New Course on

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.26.32 PM copy

The latest installment in a series of real estate photography courses I’m making with went live just a few days ago — this one has some pretty cool stuff in it!

This one is called “The Basics” and it’s coverage of an entire shoot, start to finish. I traveled down to Ojai California and we spent an entire week filming to get this 3+ hour video. In it, I take you through excruciating detail on the pre-shoot walkthrough, shooting the small easy rooms, shooting the more complex living room/family room, shooting the kitchen, and then the rear and front exteriors. There’s even a post-production video or two, showing what I did to re-touch some of the images.

Maybe the best part is the living room section, in which I made the same shot 3 times in a row — but with a stopwatch running each time. In the first go-through, I make a 60-second photo – this is the ultimate “Run-n-Gun” shot. Next, I pull everything back and re-shoot it, but with a more generous 5 minutes. And finally, I shoot the room but with a luxurious 15-minute clock running. I think it’s a pretty good example of just what the difference is between “Fast” and “Good”, and just what it is we do differently when we have more time. It’s worth noting that in my usual work, it’s not unusual to spend 2 hours on a single photo, and many photographers measure photo production in days, not minutes!

There are a couple more courses currently in the editing phase with Lynda, and we’re discussing future ones, so stay tuned.

18 responses to “New Course on

  1. Strange, I logged in this morning and didn’t see any new videos from you (I searched “Hargis” which brought up only your 2 bedroom photography vids). So for those of you searching, just click on his course picture above.

    I look forward to watching the new vids!

  2. Scott, excellent work as usual! I agree that the most helpful part was the living room shoot with 3 different time constraints. I’d love to see you do this more in future installments and expand it to accent lighting elements within a scene in addition to moving furniture.

  3. Perfect! I’m a realtor looking to improve my architectural photography and this is exactly what I need. Looking forward to becoming better!

  4. Hi Scott,

    Although I have your previous video series, and PDF book, I decided to go for the Lynda series too. And as expected, I’m picking up a lot of tidbits that will be very useful.

    Clearly, the 15 minutes against the clock was particularly instructive, as it bridged into interior design elements, such as rearranging furniture. Your use of kickers was also fascinating. I would respectfully mention two little things in the final that surprisingly escaped your gaze: The central umbrella stand is visible, and the near-camera kicker spill. What with instructing the whole way through though, what you did in 15 minutes was amazing.

    Looking forward to an interior design series on Lynda from you in the future! Vic

    • Thanks for the comments! Yeah, the umbrella stand was an “oops” but the “kicker” light (and the candle sconce on the left side) were always intended to be cropped out – hopefully that’s how it ended up in the slide show of finished shots at the end.

  5. I want to echo Michael’s remark about accent lighting. Shooting for real estate is all fine and good but there’s so much more to lighting and those are basic setups compared to what you did with the Piedmont shoot you posted on the blog last Sept. I’m referring to cover image for Gentry magazine where you showed a BTS of the Arri light setup you used. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall for that shoot. It’s a stellar image and one which the bag of tricks used for real estate photography would never approach. I know that the Arri hotlights can focus and control beam spread beyond what can be done with barn doors, but how hard would that be to achieve without those lights I wonder. Probably very hard without endless experimentation with snoots and grids I’m guessing. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that and also if you have any plans to teach accent lighting.

    Thanks for all you do, Scott.

    • Hotlights are actually insanely easy to use. Most people have been dealing with continuous lights their entire lives!

      • Let’s forget that they’re hot lights for a moment. I’m more interested in the accent lighting style than straight RE photographic lighting, as Michael refers to as well.

        • No one ever believes me when I say this, but I don’t do anything different when I shoot real estate vs. anything else….I just spend more time, and more time thinking about it. Sure, I bring more resources, but the critical element is to have a pre-visualized image in mind before you start working. The rest is just execution, which is pretty straightforward. Once you know what the finished photo is supposed to look like, it’s practically paint-by-numbers. Ok, maybe a little harder than that, but seriously, technique is EASY. Conceptualizing the photo is HARD.
          “Accent Lights” are no different than any other lights, except that they usually only impact a small portion of the photo and are thus super easy to do. If you can light a room, you’ll find that lighting a chair is pretty simple.

  6. Nikolay Dinov

    Hi Scott,
    I have watched the course but I have missed info about the white balance.
    Could you share how you set the white balance in the camera especially when you use flashes with gels?

    Best regards,

    • Hi Nikolay,

      I don’t set the white balance in the camera, but overall the white balance should be set at a value that makes the photo look good…it’s really that simple. Best way is to use the Eyedropper tool in your favorite RAW editor and click on something that’s white, black, or gray.

  7. I’ve been following your blog for several years. I bought your first video for myself and then later one for my daughter. I play your Lynda.Com videos like background music while I multi-task. Every now and then something just jumps out and I have to sit up and pay attention. Great stuff!

    I hope some day you will do one with continuous lighting.

  8. Andy Garfield

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your courses on Lynda! Great stuff, and very inspiring!

    • Thanks, Andy! Glad you liked them. Dunno if/when they’re going to release them but there are a couple more somewhere in the Lynda vaults…

  9. Kevin Brumfield

    Let me echo all the other positive remarks about your videos on Really nice job! I’ve watched both of them a couple of times and I always pick up something new. Here’s hoping they release more of them. I’d especially like to see you finish shooting the house you were in for “The Basic Bedroom” video. That is a neat house. Thanks again!

  10. Hi Scott,
    I just watched 80% of the course on Lynda and just purchased your eBook. Your wisdom is so appreciated! I am writing because I am endlessly confused by the varieties of types of Pocket Wizards. I understand that you have one mounted on your hot shoe that sends the message to another Pocket Wizard to fire SB-80 flash 1. And then all of your other SB-80’s fire. Does it matter which Pocketwizard is mounted on your camera? Does it matter which is connected to your first SB-80? I shoot a Nikon D810 but I’m guessing that doesn’t matter since we aren’t metering the flash with the camera at all.

    Thanks so much!

Don't just sit there....say something!