Change Things Up with Milk Bath Photography

“This is what I like about photographs. They’re proof that one, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect.”

~ Jodi Picoult

Have you ever heard of milk bath photography? If you haven’t keep reading and if you have... still keep reading, because we’re about to get into some of the joys and intrigue of milk bath photography. My first introduction to milk bath photography was for a maternity shoot. The mom-to-be wanted to do a milk bath maternity session and I, of course, agreed. It would be a first we both shared together and where the results were loved.

Needless to say, I was hooked after that maternity session. I had prepped and planned and surveyed a variety information before the initial shoot. If there is one thing I fear, it is going into any situation under prepared. It’s better to over-plan than under plan or—God forbid—have no plan.

Milk bath photography is as exactly as it sounds. It’s photography where your subject lays in a milk bath. It sounds simple, right? Not exactly. It is so much more than that. There’s lighting, ladders, step stools, the occasional getting wet, and trying to talk underwater. All this for a subject that doesn’t move? Yes.

So why do I love it and recommend you change things up with milk bath photography?

It’s a glam session and spa day all in one!

Depending on how you conduct your milk bath session it can be a quarter of a spa day with a glam session. The model and/or client comes in and is set in the makeup chair. The style is up to the photographer and client, whether a full glam look to soft natural look or anything in between is desired. Hair is an added bonus if you don’t plan on getting it entirely wet.

After hair and makeup, or makeup alone, is done, the pampering continues with hopping in the bath. Here’s the fun part and the hard part. The client can indulge in a nice milk bath, all while holding poses for beautiful shots. The fun part here, of course, is the bath. The photographer gets to enjoy a creative session while the client can indulge in the benefits of a milk bath which leaves the skin soft and supple. Add in essential oils, fruits, and rose petals, and the client is in for a real treat. The hard part is for the photographer, getting all the right angles, and minding time. It’s easy to get carried away and it’s also easy to slip off a ladder. So, my fellow photographers be careful.

Photo by Apostolos Vamvouras

The creative possibilities are endless.

With all of your resources in one place, as a photographer, you have the sole art direction of the photography session. You can do anything, so this is the perfect time to explore any ideas you may have. Anything you can put in or around the bathtub you can do. The water is your canvas. Color it with bath bombs and salts. Create texture with parchment or petals. Move eyes along a directing line with the body and plant stems. Themes are limited to your imagination.

With milk bath photography it is popular to use stems and flowers, but you are not just reserved to this. For my lovers of editing, the session does not have to end after the capture. You can build on the image with overlays and compositing. As was stated earlier, the creative possibilities are endless.