This week I got to have a bit of fun and was able to create a portrait session that I’ve been dreaming of – my maternity milk bath photo session at 32 weeks pregnant expecting my second child.
Milk bath photography is very popular at the moment, and not just for maternity portraits. You can use the technique with toddlers, babies, mother and baby together as well as for fashion and boudoir photography. Milk bath photos are a little different than many of maternity photos you may have seen. It’s kind of nice when you think of it – hanging out in a warm bath, mix in some pretty flowers – customizable to your taste and colour preferences – and you’ve got an extra layer of beauty.
Sometimes the simplest set up creates the most stunning results. There’s something about the white, milky colour of the milk that really puts the focus onto your subject. Here are some tips to create a beautiful milk bath photo shoot in your home.
What you need for the milk bath
Bathtub, camera, flowers of choice, milk powder/coffee whitener, your model and wardrobe (lace dress or something pretty and see through to get the naked/not naked vibe). Experimenting with different types of props will help figure out what works best before the model is involved.
1. Preparing the Milk Bath
First, fill your tub with warm water and then add the milk. The amount of milk you use depends on how large your tub is and how opaque you want the water. For this session I used coffee whitener as I was pressed for time (I do prefer the look of whole milk better). Using less milk will still create a dreamy mood without obscuring as much of your subject.
2. Add simple props to the milk water
Start by thinking of the colour tones you want to use as different flowers give images a very different look. For this session I chose to keep it to warmer tones and used rose petals. Make sure to put the flowers in after your subject(s) is in the tub so that they stay afloat as long as possible!
3. Choose Your Wardrobe
I personally love sheer fabrics and lace in the water. This can be done with white tulle or any other fabric of your choice. Lace tops and dresses and even simply nude also looks beautiful. It really depends on the style you want to capture and on your client’s comfort level.
For this maternity session, I purchased this dress from Amazon and was so happy with the way it photographs in water.
4. Posing in the Bath
Your set-up and posing will one of the most challenging and time-consuming aspects of the day. However, once everything is in place, it really doesn’t take long to shoot. My main tip is to work with your subject’s body and try not to copy what you’ve seen done before because every shape requires its own posing.
I find the most attractive angles are captured directly above the subject and photographing tighter to fill the frame. If you’re standing on the tub or a ladder above the tub, always have another person to help spot you as your safety is a top priority.
5. Camera of Choice
I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my go-to lens is my Canon EF 24–70mm f/4.0L for milk bath sessions as it allows me to get that wider shot and tell the full story of the tub when I want to. Regardless of what camera and lens you have, you can almost achieve a similar look with any SmartPhone or iPhone as there are only so many different angles you can capture.
Stay tuned for a follow up session with my baby and I soon after giving birth to show you how stunning mom and baby milk bath images can be and how to achieve them so that you and you clients will love them.
Anchor Studio Photography specializes providing a full service experience that starts with booking your session and ends with getting beautiful tangible heirloom products being displayed in your home. My style of soft, candid and timeless photos can be seen in all my maternity, newborn, child and family portraits in Toronto, Canada. If you are interested in booking a portrait session for your family, you can click here to book your session. I am now booking sessions for July 2020, so don’t hesitate to get in touch soon!