Photo booth images offer the instantaneous satisfaction of capturing a moment in time, uninhibited, and often very revealing. This image from 1954 of the iconic American couple, Jackie and John Kennedy, divulges an overwhelming sense of happiness. Their faces are brimming with the excitement of their future; they look innocent yet very determined. There is a certain bravura that is displayed here; at this moment, they are unaware of what their lives would be together.
This would have been a time for them where they would discover each other free from the trammels the world would later impose on them. There has never been a family that has been so closely scrutinized by the media; this was a rare moment that would become unique for them, as photographers later would make a record of their every move. Time was stopped in this image, and we are the lucky witnesses to this very private moment.
Jackie possessively holds on, something that she did throughout the marriage. She had her own plan to stand by the future President of the United States, while simultaneously rocketing to stardom as one of the world’s ultimate tastemakers. Jack Kennedy is looking directly into the camera, with a look that would galvanize the nation and the world, unaware of the short life he would have.
What is incredible is, for us, the viewer, to have the privilege of sharing this private and personal moment in a modest photo booth, knowing what is now known of their public and private lives.