Interviewer: You've photographed 21 Kennedy weddings. How did this association
parents were involved in politics and they really had a kind of basic handshake
friendship with the Kennedys throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Fast forward to 1979
when Ethel Kennedy
came to Louisiana and at my father's suggestion I took some pictures of her in
town campaigning. While I was there, she was traveling with her daughter, who
had a brand new engagement ring. And I had a chance to chat with her daughter
and I said, my area is really wedding photography. She said: "Well, that's
neat. We haven't hired a photographer and tell me a little about what you do."
So I told her: " I said, to be honest with you, I sort of base my whole photography
on the way I saw your family, the Kennedy family, in Life and in Look
magazine. Spontaneous, on the beach, barefooted! Windblown hair, playing touch
football, not intimidated, nor posing for the camera, just being themselves."
She was taken with that and she goes: " well you have to come up for my wedding
this Summer. I photographed my first wedding for that family on my 25th birthday
on June 14, 1980 and I've done a Kennedy wedding almost every year since.
Interviewer: What is the most famous Kennedy wedding you have photographed?
Denis Reggie: A bittersweet moment is the wedding of John Kennedy,
Jr and his lovely bride Caroline Bessette. He called me a few months before the
wedding and at the time he said only a handful of people knew about it. He asked
me if I could keep a secret? Of course he knew that I would and
I did. I flew down to the wedding in September 1996. They asked me to release
just one picture of the wedding that I thought told the story, only one and it
was to be my choice. There was a special energy about the moment. It's one that
I actually had to take in silhouette because it was a very dark island, no electricity
for miles and there were candlelight's only. I am focusing on her silhouette and
I noticed that John had reached for her hand to bring her hand to his lips and
I thought: " gosh what a wonderful moment". And I'm thinking in slow
motion, although they were moving pretty quickly and I was able to get that one
picture off with my Hasselblad and it was a moment for me that said it all. It's
one that that was later to be used on over a thousand covers of magazines and
newspapers and it was a great honor. Of course it was a bittersweet as well because
of their tragic demise three years later and that moment will always be a happy