Federal election 2019: The defining moments in pictures

THEY are the defining moments that can change a nation's direction for years to come.

The tears of Bill Shorten as he talks about his late mother, the image of a Prime Minister who has invited media into his church for the first time.

They say a picture is worth a thousands words and nowhere does that ring truer than on the election campaign.

Just one simple photo can take their political campaign to new heights, while an unsavoury shot has the potential to destroy their political career altogether.

Whether they have been carefully planned by the politician's media team or not, the photos taken along the election campaign hold a weight unlike any other photo.

Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (left) and Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek (right) are seen reading to children at the Goodstart Early Learning Nollamara in Perth, Monday, April 29, 2019.
Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (left) and Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek (right) are seen reading to children at the Goodstart Early Learning Nollamara in Perth, Monday, April 29, 2019. DARREN ENGLAND

Photojournalists create the images we, as audiences, rely on to cut to the heart of an issue in a powerful, compelling and instantaneous way.

Tasked with capturing everything from press conferences to ribbon cuttings, political photographers have seen it all.

A carefully-constructed shot of a political leader can portray them as the family man, the 'everyday Australian' who enjoys a beer at the footy on the weekend or the Good Samaritan who lends his time to worthy causes.

A shot of Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, handing out Easter eggs to sick children at Westmead Hospital, or an image of Bill Shorten with his wife, Chloe, who has become somewhat of a feminist icon, can leave a lasting impression with voters.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny on Easter Sunday at the Horizon Church in Sutherland. Picture Gary Ramage
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny on Easter Sunday at the Horizon Church in Sutherland. Picture Gary Ramage

Last month, on Easter Sunday, the Prime Minister invited the media into his Pentecostal church for the first time.

Pictured singing and clapping along with the rest of the congregation, the images were met with public backlash on social media, with some labelling the Prime Minister's decision to allow cameras inside as inappropriate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves church with his daughter. Picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves church with his daughter. Picture: Gary Ramage



That same day, opposition leader Bill Shorten was photographed leaving an Easter Sunday service in Brisbane's inner west with his wife and young family in tow, coverage that was met without the criticism of his political opponent.

While there are numerous factors that play a role in an election, the impact of photography on the outcome of the election is often overlooked.

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Scott Morrison shake hands before the third Leaders Debate at the National Press Club in Canberra. Picture: AAP
Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Scott Morrison shake hands before the third Leaders Debate at the National Press Club in Canberra. Picture: AAP



In the United States, presidential candidates employ a presidential photographer to follow them on their campaign and document their journey to (and in) the White House. For over five decades, presidential photographers have covered the many momentous occasions in the lives of each president who has served in the White House.

Simply put, visuals carry a more powerful impact than words on a page for many people.

Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP image
Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP image



Visual communication research has shown that images, especially of political candidates, convey emotions, actions, realism and credibility which form a lasting impression in the minds of voters.

It's a big part of why media is so important during a campaign.

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