IELTS Speaking Part 1 Photography: Learn how to answer questions about taking pictures in IELTS Speaking. Get band 9.0 by applying techniques when answering questions. Below are the sample answers on how to express your ideas when talking about photography. 







Do you like taking photos?


(Answer 1)


Yes, I do. I enjoy taking photos of nature such as animals, landscapes, beaches, and the like. In fact, I can’t travel without taking with me my mirror-less camera. My camera is my companion whenever I travel somewhere as it helps me document (to record) my trip through photos.


(Answer 2)


Of course! Who doesn’t love to? I think every one of us enjoys capturing moments from time to time with our camera. Well, most especially these days that we all have smartphones. Our smartphones can take photos very instantly whenever and wherever we are. In fact, I have numerous (very many) photos of my travels stored on my smartphone. 


Do you like taking selfies?


(Answer 1)


No way! I find it awkward taking selfies, especially in public. I feel like I’m so vain if I do it in public spaces. So, if I want to take photos of myself with beautiful scenery as the background, I always ask someone to take a picture of me. 


(Answer 2)


Yes, I do and I think that’s pretty normal these days. In the past, I was awkward or I felt so embarrassed when I took a picture of myself with my smartphone because I felt like people are looking at me. But I realized later on that people don’t really care so that’s when I started to gain confidence in taking selfies. 


What is your favorite family photo?


(Answer 1)


Unfortunately, I don’t have one. I don’t have a family photo since I’m living away from my family. Also, I can’t recall (remember) if we have a family photo at home, as far as I can remember, we don’t have one. I don’t see one in the photo albums that we have at home. I think my parents didn’t care about taking photographs back then.


(Answer 2)


Oh, let me recall our family photos…I believe the photo of our Disneyland trip. That was memorable since it was our first family trip abroad. Our family picture was taken in front of one of the castles in Disneyland with Princess Belle standing next to me. 


Do you want to improve your photography skills?


(Answer 1)


Yes, I really want to because my photos aren’t the best yet. I still have so much to learn about portrait photography and architectural photography. I know it’ll take time but I’m patient enough to develop my photography skills.


(Answer 2)


Yes, absolutely. My way of taking pictures is extremely basic. I want to learn some techniques on how to take photos like a pro. Actually, there are various online courses about photography that I’m already eyeing (contemplating; considering), it’s just that time doesn’t permit it since I’ve been so busy with my work. 



Do you like taking pictures?


(Answer 1)

Yes definitely! Photography is my first love, I can’t imagine my life without taking pictures. In fact, I’ve invested in high-quality cameras such as compact digital cameras with viewfinders because I want to capture perfect shots.


(Answer 2)


Well, who doesn’t want to? Of course, I do! I enjoy taking photos of landscapes with buildings, people, animals, trees, and more. Taking photos is my ultimate stress-reliever.




Definitely [adv.] – without any doubt

First love [expression] – a thing, a place, or an activity of which one is fondest

Invest [verb] – (based on the answer)  to use more money in order to get a better camera 

Compact digital camera [noun] – or Compact system camera; it’s a point-and-shoot camera

Viewfinder [noun] – a device on a camera in which it shows the field of view  of the lens; used for framing and focusing the photo

Capture [verb] – (based on the answer) to record images

Landscape [noun] – scenery; terrain; environment

Ultimate [adj.] – (based on the answer) the only way to relieve stress




i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker gave a positive answer and described what photography was in his life. That’s a very good way to make his answer a bit longer. Also he used some topic vocabulary words (compact digital camera; viewfinder; capture; shots)  in order to get a better mark on the criterion, Lexical Resource. Make sure to add topic vocabulary words in your answer.

ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker answered in a creative way by asking a question instead, then he transitioned to giving a positive answer and talked about what kinds of photos he enjoyed taking. Then he ended his answer by giving a conclusive statement to make his answer concrete. 


When do you take photos?


(Answer 1)


Well every time I travel, I make a habit to take lots of photos in order for me to keep great memories. Also, I enjoy taking photos of people, especially my loved ones during important events such as birthdays, weddings, graduation, and family reunions. 


(Answer 2)


Well, most of the time I take photos when I come across some places with magnificent scenery. I’m a person who loves to be close to nature so it’s expected that my camera is always ready whenever I go hiking. As you know, nature never ceases to amaze us so a camera in my pocket always comes in handy. 



Make a habit [expression] – to begin to do something regularly

Loved ones [noun] – people you love usually members of the family

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

Magnificent [adj.] – striking; very beautiful

Cease [verb] – stop

Amaze [verb] – surprise greatly

Come in handy [phrase] – turn out to be useful




i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker talked about the time when had chances to travel and why he took photos during that time. Also, he added his answer by mentioning some special occasions in his life. The latter helped him extend his answer longer. 

ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker focused his answer on talking about spending his time with nature. He gave the examiner an idea of his personality, which was the reason why he took photos during the time when he was close to nature. The way he ended his answer sounds so natural! A great way to wrap up his answer.



Which do you use when taking photos, a camera or a phone?


(Answer 1)

I usually use the latter because it’s convenient and user-friendly. I don’t need special skill to understand the technicalities when taking photos. I just simply tap the camera application on the phone and click the button to start taking pictures. And that’s a no-brainer! 


(Answer 2)


Well, I always go for a camera, either a digital camera or DSLR because the quality of photos taken by those is incredibly superb. Also, I’m tech-savvy, I enjoy tweaking the functions of the camera that can make my photos look jaw-dropping. I know some smartphone cameras are good but for me, they can’t beat the quality of compact cameras or DSLRs.




Latter [adj.] – later; the second choice (based on the choices)

Tap [verb] – press

No-brainer [noun] – something that requires little effort

Superb [adj.] – excellent

Tech-savvy [adj.] – proficient in the use of modern technology

Tweak [verb] – adjust; modify

Beat [verb] – defeat

Jaw-dropping[adj.] – amazing

Compact camera [noun] – point and shoot camera

DSLR [noun] – digital single-lens reflex;  a camera that combines the optics and mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor




i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker started his answer by using a very good expression ‘the latter’ (the opposite is ‘the former’), this is very useful when you are given two choices. Use this kind of expression instead of mentioning the given choice. It does help you improve your mark in Lexical Resource. He talked about the reason why he liked using phones when taking pictures clearly and ended his answer with a great expression as well. 

ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker chose a camera over phones and explained his reason. He’s able to use some very good topic vocabulary words in his answer that helped him explain his answer in a more spontaneous way. Topic vocabulary words plus collocations can surely help you get a better mark under Lexical Resource, just make sure you really how to use the words or expressions. 



Do you want to take professional lessons in photography? 


(Answer 1)


Well, I don’t need it. Nowadays, almost everything can be learned through the internet. There are plenty of tutorial websites or videos on Youtube teaching people how to use compact cameras or DSLRs the right way. Thanks to the advent of the internet, people do not need to spend money just to acquire knowledge in photography. 

(Answer 2)

Yes, I have a plan to take the course professional photography because I want to know the techniques in photography. I want to understand how to use my camera well in order for me to capture perfect shots. I’m also interested to know the techniques in black and white photography, macro photography, kinetic photography and many more.




(The) advent (of) [noun] – an invention being made

Macro photography [noun]photography producing photographs of small items larger than life-size

Kinetic photography [noun] – an experimental photographic technique in which a photographer uses movement resulting from physics to create an image




i.) ANSWER 1: The speaker gave a direct negative answer and explained how he needed not to learn professionally. He presented a very realistic argument saying everything could be learnt on the internet. He could teach himself without enrolling in a certain course of photography. Realistic answer and spontaneous!

ii.) ANSWER 2: The speaker gave a positive answer and explained his reason as to why he wanted to study photography professionally. Also, he provided some topic vocabulary words of photography. That surely helps him get a good mark in Lexical Resource and at the same time helps him give a good impression to the examiner as he really knows what he’s talking about.


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Learn how to answer the RECENT TOPIC IN IELTS SPEAKING PART 1 about MOVIE STARS on this link



And that’s the latest topic of IELTS Speaking Part 1 Photography! Now that you know some techniques on how to talk about photography, make sure you have confidence in expressing your thoughts. 



Meaning of Words and Phrases Sources: Collins, Macmillan, Cambridge, Oxford

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