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Article: 7 Ways To Use V-Flats For HEADSHOT Photography

7 Ways To Use V-Flats For HEADSHOT Photography

V-Flats are incredibly versatile tools in the world of photography, especially for headshot photography. Their ability to manipulate light and background settings makes them a must-have in any photographer’s toolkit. Here are seven unique ways to use foldable V-Flats to elevate your headshot photography.

1. Black Background

One of the simplest yet most effective uses of a V-Flat is to use the black side as a black background. This technique creates a dramatic and clean look, perfect for professional headshots where focus and simplicity are key. The black background isolates the subject, eliminating distractions and ensuring all attention is on the model.

without fill light
v-flat black side
with fill light

2. Fill Light

Using another V-Flat as a fill light is a clever way to soften shadows and add dimension to your subject. Position the V-Flat opposite your main light source. The white side of the V-Flat will bounce light back onto the model, filling in shadows and creating a more balanced exposure. This technique is particularly useful for creating a natural look.

3. White Background

For a crisp and clean white background, use the white side of the V-Flat. This method is excellent for creating high-key images that exude professionalism and purity. Ensure the V-Flat is evenly lit to avoid any unwanted shadows or gradients.

4. Pure White Blown Out Look

To achieve a pure white blown-out look, place a strobe between the model and the V-Flat, directing the strobe's light into the V-Flat. This setup will result in an overexposed background that appears completely white, giving a contemporary and stylized effect to your headshots. It's a great technique for modern, high-fashion portraits and headshots.

pure white background
Pure white look using strobe pointed into v-flat

5. Dual Use as Background and Fill Light

A V-Flat can serve as both a white background and fill light simultaneously. Position the V-Flat in a 'V' shape with one half behind the model and the other half on the side. This setup allows one side of the V-Flat to act as a background while the other side bounces light from the strobe back onto the model, creating a beautifully illuminated portrait with minimal equipment.

pure white background
Using the v-flat in a "V" shape 

6. Grey Background

To create a grey background, use the white side of the V-Flat but place it a few feet away from the model. The distance reduces the amount of light hitting the V-Flat, turning the white into grey. The further back you move the V-Flat, the darker the grey will become. This technique offers flexibility in creating various shades of grey to match the mood and style of the shoot.

4 foot distance
6 foot distance

7. Chill Fill and Posing Table

Fold the V-Flat to create a chill fill underneath the model. This setup provides a subtle bounce of light from below, reducing shadows under the chin and eyes. Additionally, the folded V-Flat can serve as a posing table, giving the model a surface to rest on and create more relaxed and natural poses. (don't put too much weight down on it though)

Chin fill + posing table

Using V-Flats creatively can significantly enhance the quality and versatility of your headshot photography. Experiment with these techniques to discover new ways to achieve stunning results and impress your clients.

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