“We were only on like our eighth or ninth date, so I didn’t feel comfortable attaching my name to that photo, and I think Vincent felt the same way.”
Mr. Houzé, a 37-year-old freelance computer programmer and artist who graduated from the High National Engineering School of Mines and received a research masters with honors from ATI (Imaging Arts and Technologies) at Paris 8 University, was indeed of a similar mind-set, and chose not to divulge his name.
“The photo definitely emphasized the cuteness of the couple in it,” said Mr. Houzé, laughing. “But who knows where we were going to go from there.”
Mr. Houzé, who was living in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood at that time, and Dr. Blaser, who lived in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, went on a first date two months earlier, in May, at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan Manhattan.
“We are both art lovers,” Dr. Blaser said. “We both respond in particular to larger scale sculptures and various forms of abstract expressionism.”
The photo was subsequently published in an Arts section review on the artist Lynda Benglis, with the anonymous couple wrapping their arms around each other among Ms. Benglis’s impressive sculptures.
Dr. Blaser said she also enjoyed Mr. Houzé’s personal art work, which she described as “him using a computer program with code as his medium, and creating large-scale immersive and interactive installations.”
Five years later, in May 2020, Dr. Blaser purchased a copy of the photo and gave it to Mr. Houzé as an engagement gift immediately after he proposed to her that month.
On Aug. 15, Dr. Blaser married Mr. Houzé at a private home in Larchmont, N.Y., before Rabbi Lisa Rubin.
“That photo has become a symbol to us in terms of how far we have come as a couple,” Dr. Blaser said. “In that sense, I never get tired of seeing it.”