10 Ways to Use our Foldable V-Flats

v flat

For many decades V-Flats have been a cumbersome DIY product. Going to your local hardware or craft store and picking up some huge 4x8' boards was part of most studio photographers routine. 


In 2018 we changed that, forever. 


Introducing the foldable V-Flat for photographers by photographers. Here are the top 10 ways you can use a V-Flat.

Fill Light

v-flat fill light

Fill light is pretty straightforward. The white side of the V-Flat acts like a giant bounce surface and throws any light coming off of the strobe back onto the model. Say the left side of the model was too dark, the V-Flat would lighten up the dark area on the left of the model. 

Negative Fill aka Subtracting Light

v flats
v flat

Negative fill means to literally absorb and remove light. Black has the ability to do that and just like white adds light, black removes light. Say you wanted to add more shadows onto your subjects face for a more moody and dramatic look but there is a white wall on the side of them causing the light to bounce all around the room and and in areas you don't want. Simply add the black side of the V-Flat to the side of the subject you want darker and it will soak in and stop the extra light in it's tracks. 

Evenly Light a Background

v-flats

Imagine you're trying to take a catalog image for a brand, and you need a pure white background. You typically would need lots of lights with umbrellas pointed  at the background to get this affect. But by using two V-Flats with two strobes pointed into them on either side of the background you get this affect with a beautiful even spread of light. To control how much light you need just dial up or down the power. 

Flagging Light

flag light

Flagging light is just a fancy way of saying "blocking" the light. In this image you can see a V-Flat set up by the window. The reason being, light was pouring in from outside during the bright midday hours interfering with the photoshoot and throwing light onto the studio floor where it wasn't supposed to be. By setting up the large V-Flat, it has the ability to completely block off areas and give you full control. 

Chin fill + Posing table

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model with v flat

Chin fill is where you add light underneath your model opening up the shadows under the chin. By using the V-Flat in the halfway folded position it turns into not only a great posing table but also catches all the light coming in from above and opens up the shadows beautifully. (don't worry about it resting on the models lap, it weighs less than 7 pounds)

Changing Room

This might seem silly V-Flats actually make for great changing rooms on set. If your bathroom is all the way across a large studio and you're model needs to change in and out of dozens of outfits for let's say an e-commerce catalog shoot, using a V-Flat off to the side of the background will save you lots to time and most importantly give the model a private place to change quickly. 

Wind Machine

This is not the most common way to use a V-Flat but can definitely be very functional. Using the V-Flat in a folded up position and waving it up and down will create a nice amount of wind and blow your models hair right up. (use someone with strong arms if this is being done all day ;)

Checkered Background

checkered board effect v flat
checkered board effect v flat

By interlocking two V-Flats together you can create a checkerboard setup and get some really cool results. Jeff Carpenter is the one who figured this out for us, see full video on how to do this here.

Videography

v-flat

Now for some this might be obvious but the reason we added videography to our list of examples is because V-Flats are so common among photographers that videographers might think they can't benefit from them. False. Light is light and V-Flats can work with continuous light the same way it works with strobe lighting. See video here on how Samuel Bouret uses V-Flats for his video work. 

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“I’m really loving how I can turn into a background, use it to fill shadow or add more shadows, and also as a changing room lol. I’m loving it.”

Jefferson L.