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V-Flats. They’re a great, simple lighting tool for photographers, and they’re widely considered a DIY project…

In fact, in a quick check to see where you could buy V-Flats pre-made, the first five sites I clicked on no longer had them available.

What is a V-Flat?

V-Flats are usually made from two pieces of 4 foot by 8 foot foam board (usually white on one side and black on the other), that are connected to form a V shape. You can fold them flat for storage.

They’re great for portraits and fashion work because you can use the white side to bounce light around your subject, and the black side can absorb the light so you isolate your subject on the background.

The thing is…if you want to make your own V-Flats…you’re going to need a lot of space. You’re going to need 64 square feet of floor space (8 feet by 8 feet) to even think about assembling them. While for those photographers who live outside a major metropolitan area that might not be a problem, but if you live in a place like New York City where space is at a premium, it just isn’t an option.

Then you have to think about storage…where do you put those big 4×8 foot panels in your tiny apartment? Do you know how little closet space there in New York City? Those wouldn’t even fit under a bed!! They’d probably have a permanent home leaning up against the wall, assuming you have ceilings that are at least 8 feet high.

While we’re on that topic…how are you transporting these flats to a shoot?

I’ve seen a bunch of photographers telling other photographers who say they can’t build their own flats to go to a home supply store and “assemble them at the store” and then bring them home or to your studio…

Let that sink in for a moment…

How do you fit a 4 foot by 8 foot panel into a car? It certainly wouldn’t fit in a cab. Maybe take it on the subway??!? I’m sure they wouldn’t get broken (Remember these are made out of foam…)

And don’t even get me started on transporting seamless paper in NYC. 10 foot rolls? Fuhgedaboutit!!

There are just a lot of problems for photographers who would love to use V-Flats but don’t have the space or a way to transport them.

If only there were a way to fold a set of V-Flats to move them around…

OH WAIT! THERE IS!!

A new company called V-Flat World has announced that they’re producing foldable V-Flats that consist of two 40″x80″ folding panels. So, they’re a little bit smaller than your normal “regulation” panels.

Here are some still to give you a better sense of the flats.

Folding V-Flat
Here we see the flat in folded and unfolded positions.
folding v-flat for photographers
To give a better sense of scale.
My immediate concerns looking at these photos are about the velcro straps that hold the flats together. I can see them in the photos. Is this just to show how they attach. Can they be further hidden from view?

I saw one photographer comment on an article about these saying “They’re not tall enough!!” 80 inches is 6 feet and 8 inches high…how often are you photographing people taller than that. If you need a backdrop

folding v-flat in a car
The folding V-Flat in the back seat of a car. You can’t do that with a 40×80 panel.

My Thoughts

I think this is awesome! It opens up (pun thoroughly intended) the use of V-Flats to photographers who don’t have the space to make, store, or a means of transporting full size flats.

Also, just think of the possibilities! You can take this with you anywhere to do portraits. I have a ‘collapsible backdrop’ that unfolds to something like 6 feet by 10 feet and it is not only a pain in the ass to transport but you still need to attach it to a stand and you need two people to put it away – if you can figure out how it is supposed to fold up…but that’s a story for another day…

So you can transport these flats pretty much anywhere…think about that…

You might be saying to yourself, “I’m a wedding photographer, when am I going to ever use something like this?” Well, think of all the times you’ve been at a location where there wasn’t a good spot to take photos. Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like this on hand that you could set up easily and quickly to get a nice white or black wall for pictures?

Or maybe you are setting up a photo booth and you don’t have a ton of space and there’s not room for a full size backdrop set up. This would be an easy fix! Plus, super transportable.

What do you think? Are you going to get one? I think I’m going to get two!

[flo_button url=”https://nerdyphotographer.com/recommends/vflatworld” style=”grey” size=”medium” type=”square” target=”_blank”] Order your folding V-Flats on Amazon! [/flo_button]

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