2022 with Prime Minister Trudeau

Photos by Adam Scotti

Adam Scotti
12 min readDec 23, 2022
2022 in screen recaps.

This yearly retrospective (2020, 2021) started as a pandemic project. The work of trimming down the photos has turned into a yearly exercise where I get to pick out some favourites, note what I missed and see where I can improve.

Between the last of the lockdowns, an occupation in Ottawa, war in Ukraine, a new normal in a post-COVID world, a historic Papal apology and many other happenings, 2022 was relentless. This was how I saw it.

NB: Zoom in on your browser to make photos bigger, Medium no longer does full page photos — so I am open to suggestions for a new platform in 2023.

Get your flu shot and get your COVID booster, people. Ottawa. 2022/01/04
Back to the Press Theatre after the holidays for virtual briefings. Ottawa. 2022/01/05
They even continued with virtual announcements. Ottawa. 2022/01/21
Long story short, I tested positive for COVID just as the trucker protest in Ottawa began. Probably for the best in terms of my own safety and wellbeing as I was stuck at home. A wild conspiracy theory sparked online and people (including one MP and one MPP) spread a lie that I had staged the confederate and Nazi flags on the hill — at the direction of the Prime Minister no less. Anyone who believes this crap has never tried ordering a printer or changing the temperature in a government office. What followed was a series of death threats to myself and my family, continued online harassment and more wild conspiracy theories about me that don’t need repeating. Ottawa. 2022/01/30
The House of Commons continued to have COVID protocols in place until the end of the sitting session later in the year. Ottawa. 2022/02/07
Ottawa. 2022/02/11
Ottawa. 2022/02/14
Emergencies Act statement review. Ottawa. 2022/02/14
Prime Minister Trudeau takes a moment between meetings on the day the Emergencies Act is invoked to deal with the blockades in Ottawa and across the country. He knew then that the decision would also trigger a public inquiry. Ottawa. 2022/02/14
Ottawa. 2022/02/14
PM Trudeau speaks with staff from his home office, while keeping tabs on the dispersal of protestors in downtown Ottawa. Ottawa. 2022/02/18
There was an inflatable hot tub here a few days prior. Ottawa. 2022/02/21
I was the staffer who explained the Wordle craze, and now we are Wordle people. Ottawa. 2022/02/24
Yes, he does find it funny to see the absurd positions photographers contort themselves into for a unique angle. Ottawa. 2022/02/25
PMJT speaks with President Zelenskyy by phone. The war was about a week old. Ottawa. 2022/03/02
I always take advantage of a good beam of light shining through a window. London. 2022/03/07
Visiting troops in Latvia. 2022/03/08
We document the politicians, but we also look for details to give our story more context. Latvia. 2022/03/08
I apologize to whoever set up a nice camera shot only to have me focus more on the behind the scenes aspect of it all. Berlin. 2022/03/09
Berlin. 2022/03/09
Meeting Ukrainian refugees and their families in Warsaw. 2022/03/10
Warsaw. 2022/03/10
This is my second home when we do international trips. It is a sort of hallway connecting the front and the back of the plane. The best piece of advice I got on this job was from Dave Chan, Paul Martin’s photographer. He told me to get on the Airbus and make “the benches” mine. We take the backs off the couches so you can have two people to a couch and then two on the floor. Sleep is rare on these trips, so being able to lay down and get a few more hours is a blessing. RCAF01 Airbus. Warsaw to Ottawa. Warsaw. 2022/03/11
President Zelenskyy addresses Canada’s House of Commons — the crossfade of Zelenskyy appearing on screen mixed with an image of parliamentarians was luck but worked out beautifully. Ottawa. 2022/03/15
I will always opt for the unpolished photos from big events. Brussels. 2022/03/23
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland wears a blue suit with a yellow button, a nod to her Ukrainian heritage, as she tables the budget in the House of Commons. Ottawa. 2022/04/07
Sometimes people miss school to come meet PMJT. Hopefully their teachers are forgiving.. Victoria. 2022/07/11
Cambridge. 2022/04/20
A rare break during a cabinet meeting as ministers had to go vote in the House of Commons. Ottawa. 2022/05/05

Ukraine and back in 52hrs

Both the office and my family had been talking about the eventual possibility of visiting Ukraine with PMJT. I got a phone call a few days prior and started getting ready. We received briefings ahead of the trip, and many others along the way.

Security was a main concern, so we kept a tight circle of those who actually knew where we were going. I told my wife and that was it.

Turns out she was less concerned about me going to Ukraine for a day than she was about me walking through the blockades in Ottawa during the convoy protest.

A quick and secretive trip meant no big departure and no travelling media. Ottawa. 2022/05/07
We took a different variant of the RCAF Airbus plane, so this is where briefings took place on the trip over to Poland. RCAF01 Airbus. Ottawa to Poland. 2022/05/07
Poland. 2022/05/08
From plane to cars to trains in Poland. 2022/05/08
Overnight train. Poland. 2022/05/08
When sun was up, we could open our blinds and look out to see Ukraine. 2022/05/08
Minus the sandbags and concrete shelters, Kyiv was trying its best to be normal. I’d travelled here several times before the war began, mainly on personal trips, and looking around you could almost forget that a war was raging. Ukraine. 2022/05/08
40 minutes outside of Kyiv was a different story altogether. Irpin. 2022/05/08
Irpin, Ukraine. 2022/05/08
Irpin, Ukraine. 2022/05/08
Kyiv, Ukraine. 2022/05/08
Bono and the Edge showing up was one of the more random things I’ve witnessed in this job. Kyiv, Ukraine. 2022/05/08
We had left a contingent of our team in Poland. Seeing them on the plane was the first time we had been able to update the team about the trip and debrief. RCAF01 Airbus. Poland to Ottawa. 2022/05/09
It was weird to be home so soon after such a trip. Ottawa. 2022/05/09
Xavier gets taller each time I see him and I asked if he had surpassed his dad yet. We took bets as to when it would happen. PMJT thought he had until the end of the year… I won with my September prediction. Ottawa. 2022/05/12
Then-Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla visited St. John’s on his last visit to Canada as Prince of Wales. St John’s. 2022/05/17
RCAF01 Challenger. St John’s to Ottawa. 2022/05/17
Ottawa. 2022/05/18
Masks could make meeting people a challenge. “Who is this?” she asked. Everyone had a laugh when she finally realised who was saying hello. Ottawa. 2022/05/18
Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc. 2022/05/23
Vancouver. 2022/05/24
PMJT speaks with senior advisor Ben Chin about convoy related protestors intimidating attendees at a Liberal Party fundraiser in Surrey. The decision was made to postpone the event for everyone’s safety. Surrey. 2022/05/24
PMJT as seen through Chilean President Boric’s trademark glasses. Ottawa. 2022/06/06
Ottawa. 2022/06/06
Los Angeles, California. 2022/06/09
More stanchions in Los Angeles, California. 2022/06/09
Nothing on an international trip would be possible without the staff in our protocol office. They are an amazing team who support every facet of the trip — big or small. Los Angeles, California. 2022/06/09
One of the few perks for a toddler whose father is on the road for weeks at a time? Airplane visits before takeoff. Ottawa. 2022/06/21. Photo by LCol. Eric Willrich
Prime Minister’s Office staffer Nathalie Gahimbare celebrates her birthday during a team dinner in Kigali. Originally from Burundi, Nathalie was overcome with emotion thinking how lucky she was as an immigrant to Canada to be celebrating her birthday so close to her other home with the Prime Minister of her new home. Kigali, Rwanda. 2022/06/22
Kigali Genocide Memorial and Museum. Kigali, Rwanda. 2022/06/23
Munich, Germany. 2022/06/26
This seemed like a very German sign to me ahead of the G7 meeting in Elmau, Germany. 2022/06/26
What the other side of a bilateral meeting looks like as seen through a window. Elmau, Germany. 2022/06/26
Photographer to the French President, Soazig le Prévost de la Moissonnière is the best there ever has been of official photographers. I am lucky to call her a friend, a mentor and at times a therapist. The highlight of any summit or trip is a quick hug hello or more often than not, spending hours waiting for the next event alongside her as we talk about the ins and outs of our lives. Elmau, Germany. 2022/06/26
British Prime Minister #1 of 2022. Elmau, Germany. 2022/06/26
PMJT and Latvian Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks adjust the lights before a signing ceremony at the NATO summit. Madrid, Spain. 2022/06/29
Canada Day. Ottawa. 2022/07/01
PMJT dances with Papa Bains during an anniversary celebration for former minister Navdeep Bains and his wife Bram. Milton. 2022/07/09
Calgary Stampede. Calgary. 2022/07/10
It is always special to be back in PMJT’s riding in Montreal. It is where I first got to know him and the team way back in 2011. Montreal. 2022/07/11
We also love to see some of the old photos people keep from his previous visits to their shops. Montreal. 2022/07/11
Others show up with photos of Trudeau senior. Bowen Island. 2022/07/19
Halifax. 2022/07/20

Papal visit 2022

Pope Francis visited Canada for a penitential pilgrimage to apologise for the Church’s role in residential schools. The system saw tens of thousands of children separated from their families to attend schools meant to rob them of their culture and heritage. Many abuses happened at these schools and many children never returned home.

Edmonton. 2022/07/24
Pope Francis passes by the site of a former residential school in Maskwacis First Nation. 2022/07/25
Maskwacis First Nation. 2022/07/25
Si Pih Ko sings in Cree to the tune of O Canada. It was one of the most moving and heartbreaking moments I have ever seen. Maskwacis First Nation. 2022/07/25
Maskwacis First Nation. 2022/07/25
Maskwacis First Nation. 2022/07/25
PMJT practices on a guitar in assistant Philip Proulx’s office. No comment on the haircut. Ottawa. 2022/07/26
Montreal. 2022/08/22
Leaders don’t really get a chance to get out of the bubble when abroad. PMJT was more than happy to show his city off to Chancellor Scholz. Montreal. 2022/08/22
One of the more unique signs we have come across. Cambridge Bay. 2022/08/25

Her Majesty the Queen

PMJT and staff woke up on September 8th to news that members of the Royal Family were rushing to the Queen’s side. As we awaited news, we carried on our morning with briefings before the final day of a cabinet retreat in Vancouver. And then I ran into National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas, who had a look on her face and pointed me to PMJT’s briefing room. At that point, it was clear to me what she was here to tell the room. With one nod to the Clerk of the Privy Council, Janice Charette informed the room of the Queen’s passing. I knew the impact this would have on the PM and asked everyone to clear the room.

After a short time, PMJT and the team began drafting a message to Canadians to be broadcast live once the news was made public.

I have a photo of the month of September’s schedule sitting on the table — a schedule that was then thrown out and completely redrafted as all of our days would focus on the next steps. Cabinet would need to meet in Ottawa to proclaim the accession of the sovereign, statements made in the House of Commons, and eventually a trip to London for the funeral.

Vancouver. 2022/09/08
Chief of staff Katie Telford lost the backing to her earring and it provided a brief but welcomed distraction for a few minutes. Vancouver. 2022/09/08
The PM drafted this statement by hand. Vancouver. 2022/09/08
White Spot is always a must for PMJT whenever we are on the West Coast. Vancouver. 2022/09/08
Katie Telford’s essentials. Honestly she can live without most of it, except the hot sauce. Always have hot sauce at the ready. Vancouver. 2022/09/08
A special meeting of the Cabinet at Rideau Hall to recognize King Charles III as Canada’s new monarch. Ottawa. 2022/09/10
British Prime Minister #2 of 2022. London, United Kingdom. 2022/09/18
One current and four former Canadian Prime Ministers in one photo is a rare occurence. London, United Kingdom. 2022/09/18
Bet you didn’t notice these cleverly painted photo hides blending in at Westminster Abbey. London, United Kingdom. 2022/09/18
London, United Kingdom. 2022/09/18
Prince William, Prince Harry, King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward follow the Queen’s casket out of Westminter one last time. London, United Kingdom. 2022/09/18
Briefing before a media availability at the United Nations. New York, NY. 2022/09/21
PMJT fixes Minister LeBlanc’s hair. Minister LeBlanc used to babysit PMJT and his brothers way back when. Ottawa. 2022/09/26
Hurricane Fiona devastated parts of the Atlantic Provinces. Port Aux Basques was one of the hardest hit. 2022/09/28
Amy Osmond looks through debris for any belongings and pieces of sentimental value. Port Aux Basques. 2022/09/28
Port Aux Basques. 2022/09/28
Drawings like this by our advance team are a very big help to understand where we are going and what we are about to do. Hamilton. 2022/10/13
MP Arif Virani and Gianluca Cairo jokingly asked PMJT to help them not look so short… Toronto. 2022/10/12
Katie is a big fan of the cookies from PMJT’s lunch boxes. Ottawa. 2022/10/19
Surrey. 2022/10/20
PM Assistant James Armbruster keeps an eye on a meeting in PMJT’s office. Ottawa. 2022/10/27
PMJT and Sophie attended a protest in Ottawa in solidarity with the Iranian people after the death of Mahsa Amini. Ottawa. 2022/10/29
PMJT meets with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh during a regular check in as part of an ongoing agreement to support the minority government until 2025. Ottawa. 2022/11/01
PMJT embraces Minister O’Regan after a cabinet meeting. Ottawa. 2022/11/03
Fredericton. 2022/11/08
Run #1112 : CBC journalist Tom Parry started running each day after the 2019 election and has not missed a day since — even if it means running laps in an airport during a fuel stop. Anchorage, Alaska. 2022/11/11
PMJT meets with three survivors at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Out of 20,000 prisoners, only 12 are known to have survived. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 2022/11/13
RCAF01 Airbus Cambodia to Indonesia. 2022/11/14
Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/14
Summits can be chaotic. Thankfully PMJT has learned to just roll with some of unpredictability. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/14
Staff look at some shirts provided by the host country to PMJT ahead of a G20 meeting. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/14
British Prime Minister #3 of 2022. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/14
The days were long and hot. Minister Joly and staff caught up with PMJT before the evening events. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/15
Access at summits can be a bit tricky and I found myself stuck in a hallway but I could see the leaders at a distance as they mingled before a meeting. What was an unfortunate spot for myself eventually proved useful as I was able to get different images of PMJT speaking with other leaders. A rarity for me, this photo ended up making the news back home, including a few front pages in national newspapers. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/15
Once the leaders moved to the next meeting, I tried shooting a few portraits as they walked past. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/15
G7 leaders meet on the sidelines of the G20 to discuss an evolving situation in Ukraine. Missiles had killed two in neighbouring Poland, potentially triggering a serious escalation. The White House was organizing the event so they gave priority to their media pool with the official photographers at the back of the line to get in. By the time I got in, they were already ushering us out. I was able to get a few quick photos of the meeting but preferred this view of staff asking everyone to leave. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/16
Of all the things we collect along the way from our trips, PMJT is very fond of the pins given to each leader at the different summits. Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/16
Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/16
Bali, Indonesia. 2022/11/16
This is a photo of the great Lawrence Jackson, a White House photographer covering the Vice President. Lawrence is a phenomenal photographer and an absolute gem of a human. Bangkok, Thailand. 2022/11/18
Bangkok, Thailand. 2022/11/18
Bangkok, Thailand. 2022/11/18
Officials react after taking a photo with PMJT. Bangkok, Thailand. 2022/11/18
RCAF01 Airbus from Thailand to Tunisia (with a fuel stop in Dubai). 2022/11/19
Summits are also a game of access passes. Sometimes a delegation gets multiple passes or tickets to a photo position, other times we only get one. In this instance, we sent our video person to record the arrival making this my view of events. This is a team sport and you try make it work no matter what. Djerba, Tunisia. 2022/11/19
PMJT fixes a place marker stuck to his shoe before a family photo at the Francophonie Summit. Djerba, Tunisia. 2022/11/19
Djerba, Tunisia. 2022/11/19
Part two of the Emergencies Act was a commission looking into its use. Here PMJT is back of house during a break in proceedings on the day he made his appearance. Ottawa. 2022/11/25
Another trip we were sworn to secrecy on: Canada’s Drag Race – Canada Vs. The World! I’m a longtime fan of the show, and PMJT has overheard me talking about it for years. I ended up helping brief him on the world of RuPaul and her queens. I hoped he would reference their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, but the press team voted me down on that one. It was a fun day for those of us who are fans of the show, but even more meaningful when we paused to think about PMJT being the first world leader to be on Drag Race. If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Airdate 2022/11/25
PMJT pays his respects to victims of a mass stabbing incident in James Smith Cree Nation. 2022/11/28
Ottawa. 2022/11/30
Emma presents PMJT with a gift after an early Hanukkah celebration in Ottawa. 2022/12/05
This is David. He was one of the first RCMP bodyguards we worked with on the 2015 campaign. It is always great to run into him and catch up. Inevitably, as soon as the boss sees who I am talking to, he rushes over to say hello. Montreal. 2022/12/06
Chief of Protocol Stewart Wheeler gets out of the way of a photo during the diplomatic corps reception with the Prime Minister. Ottawa. 2022/12/08
Ottawa. 2022/12/09
Hadrien popped into the office for a bit and his dad took him on a quick tour of West Block, including stopping by to see Trudeau Sr.’s portrait. Ottawa. 2022/12/09
I am really running out of ways to cover virtual events. Ottawa. 2022/12/10
PMJT speaks with Ben Carr during a phone call informing PMJT of the passing of Ben’s dad, former Minister and MP Jim Carr. Ottawa. 2022/12/10
December means two things in our world: year-end media interviews and holiday parties. Here the PM sits down with journalists from the Canadian Press in Ottawa. 2022/12/10
What do holiday parties mean for us? Usually 600+ photos with guests at any given event. It is a long night but very much appreciated by those who get to meet and speak with PMJT. I am absolutely destroyed by the end of it, not to mention the daunting thought of editing all the photos the next day. PMJT? He thrives on it and was full of energy afterwards, dancing his way back home. Ottawa. 2022/12/14
After a second night of a back to back holiday parties, we ended with a staff gathering at a local tavern. Ottawa. 2022/12/15
PMJT hugs Ben Carr prior to Jim Carr’s memorial service in Winnipeg. 2022/12/17

Side projects

Often times I am either editing or trying to catch up on some sleep, so taking more photos is not exactly at the top of my list. I am forcing myself to document more of the in between moments of the job with little projects like these below.

Often the most we ever see of a city is out of our hotel or conference centre’s windows.
Ukrainian photographer Mikhail Palinchak worked for former Ukrainian President Poroshenko and did a great series on the behind the scenes of summits. I think of him often at the summits wondering “what would Mikhail do?” — so this is my nod to a fantastic photographer who you should be following on Instagram as he continues to documents life in Ukraine.
James Armbruster joined the office as one of PMJT’s executive assistants. As the second one, I prefer to call him the PMEAEA. He does a lot of sitting but also puts up with a lot of my bad jokes – we probably spend more time with each other than we do at our own respective homes, so that is a lot of bad dad jokes.
He even wore one of my vintage Mickey holiday sweaters!

Nerd stuff – Storage and archiving

Due to storage constraints, I do two rounds of deleting images as I narrow down what to edit and archive. One on my camera, second on the computer.

In all, I’ve filed around 24,000 photos — meaning I have personally captured, edited and captioned each one.

Adobe Lightroom is both my editing and archiving system.

We maintain folders for each one of the MPs and Ministers in our government, as well as specific folders for staff (PCO, Senior Staff and PMO), Security (RCMP/Canadian Forces, Parliament) and support staff.

Raw and jpegs are stored on both LaCie Rugged drives that I shelve once filled, and then multiple RAID units in different locations. It is not a backup if you only have one copy.

(Evergreen side note: please never accuse a photographer of not sharing photos. What a horrible business model that would be. Always ask the organizers to share, they have received them!).

Nerd stuff – Gear

My regular equipment is as follows: 2 Sony a9ii, 1 Sony a7Riv, Sony 16–35 f2.8, Sony 24–70 f2.8, Sony 70–200 f2.8.

The a9’s ability to shoot silently has been a game changer enabling me to capture even more candid moments. It is shocking how loud mechanical shutters now seem to me. Two memory card slots are essential because we live in fear of something messing up. Raw files to one card, lower res jpegs to the second.

Thank yous

In my immediate office, I work alongside photographer Alex Tétreault and videographer Akshay Grover.

Our social media wizards are Riley Lange and Gabe Helfant (a McGill Tribune veteran like myself).

On a day-to-day basis, I work closest with the PM’s assistants, Phil Proulx and James Armbruster, and Katie Telford’s assistants, Sarah Jackson and Katie Poirier — two Katies in the same office does get confusing.

Katie Telford, Chief of Staff, and Cameron Ahmad, Director of Communications, are my direct bosses. Thankfully they are very supportive of my work and give me a lot of room to do my own thing.

The Prime Minister’s office feels like a small family with many moving parts. Advance, planning, scheduling, communications, issues management — I pester everyone with questions so I can stay on top of what is going on and what is on the horizon. Thank you all for putting up with me.

Finally, cheers to PMJT for a great 11 years.


Official photogs at the G7 in Elmau, Germany.