24 Apr 2018

James Nokise: the complex world of political photo ops

10:28 am on 24 April 2018

Opinion - With all the talk last week of royal visits, and opinions on the place of our First Man, it seems that we're suddenly unsure as a country what political press photos are all about. Thankfully my years of looking at photos and pondering can help interpret even the most subtle of messages being put across.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) meet at the Elysee Palace in Paris on April 16, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHARLES PLATIAU

Photo: AFP

Here's the Kiwi delegation keeping an eye on French President Emmanuel Macron, while he and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern look at Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters unexpectedly greeting everyone in perfect French. The man at the back is making a note "Winston knows French".

Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel with a kiwi soft toy.

Photo: Supplied

Here's the Prime Minister passing on the 18th soft toy kiwi she's received since announcing her pregnancy.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla.

Photo: Supplied / Pool

This was the moment the Prime Minister joked about New Zealand becoming a republic and then they all realised it was going to happen. First Man Clarke Gayford, as always, went to his happy place out at sea, even as the Duchess of Cornwall went to her happy place, being Queen.

British Prime Minister Theresa May with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Photo: AFP

This is the face you make when Theresa May says "you remind me of a younger me".

Former NZ PM Sir John Key and Malcolm Turnbull after Sir John was made an Honorary Companion in the Order of Australia today.

Photo: Twitter / @RtHon_JohnKey

A throwback now to Sir John Key of Australia with always surprised to be Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Former US President Barack Obama and former NZ Prime Minister John Key played a round of golf in Northland.

Photo: Facebook: Air New Zealand

And here's Air New Zealand Ambassador Barack Obama with short term employer John Key (it's a 90 day trial).

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (L) hold a joint press conference in Sydney on February 19, 2016.

Photo: AFP

Prime Minister Turnbull is remarking how similar the Kiwi and Aussie flags look while then Prime Minister Key swears in his mind.

Jenny Shipley with Bill Clinton at the APEC state dinner in 1999.

Photo: Supplied

And here we have 90's President Bill Clinton, remembering to keep his hands to himself while Prime Minister Jenny Shipley cocks her knee (just in case), and a possibly young Andrew Little waits with alcohol.

US President Barack Obama (R) and wife Michelle Obama (L) greet New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Bill English to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit dinner on November 12, 2011 in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty/AFP

Back in 2011 President Obama and First Lady Michelle filled Bill English with so much hope that he briefly became his idealistic late 20's self...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the-then s Prime Minister Bill English in Berlin in  January last year.

Photo: AFP

..but six years later, only the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with her ability to keep things alive that should be dead, helped our Bill make it to retirement.

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his wife Akie Abe take part in a dinner at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Photo: AFP

This is the moment US President Donald Trump realised he wasn't in Korea.

*James Nokise is a comedian, theatre-maker and political commentator.