When shooting in a studio, you can use V-flats in a variety of ways. In this video, Lindsay Adler shows you three simple setups you can create for beauty photography using V-flats. Each of them requires subtle changes in the setup, yet they’ll all give you drastically different results.
Setup #1: warm skin tones
This setup is all about emphasizing warm skin tones. Lindsay uses a beige seamless background and a large, diffused light pointed flat onto the subject. This gives nice, soft lighting without much contrast. But, to fill in the shadows even further, Lindsay adds a V-flat on each side of the model’s face. This way she gets a soft, flattering light that wraps around the subject’s face.
Setup #2: dramatic
The next setup differs quite a lot from the first one, considering that it adds shadows rather than fills them in. Lindsay makes a quick change to the previous setup: she flips the V-flats so that their black sides face the model, creating a negative fill. As for the lighting, Lindsay moves it to the side, at around a 45-degree angle from the subject.
This kind of setup emphasizes cheekbones and jawlines, and it adds drama and moodiness to the image. It often works well for black and white photos to add even more emotion and drama.
Setup #3: high key
For this setup, Lindsay introduces a second light behind the subject, and it’s a bare bulb. She places a V-flat behind the model and points the unmodified light at the white surface. This way she creates high-key lighting that emphasizes the model’s jawline and cheekbones.
If you want to go even more high-key and fill in the shadows, you can add a reflector (or another V-flat) underneath the subject’s chin.
From these examples, you can see how small changes to your setup can produce radically different results. A great thing about these setups is that you need either just one or two lights, so they’re pretty simple. Also, V-flats are easy to make on your own, so you can create these setups on a budget.
Do you use V-flats in your studio? If you have some ideas to share, feel free to drop them in the comments below.