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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. 



Picture description


Jean-Marc Carisse with:                                            

  1. Yousuf Karsh - photo Carisse collection c. 1982

  2. J. Chrétien, J. Turner & P.E. Trudeau - photo F. Charbonneau 1994

  3. Stevie Wonder, 1986

  4. Paul Anka, photo Ernesto Distefano / George Pimentel Photo 2013

  5. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, 1994

  6. G8 Offical Photographers (France,  Canada, Germany, Italy & USA, 1998

  7. In San Francisco, 1968

  8. Son, Marc and Wife, Patricia, in Havana, Cuba.  Vernissage "On the World Stage", 2005

  9. Patricia Carisse, 2005

  10. Presentation to Rich Little, as Mayor Larry O'Brien and Gord Atkinson look on, 2007

  11. US President Bill Clinton greets Carisse at the White House - Official White House photo: Barbara Kinney, 1997

  12. Expo '67, 1967

  13. Brigitte Bardot (CP Photo,  Fred Chartrand)

  14. P.M. Pierre Trudeau, 1970's 

  15. 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




      JMC                    Karsh


          Chrétien    Turner     JMC      Trudeau

   Stevie Wonder                       JMC      

         JMC        Paul Anka

Carisse, JM, UOttawa Grad 1974.jpg



Carisse JM  circa 1962.jpg
Carisse, Jean-Marc, Vancouver 1968.jpg











                      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

                                             Havana 2005


           JMC                    PM  P.E.  Trudeau 


                  - G8 Photogs -        JMC

   16.          JMC                              Gilles Villeneuve

17.      JMC                           Malak Karsh

Carisse & Eartha Kitt 2007 0510015.jpg

I      18.                   JMC            Eartha Kitt

CarisseJM, Robbie Robertson, ©Jean-Marc_

  20                   JMC     Robbie Robertson 

       JMC                Rudolf Nureyev      Celia Franca  

Carisse, Léo & Alberte, début années 40.

          Léo Carisse                             Alberte Carisse     
   mon père / my father           
ma mère / my mother                                    

Carisse, JM, Pyramids, Egypt.12-4-2000.j

22                                                                        2000

Carisse JM, GG Julie Payette, 2018 1127_


               JMC                             G.G. Julie Payette



Carisse, Stratton Stevens & Justin Trude


laStratton Stevens     Justin Trudeau        JMCssic Title

Carisse, J-M, Lutz Luhmann & Thor Moxnes

  26                                                        1987

Carisse JM & Marc ...undated .jpg

                     JMC   (son / fils) Marc

Castro & Carisse 1998 ©Jean-Marc Carisse


          Fidel Castro                                       JMC                                    

Jean-Marc Carisse, LosAngeles 1968.jpg
Jean-Marc Carisse, LosAngeles 1968.jpg

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, 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.

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