How to Make V Flats for Photography | Logan Utah Photographer

I teach a lot of classes and during those classes one of the most common questions I get asked is "What is your favorite piece of gear in your studio?". My answer almost always is V Flats. Whether you're shooting in a natural light studio or with artificial light, V Flats are fantastic and pretty much the best tool in my studio, I use them on almost every image in the studio. 

First, what is a V Flat? 
V Flats are two 4 foot by 8 foot white/black foam boards that you can use to bounce or absorb light in the studio. They form the shape of a "V" and are generally white on one side and black on the other. Buying a V Flat through a photo studio generally costs $300+ per V Flat (plus shipping!). Today I'll show you how to build two V Flats for under $300 and only about half an hour of time. 

Why have a V Flat? 
Controlling light in the studio in basically the whole point of the the studio. Whether you want to absorb the light or bounce back more light, the V Flat is a fantastic option. 

How to Make your own!
2 (or 4) sheets of foam core. ($10-$75)
White Duct Tape ($5)
Black Duct Tape ($5) 

What type of foam should I get? For years I've used 4x8 sheets of Insulation foam from the hardware store. I personally used the 1in think foam. It comes white on one side and silver on the other, you can peal the silver off and pain that side black. Done. In the images below I'm building my new V Flats and I'm using what's called 1/2 inch Gilman Infinity Foam Board. The reason I'm replacing my old V Flats is after years, the foam is finally falling apart and full of dings and dents. The advantage of the Infinity Foam Board is that it's dense foam in the center with white plastic on one side and black plastic on the other (image below). Locally I paid $75 per sheet for the foam board, you may be able to find it cheaper elsewhere but it was exactly what I was looking for and free 2 hour delivery, so I jumped on it. 

The advantage of the Infinity Board is that the plastic edges are stronger, and you can clean them and they're hold up longer than the foam board. 

To turn the 4x8 sheets into a V Flat simply takes taping them together with Duct Tape. Using white tape on the white side and and black tape on the black side. 

To make it so I can reverse the white and black easily, I left a 1/2 gap so that there is room for the 'hinge' of tape to swing both directions. 

Once you have them taped together you're ready to go! Stand them up and start shooting. 

For those local photographer, I was able to get my sheets of Infinity Board through Square One Printing and they delivered it for free within 3 hours.

**Side note: I apologize for the cheap phone images, I was on a mission to finish the V Flats, not take pretty pictures**  

If you have any questions, let me know!

Until next time,
Mike Johnson

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