Andy Clark

In his almost forty years as a photojournalist, Andy Clark spent about a dozen covering Canadian politics in Ottawa—including the Royal events and celebrations during the 1982 repatriation of the Canadian Constitution from Britain.

The day after the formal signing of the document by Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Andy headed to the airport for the Queen’s departure. “I expected the usual pomp and ceremony—handshakes, smiles and curtsies all round—and the usual, routine photos from such events.” That’s pretty much what happened.

“There wasn’t much left to photograph when the plane moved away for takeoff, but I decided to stay until Trudeau left,” says Andy. He lifted his camera, thinking to catch a couple frames as the prime minister walked to his car with his staff. “At that instant—without warning or missing a beat—Trudeau lifted his arm and performed a pirouette. I squeezed off about three frames, exclaiming to myself: ‘Yesssss!!!!!’

“When covering Pierre Trudeau, you always had to be at the ready with your cameras. He was well known for the unexpected, and on this day, he didn’t disappoint. What began as another routine assignment covering a VIP airport departure suddenly changed, producing this image—one of my all-time favourites.”

Andy Clark began his career with The Canadian Press as a copyboy in 1970. In 1974, he was promoted to photographer and transferred to the Ottawa bureau where he worked for several years until joining the Hamilton Spectator. In the fall of 1978 he joined UPI working in Vancouver and Ottawa until 1985. Andy briefly joined the newly created Reuters Newspictures operation in 1985 before accepting a position as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s official photographer. In 1987, Andy re-joined Reuters and has been based in Brussels, London, Toronto, and now Vancouver. Mr. Clark has traveled extensively throughout the world covering famines, disasters, world summits, sporting events, the first Gulf War, and conflicts in the Balkans.