Jean-Marc Carisse

As the official photographer in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, Jean-Marc Carisse captured a unique occasion in 1998 during a G8 summit in Birmingham, England.
For their scheduled one-on-one meeting, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien opted to discretely escape closed-in quarters for a fresh-air private walk, albeit without advising anyone. As their many aides and security guards scoured the area for their whereabouts, Jean-Marc spotted them walking in the woods, camouflaged by the leafy surroundings. From his high vantage point, armed with a long zoom lens, he was in perfect position for their anticipated return.
A two-metre stone wall, with no stairs visible nearby, gave them brief pause, but then they started climbing in typical good-natured competition. (Although Prime Minister Chretien, more than twelve years Clinton’s senior, cleanly beat him over the wall.) Two of the most powerful men in the Western World immortalized in a joyful, youthful and very human moment.
Today, fifteen years later, former president Clinton looked trimmer and fitter at the recent 2013 Presidential Inauguration—perhaps a favourable change initially prompted by this photo? And one can be sure that following Clinton’s ‘disappearance’ and this photo’s circulation, some changes were made in the security detail.

Award winning photojournalist Jean-Marc Carisse, www.carisse.org, has covered the political and social scenes in Ottawa and around the world since 1967 including many years in the Office of the Prime Minister and as an independent photographer. The University of Ottawa graduate served and shadowed Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner and Chrétien as the official photographer. He has also photographed consecutive prime ministers from Diefenbaker to Harper; US Presidents from Ford to Obama; and dozens of world leaders. He has also photographed hundreds of entertainers, artists, icons, heroes and dignitaries from Pope John Paul II, Bob Dylan, Madonna and Frank Sinatra to Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Many of his photographs have appeared on the covers and pages of history and political books, including his own Privileged Access w/ Trudeau, Turner & Chrétien (Warwick Publ. 2000) and magazines including Time, Paris Match, Maclean’s and l’Actualité as well as in documentaries and biographies. Several personal photo exhibits followed including My Trudeau Years at Library and Archives Canada and On The World Stage in Havana, Cuba.
His photography numbered approximately 400,000 negatives stored in Library and Archives Canada Preservation Centre. He continues to work as a photojournalist, portrait and event photographer as well as a lecturer in Ottawa.