Views #1524 | Intermediate (B1)

Photo Manner Mode

Listen to a conversation about when it is OK to take a photo.

Todd: Okay, here's another thing. It's a little bit impolite. What about looking at other people's monitor over their shoulder? 'Cause you just mentioned the BTS. One thing I have to admit is, because I don't have my phone out and I am looking around, I have a tendency to see, wanna check and see what's on everybody's phone. And it's total intrusion. It's creepy in a way, but it's also because in Asia I'm a little bit taller than the average person, so I'm looking down and I can see everybody's monitor. And yeah, do you ever find yourself doing that too?

Angela: I do, yeah. But like you, I think it's impolite.

Todd: Right. So you gotta pull away, I know I shouldn't do it.

Angela: But you know the worst thing with phones these days, the worst thing from my point of view is the amount of pictures that people take of themselves everywhere, on the BTS, on the subway, eating. I've been to S21 in Cambodia where those poor people were slaughtered basically, and there are people in front of pictures of these people who were killed, and they are just literally taking selfies of themselves, you know, this world isn't about you. It's sometimes, just stop and look and listen.

Todd: Yeah, the selfie thing, I did a little bit. Sometimes I would do it almost like it's sending a postcard.

Angela: Yeah

Todd: You know what I mean? "Oh, look, I'm here." But I have to admit, yeah, I don't really like doing it, yeah.

Angela: I'm gonna take the shot again, the shot again. I use selfies in a group, because I think they're fun. It's actually quite fun to see one person in the front and the rest in the back.

Todd: Yes.

Angela: And it usually means that I can get further back in the photograph, so that's always a good thing.

Todd: Oh, yeah, that's true. So but, that's good that you admit you do some selfies.

Angela: Yeah, yeah, yeah, with groups. And if I'm taking a group in the class, I'll get one of them to take the photograph.

Todd: Yeah. What about the ... mild pet peeve of mine, not a pet peeve, but people taking photos of their food. I don't know why it's a thing.

Angela: Why? Eat it.

Todd: Yeah, exactly, enjoy it. Enjoy the memory. It's interesting that you said that about Cambodia. A woman, a group of women once said something that was really like just a spear in the heart, really made me think. I was in Cambodia, this was years ago, and I was at Angkor, at Baton, Bayon, or I can't say it right, but where they have the beautiful face sculptures, and I'm like, "Oh, I gotta get a photo." And so there was a woman just sitting there, relaxed, she was maybe French or something, she was European, and she was like, "Oh, you want me to take your photo?" And I go, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

So then she takes it, she takes my photo, this was before cell phone cameras. And then I'm like, okay, I have to reciprocate. I go, "Oh, would you like me to take a photo of you?" She's like, "No." I'm like, "You don't have a camera?" And she goes, "No," and she just points at her head and she taps her head like this, and she goes, "It's all up here." And I was like, "Wow." She was really-

Angela: amazing, yeah.

Todd: ... kind of like, politely saying, "Just, I'm never gonna ..." I've never forgotten how all those things look, I've never forgotten her sitting on the rock when she said that. So wise advice I think.

Angela: Yeah, I think so.

Todd: Now, actually you are in photography. Do you think that actually taking so many ... I'm sorry, you have a photography business.

Angela: Yes.

Todd: Do you think that actually taking so many photographs lessens the value of the art of photography and really appreciating a good picture?

Angela: Yes, I think it does. And I think that a lot of the apps and the things that you can use these days to improve photographs take away the real skill of the photographer, using the light, using the lines, using what's in the photograph to make a really good shot. I think people miss that these days.

Todd: Yeah. That is true. Anyway, so today, no using your phone.

Angela: No, I did hear it go, "Bing, bing."

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson



It's creepy in a way.

Something that is creepy is weird or scary. Notice the following:

  1. That mask you are wearing for Halloween is creepy.
  2. When I hear people whispering at night I think it is really creepy.

pull away


You gotta pull away.

To pull away means to stop from doing something. Notice the following:

  1. If you pull away from the dangerous situation, you will be safe.
  2. When you realize you shouldn't do it, just pull away.



Taking selfies of themselves.

A selfie is a picture of yourself. Notice the following:

  1. Selfies are very popular with young people.
  2. She loves to take lots of selfies of herself to send to her friends.



Take the shot again.

A shot is a photo that was taken. Notice the following:

  1. I was taking a shot, but someone ruined it by walking in front of it.
  2. Don't use flash when taking a shot during the show.

pet peeve


Mild pet peeve of mine.

A pet peeve is something that annoys you. Notice the following:

  1. A pet peeve of mine is when too many people are trying to talk at once.
  2. The worst pet peeve of mine is having to repeat myself over and over again.

spear in the heart


Just a spear in the heart.

A spear in the heart is something that really impacts you, usually in a bad way. Notice the following:

  1. When my boyfriend broke up with me, it hit me like a spear in the heart.
  2. It was like a spear in the heart when I was diagnosed with cancer.

Vocabulary Quiz

creepy • pull away • selfies
spear • shot • pet peeves
  1. People eating and talking in one of my .
  2. Sometimes you need to from a bad habit.
  3. I blinked. Can you take that again?
  4. Her comment was like a in the heart.
  5. My dad never takes .
  6. It is to take a persons photo without their permission.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Courses for Students and Teachers

One Minute English Videos

Views English Lessons

Mixer English Lessons

Learn Academic English with News Stories

About the Teacher / Creator

Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
Contact Me Here