Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 457 - Describe a good photo someone took for you

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

Describe a good photo someone took for you.

You should say:

  • when and where the photo was taken
  • who took the photo
  • what the photo depicts

and explain why you like this photo.


Model Answer 1:
Thank you for this interesting cue card topic as I do love taking my pictures. Of course, it is a totally different thing that I don’t always take the best pictures, but it, no way, lessens my fun in capturing them. But, the picture of me, which was taken by my sister abut a few years ago, was certainly a very good one.

Again, it happened about a few years ago when my elder sister invited me to visit her just a few months after she had just started her new job at a very prestigious law firm in my country. Since I never really visited that place before, I had no reason to deny her request. Besides, she also told me that she was going to pay for my flight ticket. So, it was like I was getting to eat some great desserts also when all I wanted was some foods.

After getting the invitation from my sister, I arranged to fly the very next weekend as my sister had already told me that she wouldn’t be available any other days to accompany me except only during the weekend. So, I did just what my sister had told me and arrived at her place just in time. We did a lot of fun things together, such as visiting the largest shopping mall there (where she bought a very nice winter jacket for me), eating at some fancy and expensive restaurants, and riding boat at a nice lake. By the way, my sister took a picture of me while I was paddling the boat with all my strength. The picture also shows some birds flying over and very close to my head.

Well, I like this photo, mainly because it captured my face with a very natural expression on it. I like the picture also because it depicted all the elements, including the background landscape, the flying birds and the calming effect of the unfazed water, a bit far away from my boat, in perfect synchronization.


Sample Answer 2:
Generally, I hate having my photo taken! I like the idea in theory, but the reality is often very brutal and disappointing. I think perhaps I’m just not very photogenic, and being faced with the truth of how I look with my rapidly expanding waistline and less than glamorous appearance is not always a pleasant experience. However, just occasionally, very occasionally, someone will come up with a photo of me that is genuinely ‘good’. It might not be quite accurate to say I ‘like’ such a photo, but I can appreciate it! I’m going to tell you all about one of my favourite photos that someone took of me. I’ll explain when and where the photo was taken, who took it, what the photo depicts and why it is I like it so much – even though it isn’t a flattering image at all.

So, the photo was taken just a couple of months ago. It was taken at an event called the Bamford Sheepdog Trials. If you aren’t from a country where sheep are kept, this might not mean anything to you. I’ll try and explain. In the UK, dogs, usually a particular breed called a collie dog, are often used by shepherds to help them herd sheep. They are very well trained to turn in a particular direction, or lie down still, stalk quietly ahead or run on as fast as they can, depending on the particular whistle or verbal command the shepherd gives. Working with a dog in this way is very skilled. In the summer months in rural areas, it’s not uncommon for local agricultural shows to take place where shepherds and their dogs compete to show off their skills. The shepherd commands his dog to herd a small flock of sheep around a course of obstacles in a big field. They have to pass through gates, separate out one particular sheep and so on. These events often take part in glorious countryside, and it is usually the case that as part of the occasion, as well as the sheepdog trials that are the centrepiece of such events, there will be country stalls, sheep-shearing contests and cake-baking competitions. In addition, there will sometimes be a fell race of some sort. It might be up to six miles cross country – often just straight up the nearest hill and back. It is an opportunity for locals to test their fitness against each other in a good humoured race across the county. So it was, that I came to be taking part in the fell race linked to Bamford sheepdog trials, and that is where the photo was taken. Bamford is a little village in the Derbyshire Peak District, England, close to the city of Sheffield where I currently live. I’d heard about the event and thought it would be fun to go out to the countryside and watch the shepherds working with their dogs and sheep to show off their skills. There was indeed also a ‘little fell race’ taking place. At just £5 to enter and only 5 miles long it sounded manageable – I run a bit, though admittedly I hadn’t really done a fell race as such before. Still, Bamford is a beautiful part of the world and I figured it would be a lovely way to see some of the areas by romping up Win Hill (the highest point nearby) and admiring the view before scampering back to the showground at the end.

The photo was taken by someone I know, who is not a professional photographer, although he is a very, very good amateur one. He often turns out at local running events and specialises in ‘action shots’ of runners in various fell and trail races taking place in the area. His wife was also taking part in the fell run, so he’d come out to support her, and was going to take the opportunity to bring along one of his many super-sophisticated cameras to capture the occasion. There’d be plenty of subject matter to choose from, animals, people, and beautiful scenery – as well as all the runners flying up and down that big hill of course.

As to the photo he took of me… Well, the short answer is that he snapped a portrait of me at the very moment I crossed the finish line of the fell race. In the photo, both my feet are off the ground, I’m punching the air with one hand, and my other is gesturing in some wild celebratory wave of acknowledgement to the crowd as I seem to be rejoicing at completing the race. My head is thrown back in laughter, and you can see my hair (which is longish) swinging around with the movement. It is a fantastic photo. If you saw it in isolation, you would ‘know’ I must be in the first place, I am ‘obviously’ joyful because I know I have finished victorious, nothing but the first prize could possibly explain my body language! It isn’t a flattering photo because honestly, nobody looks that good when running, and my head angle makes it look as if I have a double chin! (I hope I haven’t really). However, you can’t smile at the photo as it is a great action shot that seems to capture an apparent moment of triumph. The shot is perfectly in focus as well as perfectly timed. It forever records a second of euphoria, communicating all the excitement of the race. You can see my race number on my club vest; the hills in the background, the tape of the finish line in the foreground, spectators applauding me home on either side of the finish funnel. I think there might even be sheep in the far distance, being carefully herded by the sheepdogs as part of the competition. This picture is more than a running portrait of me, it tells the whole story of the event itself. It would make you wish you were there to be part of the occasion I promise you…

So, why do I like this photo? Well, because it makes me laugh. As I said, you would think from the picture that I had ‘obviously’ come first. In fact, I found the fell race ridiculously hard! The route seemed to just go vertically up a mountain, which was more like climbing than running.  Coming down was even worse, far too steep for me to be brave enough to do much more than picking my way down gingerly and slowly – I wasn’t going to be running any of that! Within a few hundred metres of the start, all the other runners had disappeared out of sight. I was way, way behind everyone else, and held onto that place for the next hour and a quarter! For the whole run, I couldn’t even see the other competitors ahead as they had sped away so fast. I’d imagined this would be a ‘fun’ event with lots of ‘have a go’ runners who, like me, just turned up on the day to romp round as best they could. Instead, it seems it is a highly competitive annual event, people had trained all year to take on this mountain challenge. I was woefully ill-prepared. So it is, that this picture, far from showing me returning victorious in the first place, is a picture of me coming in last.  Not just last, but last by some minutes.

The reason there are spectators cheering me in, is that the organisers all had to wait to make sure everyone had come back safely from the mountain. I had been out there for so long on my own people had started to gather to look out for me wondering where I was. The crowd wasn’t so much waiting to congratulate me, but about to set off on a search party before it got dark! As for my joyful expression. It is true, I am euphoric, but it isn’t the face of someone shouting in victory, it is me grinning furiously in pure unadulterated relief. I hadn’t died out there, but against the odds, made it home safely! I love the photo because I find it hilarious. If I framed it and had it on my wall and said nothing, visitors to my home would ‘assume’ I must have been the best runner on the day. It would be my choice as to whether or not I corrected them, and explained I was actually the worst… and by a very long day. It isn’t a flattering photo, but objectively it is a good one, so much action, so much emotion and such a sense of occasion. I like it best when I don’t think about the picture as being of me as such, but a memory, and a story captured in perpetuity!

And they say ‘the camera never lies’? I know otherwise.

[Lucy Marris (2016):  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam)]


Sample Answer 3:
Well, if I have to pick a really good photo that someone took for me I would select a black and white photo that my grandfather took for me when I was only 5 years old. This is one of the best pictures that reminds me of my childhood and that is why it has a different appeal to me.

As I recall, this photo was taken by my grandfather with a camera he newly bought. It was my first day at school and my mother made me ready for the school early in the morning and I was all dressed up. I went to my grandfather’s room to ask for his blessing and he gave me a new fountain pen and a storybook. He then took me to the garden and took this photo. It would be probably 1990 and it must have been the winter season. It is such a special event for me that I still remember it vividly.

He told me to stand still and then smile while he would take the photo. This was a very new experience for me. After I saw this picture I noticed that I was smiling in the photo and a part of the garden was visible in it. This is still a very important possession for me. My grandfather is no longer with us and this photo reminds me of his memory and my childhood. This picture represents my early childhood and the very thought of my sweet memory of my grandfather and childhood is something I cherish. For this reason, this is one of the most beautiful photos for me. I still have this picture and recently I have it reworked by a professional photo editor. With the time this picture got degraded and the restoration work was excellent. I have scanned the picture and saved the digital version of it on my computer.


Sample Answer 4:
Photography is an art but everyone cannot be the artist. It requires a specific set of skills. I can remember the photo that was taken by Jim at their residence and I still consider the photo as a very good one.

I cannot remember exactly how old I was at that time – might be 14 or 15, when I went to uncle Robert’s place. He was my maternal uncle living in the same city with us in Texas. Jim, my cousin was interested in photography at that time. He clicked the photo for us where I posed with mom and uncle Robert. Jim took the photo with an old-fashioned camera that had some sort of negative rolls insides to capture the moments. However, Jim printed out the picture and it looked excellent.  

Jim took the photo. He had received a camera as a present on his 17th birthday. In fact, it was his passion to take photos of people. He also bought a book about photography. Reading the book, he learned to take photos and actually he was improving at a good speed. But he had to spend time and money on his passion. So, when he asked me and mom to pose for a photo, my mom wanted to see how much he has improved. She proposed uncle Robert to pose with us. We all posed and Jim took the photo. He took a perfect shot and before he clicked, he asked us to stand in some different positions. We followed his advice and he took the shot.

This is a nice photo. A matured and a young lady is posing with a middle-aged man inside the frame. The backdrop of the photos also depicts a quiet and natural environment. In fact, the photo was taken on the lawn of the uncle’s house. Besides, the locality was not that much developed then. So, a large area was covered with trees and small buildings that brought a nice look. Jim asked us to pose with them so that he could get a good frame and objects. After all, he was the photographer, so we obeyed him. When he clicked the photo, he was smiling and told that this was one of his best shots.

I like the photo very much as it reminds me of many events. We stayed at the house of uncle Robert and had lots of fun. Jim is a grown-up man and a father of two kids while I have also my own family. I was a young shy girl then but now a talkative lady. Mom is still alive but uncle Robert died a couple of years ago. The photo has several copies. I have one at my study while Jim has a copy that he has hung in his living room with other best pictures he captured. When the photo was clicked, I was unable to understand photography but now I realise the Jim was right. It was one of his best shots ever. The frame, the composition, backgrounds etc. could not have been better than this. Hence, I love this photo very much.


If you prepare for this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue cards as well:

  • Describe a photo you really like.
  • Describe one of your favourite photographs.
  • Talk about a photo you have in your room.
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Jagjivan Kaur
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