Time Travel

We don’t often get re-do’s in life. But last week, I showed up for a real estate shoot in Oakland and found myself standing in the past.


This image became my very first postcard.

Above is one of the very first interiors images I ever made. When I was trying to break into Interiors photography, I did about five free shoots for real estate agents, trying to build a portfolio. One of those five has now cycled back onto the market, and I found myself about to re-shoot the subject of my very first piece of print marketing material!

No pressure there.

The place has been remodeled a bit, and the staging is different, of course, but it’s fundamentally the same house. I remembered the dining room and kitchen clearly, and did my best to re-create the angles I shot originally. I’m pretty confident about my ability to turn out a good RE photo these days, but I have to admit feeling a little pressure to out-perform my first effort. I hadn’t looked at those early pictures for years, and of course at the time I believed they were the pinnacle of Interiors photography, so in my mind I had a high bar to beat.

How’d I do? Take a look below, cast your own judgement! “Early Hargis” on top, “Contemporary Hargis” on the bottom (in case you can’t figure it out).

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The new version, shot this month.

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Chose a different angle this time.

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Ha! This bedroom pretty much kicked my butt both times!

Now if only I could re-do a few other things from my past……

8 responses to “Time Travel

  1. Nice contrast between your two periods. My take (for what it’s worth) is that your comps are more well developed, stronger now, no verts slightly out like the right side of the top dining room image (your first postcard) and your WB is much cooler now. Neat that aside from redecorating, it’s basically the same, even the same color palette in some places. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I just cringe at my early stuff, and since I’m still new that means I cringe at ALL my stuff! Your lighting has improved a lot, much more even and soft, and the staging and angles of “props” as well as camera angle is better now too. Thanks for sharing

  3. Geez, your before pictures are beautiful so it’s amazing to see that your after pictures could be better. Nice work, Hargis.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Scott. The “Early Scott” shots were definitely good but the later ones are definitely better. Interesting how most of your shots are lower POV now.

  5. I’m glad you finally figured out that WB thing and got yourself a wider lens. I’m guessing you went to that workshop those two guys from Oakland put on? I highly recommend it btw! 😉

    Cool post as usual Scott. Thanks for sharing.


  6. No doubt the new shots are better. They benefited from the updated decor but I also noticed the wider lens. The way you used more of the natural light that came in the widows is also a big plus. The dining room shows this best were you see down the hall giving the room a more open feel and you also get the nice blast of natural light in the back. The lighting in the early shots is a little flatter and the new shots pop a lot more. I know some of that may be equipment. I had to light things a little flat with my first digital.

  7. Hi Scott,

    My guess, and only a guess, is on your earlier shots you were using the 17-40mm lens with the 1.6 crop factor sensor, and the later shots were with the same lens, but with the full frame 5d. Am I right?

    Nice work…

    I’m currently using a Canon 50d with the 17-40mm. I use my 5d with Sigma 8mm for my full frame 360 images. I know I would benefit from using the 5d with the 17-40 lens, but everytime I remove a lens from the 5d I get dust on the sensor, and the 5d, as you know has no sensor cleaner. Trying to decide if I should buy another 5d – used, or a 10-22mm lens…

  8. Very nice to see the difference that your experience makes. The second series shows that rooms leading to places makes for a more open feeling and story-telling shot. I like it.