Composition For Interiors Tutorial By Scott Hargis

August 15th, 2011

Scott Hargis posted a great tutorial on his blog today on composition for interiors.

Malia Campbell shot the video for the tutorial.

I think this is a clever way to talk about and illustrate photo composition. Malia frames the shot with video that Scott is talking about while Scott walks around in the video pointing out do’s and don’ts. You get to see how slightly different compositions of the same shot look. Very useful and informative.

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24 Responses to “Composition For Interiors Tutorial By Scott Hargis”

  • Just outstanding! “Seeing” the process is so much clearer than any written explanation. Showing the pit falls of those changes to angle and zoom settings, make Scotts choices seem.. well, obvious in the end. It was also interesting to see the area Scott has to work with outside the frame. So often we see final images but have no context to put them in. Very informative, and confidence boosting stuff.

    Thanks a lot for posting.

  • Very well done, I hope we see more of these in the future.

  • Superbly helpful . Well done and please keep them coming

  • Great stuff Scott. Thanks for the reminders.

  • Good stuff. Thanks for taking the time to put this together, Scott.

  • Fantastic help! I totally understand what he’s telling us. It brings into focus many of the same thoughts I’ve had. Greatly Helpful! Thanks.

  • Nice post Scott. Focuses (pun intended) right in on the basics of composition. We never stop learning.


  • Nice video for sure.

    I do however get some resistance from realtors when I don’t shoot as wide as possible. Some people just don’t get the feel over content concept when showing a small space. I tell them to trust me, I know what I’m doing, but they think they know all. They say ‘show me everything, make sure you use a wide angle!’ Trying to explain distortion to them is futile. Such are crappy clients.

  • Outstanding video and some great info. Scott has a gift for teaching and I hope we see more of these. I am definitely guilty of getting too wide, and it is something I’ve been working on. As Mike K said, there is sometimes resistance from clients, as they often want the most info in the least amount of frames. It’s a bit of a catch 22 at times.

  • Awesome video, great so see it actually being done rather then just reading it…helps alot!

  • Well done, Scott. Very good advice about not shooting at the widest end of the lens. I used to be very guilty of this also…always starting at the widest FL trying to “get it all in”. Now I’ve found I’m usually trying to use the longest focal length that works for a given interior shot. 24mm has become my go-to setting when I’m searching for the composition, for me it just feels right. Wider than 24mm and I don’t like the distortion. Many of my favorite interior shots I’ve taken are at 28-50mm ranges.

  • Aaron, I had the chance to try the new Canon 1.4x converter not too long ago – it converted my 24TS to a 33.6mm! Rocked my world…’s on my “to buy” list.

  • Thanks for the kinds words, everyone. We had fun making this!

  • Great video, Scott. I definitely shoot too wide most of the time. I’ll start re-thinking that now.

  • Scott, Great video! Being fairly new to real estate photography your video helped me draw back on my art back ground thinking on composition. Thanks for the shift in my thinking that wider is better.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to help world wide. I really appreciate it. What i would also love to see is how you would approach small spaces, for example a small guest bathroom covered in tiny tiles? Thats one of my biggest headache, not to exsaturate the space with the zoom cause i want to show the floor and the ceiling to get depth in the picture. Any thoughts?

  • Nicely done. I thought Scott’s presentation was quite professional and engaging, and I think his advice is excellent and most timely. Ideally, I think it would be preferable to use some more elaborate equipment to shoot the scenes where the camera is moving around freely to show variations of the compositions, for a smoother effect, but I would guess that kind of equipment is very expensive. Also, nice going, Malia, on the video work.

  • I gotta say, the concept of using the same camera to shoot video is simple, yet brilliant, it’s like you are walking around in the photo. Just awesome when you are walking around the bedroom photo pointing out the weaknesses of the wide shot. Lots of good tips, thanks for creating this!

  • Great work Scott and Malia! Nice house too. Pity we don’t get to shoot nice places all the time. I seem to work a lot in very small rooms with clutter and awkward layouts. Your tips still apply though. What sort of microphone set up did you use when shooting the video?

  • Great piece Scott. Thanks much!

  • Late to the party, but very well done.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Great video Scott! Can you do something like this again and add your lighting techniques in? Did you use any HDR photography to overcome the extreme exterior lighting in some of your shots? Overall it was a great treat to watch you work.

  • Might not be the right place to post this but I’m just getting started inReal Estate photography. I’m getting some requests to shot vacant houses and really having a hard time finding good compositions. There all vacant rooms and having a tough time

  • Hey Scott great video do you think it is a common trick/ style for architectural photographers to use tilt shift photography for interiors and more specifically to set the camera up high only to then drop the shift down to show more of the bench tops etc and give that unique perspective? Is this how the architectural digest guys do it do you think?

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