IELTS A Photograph In Your Room That Like: Below are the sample answers of the topic photographs. Learn how to describe your favorite photo in Part 2 and study how to discuss your opinions about photography and art in Part 3. Get ideas on this post and aim for band 9.0 in your IELTS Speaking exam!













Describe a photograph in your room that you like

You should say:

  • What it is
  • Where it was taken
  • How you got it
  • And explain why you like it




A N S W E R 



My room is not spacious and I’m the kind of person who finds beauty in minimalism, so I only have a couple of photographs displayed in my room as I avoid overcrowding it with many kinds of photos. One of them and which I must say my ultimate favorite is a portrait of my father when he was only a teenager. 



Spacious [adj.] – having ample space; roomy

Minimalism [noun] – a style in which a small number of very simple things are used 

A couple of [idiom] – two things; a few things

Overcrowd [verb] – overfill; overflowing

Ultimate [adj.] – best

Portrait [noun] – a painting, drawing, or photograph that only depicts the face, head and shoulders





i.) FIRST PARAGRAPH: Introduction – The speaker started his monologue by describing his room first and talked about not having so many photos in it. Right after that, he then gave his answer to what was being asked from the cue card – he introduced the portrait of his father. If you can make an interesting introduction and avoid using, “I would like to talk about…”, then go for it. It’s a great way to show off your English language skills to the examiner. 



My mom gave it to me when I turned thirteen many years ago as one of her birthday presents. In that photo, my dad looked so handsome in his dominance smile, which I think is one of the reasons why my mom fell in love with him during their high school days. My dad wore his neat and tidy school uniform when he was taken that photograph. My mom told me that the photo was taken for their yearbook. Their teacher gave them a copy of their photographs before publishing their yearbook. 



Turn [verb] – become

Dominance smile [expression] – a kind of smile that shows superiority

Neat and tidy [idiom] – clean and organized

Yearbook [noun] – a book containing photographs of senior class in school and the details of the school activities in the previous year




ii.) SECOND PARAGRAPH: On this part, the speaker described the portrait clearly and substantially which answered the key points on the cue card. Notice how the speaker provided the description of the photograph. The last part of it was a preparation for transitioning the story to giving more supplemental details to the next part of his monologue. 


According to my mom, they exchanged their photos with each other and each of them kept it in their wallet as a sign of keeping and treasuring their love. That was so sweet when I heard the story of dad’s photograph. He must be a loving and sweet man! Actually, I don’t have so many memories of my dad since he died young serving our country. 


As what I learned from my mom, he was sent to a remote area in our country together with his troops and fought against the enemies of the state but unfortunately became one of the servicemen who drew their last breath. I was only one and a half years old when he left us, although, I don’t have memories with him, I still am very proud of him for what he did to our country and I’m forever grateful for the life he had given me. So, this portrait of my father is for me the best gift in the world and the best photograph of all the photos I have kept as it has a sentimental value to me – this is more than special that I truly hold dear.




Exchange [verb] – giving something and receiving something in return

Treasure [verb] – keep carefully

Remote [adj.] – distant; far off

Troops [noun] – soldier; armed forces

Servicemen [noun] – men serving in the armed forces

Draw (one’s) last breath [idiom] – to die

Grateful [adj.] – thankful

Sentimental value [noun] – the worth of an object deriving from personal or emotional associations 

Hold dear [phrase] – to feel that something or someone is very important for you





iii.) THIRD PARAGRAPH: On this part, the speaker provided supplemental details of the portrait by talking about the story behind the photo. This is a kind of technique to use to extend the story a bit more. Adding a new element of the story for the purpose of extending it. If you notice, the speaker on this part was talking about the love of his parents which is still a connection to that portrait – coherence was still maintained. 


iv.) FOURTH PARAGRAPH: On this part, the speaker continued to provide supplemental details to the story behind the photo and then would give the examiner an idea on why that portrait was his favorite. The speaker ended his story by stating his reason why he liked that photo which is the answer to the last key point on the cue card asking him for an explanation as to why he liked it.




PART 3 – Photography and





What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking photos using a smartphone?

Well, there are several advantages of smartphone photography such as convenience – that every time you come across some spectacular views or a passing wonderful moment, you can immediately take your smartphone out and start capturing those views hastily before they are gone. Also, smartphones are small and light in which you can easily place them in your pocket and being always ready to take amazing photos. In addition, photos taken by smartphones can be shared instantly on social media than those taken from standard cameras.


However, I see one major disadvantage of that kind of photography and it is more on technicality. Smartphone cameras lack professionalism in a way that you do not have control of the camera such as the aperture, the depth of field, and lighting. Besides, most of them do not have the optical zoom feature, instead they only have digital zoom which gives you low quality photos. Although, smartphone cameras are handy, I still believe that standard cameras are way better. 




Several [determiner] – more than two but not many

Come across [phrasal verb] – meet or find by chance

Spectacular [adj.] – striking; beautiful

Passing [adj.] – going past; very quick

Capture [verb] – take; record

Aperture [noun] – a hole or an opening which light travels

Depth of field [expression] – the distance between the nearest and farthest objects that are in acceptably sharp focus in an image

Optical zoom [expression] – a zoom feature in which it allows you to see the far objects very clearly

Digital zoom [expression] – this is also called as false zoom which means the opposite of the optical zoom; this feature only enlarges the image area at the center of the frame and trims away the outside edges of the picture

Handy [adj.] – convenient; useful 

Way better [expression] – another way to say a lot better; far better





i.) FIRST PARAGRAPH: The speaker was very sure of his answer by stating that there were several advantages of smartphone photography. And because he used the expression ‘several’, he mentioned three good points of taking pictures with the use of smartphones and explained each of them thoroughly. Always remember when you say ‘several’, you have to mention at least three points not two. 

ii.) SECOND PARAGRAPH: Although the examiner asked him ‘disadvantages’, still he only gave one and stated that he only saw one major drawback of smartphone photography. That’s totally fine, as long as you tell the examiner that you couldn’t find any other disadvantages. The speaker focused on talking about the technical aspect of the standard cameras which the smartphone cameras did not have. Notice the vocabulary words he used! Then, he ended his answer with a very good conclusive statement saying that the standard cameras couldn’t be beaten by smartphone cameras despite its popularity. 



Do you think photographers are artists?


In my opinion, only the professional photographers are real artists. This is simply because they do not only capture breathtaking photos but they make sure to depict a story out of their photos that would stir emotions of the viewers. Take for instance, the most famous photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1945, when the war between the US and Japan was ended. Mr. Alfred took a photo of the US sailor who grabbed and kissed a stranger – who was a nurse, in Times Square. The photograph portrayed the celebration of the Americans when it was declared that the war was over. That photograph says a lot that it takes a professional photographer and an artist at heart to capture that amazing photo. 




Breathtaking [adj.] – jaw-dropping; impressive; amazing

Depict [verb] – portray; represent

Stir (emotion) [verb] – makes you feel a strong emotion

Portray [verb] – represent; picture

Says a lot [expression] – to clearly show or express 

At heart [phrase] – in one’s real nature; deep down inside





i.) The speaker presented his opinion that not all photographers were artists, he stated his exemption. Then, he gave a clear explanation as to why only the professional photographers were a true artist for him. In order for him to support his argument, he mentioned one famous photograph taken in 1945 as an example to his argument. This makes his answer credible and well-explained. 



Do you think art should be sold or preserved?


Well, that depends on the discretion of the artist. If his art is his main livelihood, then I believe he has to sell them to people who collect artworks and who know how to give reasonable value to his works.

 However, I also believe that masterpieces from the late artists such as Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, among others should be preserved and kept in the safest place such as the museum because these works of art have historical significance throughout the world and these cannot be replicated. It is just imperative to preserve them by the government instead of selling them to some private individuals, so that everyone will have the chance to see these great masterpieces in person or in reality. 




Discretion [noun] – choice; option

Livelihood [noun] – means of securing the basic needs in life

Masterpiece [noun] – a work of an outstanding artistry

Among others [expression] – used to indicate that there are several things or people other than the ones mentioned but you don’t want to mention them all

Work of art [noun] – products of creative arts like paintings, sculptures, music, poems, etc.

Replicate [verb] – reproduce

In person [phrase] – physically; personally





i.) The speaker explained his answer well by stating the reasons when it was needed to sell the art and when it wasn’t. He stated the obvious about selling the art and gave a thorough explanation as to why a piece of art shouldn’t be sold. He gave specific examples of art that needed to be preserved to support his argument of not selling them. Finally, he ended his answer by saying that the government should preserve those masterpieces for the benefit of everyone. 



Why do you think some artworks like paintings or sculptures are expensive?


(Answer 1)

I want to be straightforward, I really do not have any idea why some pieces of artworks are valued expensively. I cannot fathom the idea that some abstract arts are worth millions of dollars. Honestly, I asked myself and wondered one time about the bases of art collectors and artists for valuing an abstract painting or sculpture for such a tremendous price. I could not get it! So, with that question, I cannot come up with a reasonable answer at all.


(Answer 2)


Actually, I read an article about why some artworks cost a fortune and I learned that it is because of the consensus of the people behind the art industry. What I mean by that is, if a prominent art curator says something worthwhile to a particular painting or sculpture, then that piece of art has a significant value.


Also, if the artist has done several exhibitions in museums, it means he has a good reputation as an artist and when influential collectors buy his works, then those pieces of art are valued immensely. Although, that makes sense to me, I still believe that the value of a piece of art is very subjective. 




Straightforward [adj.] – honest and frank

Fathom [verb] – understand; comprehend after much thought

Abstract art [noun] – a kind of art that does not represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality

Bases [noun] [plural of basis] – the underlying support of an idea

Tremendous [adj.] – very great in amount

Come up [phrasal verb] – arise

At all [phrase] – in any way

Artworks [noun] – paintings; drawings; or other artistic works

Cost a fortune [idiom] – to cost a lot of money 

Consensus [noun] – agreement

Art curator [noun] – a content expert who is in charge with the institution’s collections and heavily involved in giving interpretation of a particular heritage material

Immensely [adv.] – to a great extent; extremely

Subjective [adj.] – personal





i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker was very honest saying that he didn’t have any idea at all. However, for him to still use language and to avoid dead air in his delivery, he extended his answer by talking about an abstract art as his illustration of confusion on why some of those pieces of art were pricey. He sounded very natural by being honest. Now, do not force yourself to make up a reason if you have no idea, pressuring yourself to think of one greatly affects your fluency and coherence. Remember that the examiner is not concerned about your ideas but he is checking your ability to use the English language to communicate effectively. 


ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker answered the question by sharing what he learned from a certain article. He talked about the main reason and gave some specific examples to support his argument. Then, he ended his answer by injecting his opinion that valuing a piece of art is not objective at all. Well, reading some articles with various topics is very helpful when you are preparing to take an IELTS exam, as it gives you an idea, just like what the speaker did in his answer. Because he read something about art from an article, he was able to express his answer very smoothly and substantially. Reading surely pays off!


If you haven’t checked the topic of PHOTOGRAPHY in IELTS SPEAKING PART 1 please check this link


Also earn how to answer the RECENT IELTS SPEAKING PART 1 TOPIC about THE COUNTRYSIDE on this link 



And that’s all about IELTS A Photograph In Your Room That You Like recent topic! Now that you have some good ideas on how to develop your answer, think of one photograph that you have at home and find some good descriptive words to use when describing it. Good luck! You can surely ace your exam!


Do you have any questions and comments? Please leave them below.



Photo Source

Meanings of Words and Phrases Sources: 1, 2


Best of luck to your exam! Be Natural! Breathe Confidence!


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