V-Flats 5 Ways and a Bonus

I recently picked up a new set of V-Flats for the studio from the aptly named V-Flat World. V-Flats, a studio staple, are typically comprised of a pair of two 4x8 sheets of foam core—black on one side, white on the other—taped together along their long end to create a book-style configuration of panels that can be opened (hence the V in V-Flat) or closed.

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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Using Strobe

Using strobe in the studio and on location is now second nature for me, and it can be for you too. I think you’ll find once you understand strobe it opens up a whole new world of exciting creative possibilities. Here are the 10 things I wish I knew before I started using strobe.

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Perfect Reception Lighting

It’s a photographer’s house of horrors—a dark reception hall. Let me simplify everything for you. Below, I’ll lay out the easy system we at The Blumes use to create crisp, color-balanced, commercial-quality reception images every time. You’ll just need your camera, three cheap flashes, and a few rubber bands. Sound good?

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Hip-Hop Portraits!

For this series of hip-hop-inspired black-and-white portraits, I wanted a dramatic, moody, high contrast look. In the studio, nothing says drama like a black background. My concept was all about black on black—black skin, black wardrobe, on a black background. Lit properly, this monochromatic palette would isolate, elevate and highlight the subject in a punchy, dramatic way.

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Lighting Academy 101: Seeing the Light

We train our team in four technical elements: lighting, composition, posing and storytelling. Light is the first thing our photographers must become proficient in before moving on to the next subject. Lighting is essential because without it, we don’t have a picture. The word photography literally means “the study of light,” so to understand lighting, the first thing you need to understand is how to recognize it.

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Portraits With Impact

The longer I’ve made portraits, 40-plus years, the more steadfast I am in the belief that it all starts with lighting. Whether soft, hard or anything in between, each quality of light and shadow imparts emotion and drama to help tell a unique story. Lighting’s job is to support the story you’re trying to tell rather than distract from it.

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Creating Great Light

What is great light and how do you create it? First, learn how to think about light and develop a lighting vocabulary. This will help you make informed decisions about tools and techniques. When you’re developing an understanding of lighting, the fundamental concept to embrace is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every situation or subject matter.

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