Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 221 - Describe a photograph that you remember well

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a photograph that you remember well.

You should say:

  •   when it was taken
  •   who took it
  •   what is in the photograph

and explain why you remember this photograph so well.

Model Answer 1:
I want to talk to you about a favourite photograph of mine. I’ll explain when and where it was taken, and why it is important and memorable to me.

The photograph is quite old now. I took it myself using what would now be thought of as an old-fashioned camera with traditional film. I can’t remember exactly what year it was, but it was probably around 2007. The photograph is of my uncle and aunt with their daughter, my niece. My uncle was born in the UK but ended up working in America, eventually taking American citizenship. I didn’t get to see him very often. Unfortunately, just before this photo was taken, my uncle found out he was very ill, so I travelled out to America to visit him and his family, knowing that I might not get the chance to see him again.

Because it was my first time in America, they took me out and about to see the sights. The photograph was taken on the day we went to New York. It was pouring with rain, and really blustery. In the picture, my uncle and aunt are both holding black umbrellas, and the one my uncle is hanging onto has turned inside out in the wind. My niece, who was probably in her late teens then, is standing between them, and they are all laughing because the torrential rain had thoroughly drenched everyone. In the background is a yellow cab, and the streets are awash with water. It ought to have been a miserable day, but we had to see the funny side because the atrocious weather was so extreme, and it was madness for us to pick such a day to go exploring in the city!

I really like the photo because in it everyone looks happy and relaxed. Although the photo was a bit posed – they knew I was photographing them, the weather was so appalling it has a spontaneous feel to it, my relatives were reacting to the rain rather than to me, the photographer. It was also incredibly lucky that the photo came out so well. In the days before digital cameras, you would just take one snapshot of an occasion and hope for the best. This is a brilliant photo, it’s flattering everyone, and captures each individual animated and amused by the elements.

I have very few photos of my uncle, but I keep this one of him with his family on display in my flat. It reminds me of a really happy time and is how I want to remember him too. Looking at the photo makes me smile rather than feel sad – he looks so joyful with his family - and what better way to celebrate someone’s life than to remember them with affection, laughter and celebration long after they have gone? This photograph is special, as it enables me to do that every day!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris |  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


Sample Answer 2:
I don’t really like to take any pictures unless there is a very valid reason to do so. In fact, I don’t really have a good photogenic face to make me feel that good about my pictures. But, luckily, I did take a few pictures in the past that I remember well, and today I would like to talk about one of them.

The picture, I am talking about, was taken about almost 20 years ago when I still was a child. The picture captured a rare moment of me and my grandfather when my grandfather had come to visit me after a long time. By the way, I and my grandfather used to enjoy a very special relationship. In fact, as long as grandfather was with me, I would ride with him on his motorbike. He also bought all sorts of goodies to see me happy. But all that suddenly stopped when my parents had to leave my grandfather’s place for professional reasons.

I still remember that day when I cried and tried to convince my father not to leave my grandfather’s place, but all my efforts went in vain as my parents planned to start a new life at a new place. Of course, I was assured by my grandfather that he would visit me on a regular basis, and he kept his promise by visiting me only a few weeks after we had left my grandfather’s place. Anyway, in that picture, I am seen to be running towards my grandfather while my grandfather extending his two hands in a very emotional manner to hug me. In the background of the picture, a maple tree could also be seen while my parents were standing in front of the tree with their smiley faces.

Anyway, I remember this photograph so well because it captured a very special moment for all those people who were very special in my life. I remember this picture also because I could be seen in my natural state without any artificial expression on my face. All in all, I am glad that the picture was taken and I still have it.


Sample Answer 3:
With the arrival of modern digital cameras and smartphones, taking photos and preserving them has become easier, and people take more photos nowadays than they did in the past. In our house, we have many photo albums with different photos of our family members including me. Among all the photographs, my favourite photograph is the one that depicts my father in his early childhood. This photograph was taken at least 45 years ago.

As I have heard from my grandmother, this picture was taken by a professional photographer who came from a distant town on the occasion of my father’s 7th birthday. In the photograph, my father was wearing a full-sleeve shirt, short pant and a pair of shoes and looked very happy. He was sitting in a wooden chair with a bright smile on his face. The chair was a bit larger for his size, and the background depicts a beautiful garden with lots of flowers. The picture also shows a few birds that were chirping on the trees nearby and a dog that uninvitedly entered the frame and looked at the camera just when it was flashed! This is a black-and-white photograph and the photo was retouched by a professional photo editor a few years ago to save it from getting damaged.

This is a very important and memorable photograph to me as it depicts a time and event that I would have never known to exist in any other way. This is the only photograph of my father from his childhood and it gives me ideas about how he was at that moment. I revere this photograph and somehow it reminds me of the similarities that I have with my father.


Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card would enable you to talk about the following Cue Cards as well:

  1. Describe something valuable you have kept very carefully.
  2. Describe a family photograph you like.
  3. Describe your favourite photograph.
  4. Describe a photograph from your childhood.
  5. Describe a photograph with your friends.
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