Fred Chartrand

Fred Chartrand’s image of an autistic boy appeared in the now-defunct Ottawa Journal in the early 1970s, accompanied by an article aimed at raising awareness of a disorder that was little known back then.
As the reporter talked with the boy’s mother, Fred was struck by how this handsome young lad looked very normal although there was a sense of something different about him … something Fred had not been able to convey in any of the images he’d taken during the interview. Feeling frustrated with himself as he left the house, Fred looked back from the walkway. The boy had climbed up on the front windowsill to gaze outside, and this was the photo Fred took, with the leafless maple tree as a reflected backdrop.
“At that time, like many others, I didn’t know much about autism. I was very affected by the family’s story and by this image, which finally captured what I had come to know in my first encounter with autism,” says Fred. “And it made me aware to never stop looking. Some forty years later in my career, that lesson is still with me.”

Fred Chartrand retired from The Canadian Press after almost forty years on February 28, 2008. Since then this national award-winning photographer/photojournalist has freelanced for national newspapers, magazines and news agencies. Fred has acted as a visual consultant as well as undertaken several special projects including a tour to Africa and the Northwest Territories with the Governor-General Michaelle Jean, Prime Minster’s tour of Haiti and a personal photo-essay on cancer and community living in Ontario for
the PhotoSensitive group. He has volunteered his photographic services for many events such as Polo for Learning and the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Annual Tom Hanson Hockey for Heart Tournament.
Fred has dedicated his career to capture storytelling and the reporting of international and national events. From elections in Nicaragua, where he shot inside a rebel Contra camp, to being one of the few journalists in Iran during the American hostage crisis and the aborted U.S. rescue mission, Fred has earned his place in Canadian photojournalism history. This national newspaper award-winning photographer has been a fixture on Parliament Hill, across the country and around the world as the senior photographer for The Canadian Press covering the Gulf War, Olympic Games, G8 Leaders Summits, Commonwealth Summits, Francophonie Summits, dozens of federal and provincial election campaigns and the terms of seven  Prime Ministers.