Carisse self-portrait which accompanied The Ottawa Citizen article “A Portrait of Influence – Contemporary photographers still see the flash of Karsh’s brilliance”, December 20, 2008.
Award winning photographer and author, Jean-Marc Carisse, was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. He's a recent recipient of LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA SCHOLAR AWARD 2022. Carisse has captured, through his lens, political, cultural & social scenes in Ottawa and worldwide for over the past 50 years.
He was official photographer for the Office of the Prime Minister for many years, having served prime ministers Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chrétien, as well as freelancing for political leaders Mulroney, Clark, Graham, Dion, Ignatieff and Justin Trudeau. He has also photographed consecutive Prime Ministers from Pierre Trudeau to Justin Trudeau, US Presidents from Ford to Biden and a large number of world leaders. Many of his photographs have appeared on the covers and pages of biographical and autobiographical books (including his own coffee table book "Privileged Access w/ Trudeau, Turner & Chrétien" (Warwick 2000), magazines including Time, Paris Match and Maclean's, as well as TV documentaries and biographies. Carisse also captured many performers, comedians, singers, artists, actors, icons and heroes, on stage and off, formally and informally. These include Nelson Mandela, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Princess Diana, Pope JP II, Queen Elizabeth, Al Pacino, Rudolf Nureyev, Tom Waits, Fidel Castro, Leonard Cohen, Yousuf Karsh, the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa, to name a few.
He earned a BA from the University of Ottawa, with a concentration in Visual Arts. The Preservation Centre of Library and Archives Canada holds approximately 400,000 negatives taken and authored by him.
His photo exhibit "My Trudeau Years" in 2002 and 2003 at Library and Archives Canada, which had been extended twice by popular demand, reflected his professional relationship with Pierre Elliott Trudeau and their mutual respect . In the summer of 2000, weeks before his passing, Trudeau met with him and agreed to be photographed once more on his last day at Heenan Blaikie law office in Montreal, personally choosing his poses. It was their last meeting and sitting. He passed away weeks later. Carisse photographed the Trudeau State Funeral, reflecting that it was one of the most moving events he’s ever attended in his career.
Jean-Marc Carisse with:
Yousuf Karsh - photo Carisse collection c. 1982
J. Chrétien, J. Turner & P.E. Trudeau - photo F. Charbonneau 1994
Stevie Wonder, 1986
Paul Anka, photo Ernesto Distefano / George Pimentel Photo 2013
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, 1994
G8 Offical Photographers (France, Canada, Germany, Italy & USA, 1998
In San Francisco, 1968
Son, Marc and Wife, Patricia, in Havana, Cuba. Vernissage "On the World Stage", 2005
Patricia Carisse, 2005
Presentation to Rich Little, as Mayor Larry O'Brien and Gord Atkinson look on, 2007
US President Bill Clinton greets Carisse at the White House - Official White House photo: Barbara Kinney, 1997
Expo '67, 1967
Brigitte Bardot (CP Photo, Fred Chartrand)
P.M. Pierre Trudeau, 1970's
G7 Official Photogs, Germany, USA, France, Italy, Canada, UK, Japan, 1995
16. Gilles Villeneuve, racing champion, circa 1980
17. Malak Karsh, 2000
18. Eartha Kitt, 2007
19. Rudolf Nureyev & Celia Franca
20. Robbie Robertson 2011
21. Léo Carisse & Alberte Carisse (my/mes parents)
22. Pyramids, Egypte 2000
23. Gov. Gen. Julie Payette 2018
24. Lutz Luhman & Thor Moxness (1985 - 2014)
25. President Nelson Mandela, 1998
26. Fats Domino, 1987
27. Stratton Stevens, Justin Trudeau, JMCarisse, Mtl. 2004
28. JM & Marc Carisse ...circa 1996
29. Fidel Castro...1998
30. JMC, Volkswagen, Los Angeles, Calif. 1968
Chrétien Turner JMC Trudeau
Stevie Wonder JMC
JMC Paul Anka
JMC Selfie / EXPO 1967
Brigitte Bardot JMC
U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton JMC
France Canada Germany Italy USA
PM Jean Chrétien JMC
JMC San Francisco 1968
JMC L. Obrien Rich Little G. Atkinson
Germany USA France Italy Canada UK Japan
JMC Marc Patricia
JMC PM P.E. Trudeau
- G8 Photogs - JMC
16. JMC Gilles Villeneuve
17. JMC Malak Karsh
I 18. JMC Eartha Kitt
20 JMC Robbie Robertson
JMC Rudolf Nureyev Celia Franca
Léo Carisse Alberte Carisse
mon père / my father
ma mère / my mother
JMC G.G. Julie Payette
laStratton Stevens Justin Trudeau JMCssic Title
JMC (son / fils) Marc
Fidel Castro JMC
Following his employment in PMO, exhibits of his works were held in Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Havana, Cuba, as well as giving lectures on occasions. Special assignments for him over the years included shadowing Chuck Berry, Mother Teresa, President GW Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Barbara Ann Scott-King. Carisse now works as a freelance photographer.
He is listed as one of the University of Ottawa's Notable Alumni. In the fall of 2015, Jean-Marc was also featured in the University of Ottawa's online magazine Tabaret. You can read the full article by clicking on the language of your choice - English or French.
As well, the KARSH website, www.karsh.org uses two of Carisse's photographs. The first is that of President Mandela looking at Karsh's Churchill portrait, and the second is Karsh sharing a laugh with Queen Elizabeth at Canada House in London, UK.