Did you ever want to see how that iconic milk bath photography turn from an idea into reality? No matter what genre you work in: maternity, family, glamour photography or even conceptual art, this guide will certainly offer something helpful for taking amazing milk bath portraits.
The special character of milk bath photos inevitably implies characteristic photography challenges and dangers. Remember my photography and photo editing tips before you start shooting in this incredible style.
Measurements don't need to be exact. You will have to regulate the amount of milk depending on your milk bath photography concept. My recommendation is to add 1 cup to 2 cups into warm bathwater if you are going to use fresh or canned milk. Add 1/3 cup to 2/3 cup powdered milk into warm bath water. The more water is in the mixture, the more transparent it will look.
Best portrait photographers make sure their model leaves the photoshoot satisfied. If you’re working with a vegan, it would be better to organize vegan milk bath photography. For that, any plant-based milk would work well, but since it is mostly expensive, you can also work with nontoxic white paint.
White can become boring after a while, so try to diversify the milk bath photography with colors. You have various options for that too, like using food dye or non-toxic paints. Also, a bath bomb can be added to create unique patterns of color.
Make your milk bath pictures even more beautiful and tender with this milk bath session template. It is absolutely customizable to your specific needs and fully matches the milk bath photography concept.
The easiest decision would be renting a room in the hotel where you can have a proper milk bath photo shoot. Make sure to agree with your clients first as it will bring an additional charge upon them.
In case a hotel is not agreed upon, you can easily arrange a bath of your own. Get a milk bath photography kiddie pool, a large enough inflatable children pool that you can cover with white fabric or something else to create a uniform background fitting your image. Such a solution has an additional benefit: experimenting with angles will be much easier since you’re not crammed in a small bathroom or limited by walls.
When you know you’ll be taking baby milk bath photography, search for a bowl or wash-basin that is big enough to fit an infant. You can fill it up, put all sorts of décor on and around it. Such shots will stand out from the majority and look really cute too, no need for a bathtub.
Pour some indoor temperature water into your bathtub. If you get it too hot, the flowers will start to wither and your model will flush with heat. If the water is too cold, though, goosebumps will cover your model’s skin and she definitely won’t enjoy it. Also, keep in mind that while doing milk bath photography, the water will remain warm enough for only 20-30 minutes. It is especially important when dealing with babies.
You will need about 1-2 gallons of warm milk to pour into the water in your bathtub. Now, the suggestions are different. Some claim that only heavy cream will give you the desired effect. Others advise to use powdered milk. I think that for a milk bath photoshoot any type will work just fine.
To achieve better results, try to locate your bathtub photoshoot near a big window. Natural lights are always preferable since they create that warm summery look in the image and soften shadows.
This is a great perspective for images but not for the photographer, because it can be pretty difficult to fix yourself for shooting. Don’t risk anyone’s life taking overhead milk bath pictures standing on the edges. Willing to work in this perspective, make sure to get a sturdy ladder.
Models are accustomed to be fixed in uncomfortable positions but your clients typically aren’t. Try making bathtub photography more comfortable for them by putting something under the head. This way not only your client will be less tired and have a better experience but also you will be able to get better shots.
You want to be safe with your camera and your subject, so make sure to always wear a camera strap.It will prevent you from dropping the device in the water or on the model, especially taking that overhead shot.
I love how floral accents transform the picture saturating it with a sense of life. But if you’re going to use flowers in milk bath photography, don’t try the fake imitations, they are only going to sink to the bottom. It’s the real ones that can float.
Despite how great they look in milk bath images, flowers can cause harm to those who suffer from allergies. If you fail to inquire your model, the whole photo shoot can be ruined. Check it with him/her and see if you can find non-allergic breeds or otherwise use silk flowers.
Since fake flowers sink, as I have already mentioned, what do you do with those allergic clients? The solution is simple, force those flowers to swim with some bubble wrap. Cut a hole in the middle small enough for only the stem to fit, push the piece of wrapping up under the flower head and make sure it is fully covered. This way even fake flowers will be able to float.
Have some color coordination scheme in mind when you’re choosing the flowers for milk bathtub photography. If you select bright flowers, the effect will be much different than if you’ve chosen more pastel shades. So make them correspond to the general mood of the photo.
A trick I learned is to place the flowers on the surface after the model went into the tub. Even real flowers, when the liquid starts collecting on them, will slowly sink down with time. So, to avoid that, arrange the flowers last thing before starting bath photography and keep some extra flowers to add up during the process.
Rose Petals Photoshop Overlays
Such an overlay is incredibly useful for photographers working in this genre. The petals are realistic and perfect, of different colors, and the algorithm throws them randomly on the foreground. These can also serve well if there is some undesired element you want to cover up.
It’s not obvious when you look at photos but placing flowers can become a challenge, especially if you’re shooting a baby milk bath and the little one is splashing around. You need to plant flowerheads all around the subject evenly, not forgetting to vary them. Then you must keep an eye on the floating décor as you shoot, to avoid it all gathering in one corner.
As an alternative to flowers, use some fruit cut in thin slices. To make the shot less screaming with colors, sprinkle lemons, cucumbers and mint leaves for milk bath images. They will look fresher and calmer.
For some careless and colored milk bath photography, especially suitable for shooting young children, substitute all décor with fruit loops!
You can expand the theme of your décor, adding more character to the shot with some accessories. Most obvious would be a floral crown that gives the subject a feminine and delicate look but also ties the whole composition together. These crowns also help bring a bit more color to the image.
Milk bath photography is more complicated because more skin is exposed. This makes photo retouching more time-consuming and complicated. There can be many issues –starting from pores or hairs to color misbalance. See this tutorial to learn how to tackle every issue!
Instead of flowers, try putting various leaves into the tub. A unified green look or leaves partially mixed with flowers create a whole different atmosphere.
Expanding the nature theme, incorporate whole branches dotted with flowers into the milk bathtub photography setup. While being a bit more challenging to fit in, these create absolutely unique shots to diversify your photography portfolio.
If you want to step away from natural décor, get different types of glitter instead. Being a sign of celebration, they work extremely well for maternity photography, creating a festive and fairy-tale look.
Not the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear milk bath photography, but I think that’s all the more reason to try. Butterflies look great in the milky water, especially if you pick those to match or emphasize the model’s outfit.
I have already mentioned that flowers should go into the water last. If you stick to that rule, you can give your model a bouquet to hold before you separate flowerheads from it.
Bubbles can also be an interesting and festive photography prop. If you’re having milk bath photography sessions with the mother and child together, fill the tub and let them play with bubbles displaying sencere emotions. Otherwise, you can have someone blow them on the model to create interesting moments.
When shooting in fall, bring the beauty of the season into your photo session. Collect pretty fallen leaves and scatter them around. Pay attention to any dirt, though, because it can easily tint your milk in an unpleasant shade.
With so many décor options, it is easy for a milk bath photographer to lose the subject in the image. Try to strip the bathtub of any distractions instead. With the right pose and light, you can create an effect all the more stunning and the model will remain the center of your creation.
Shooting overhead is classic and thus somewhat boring. Try some out of the framework ideas to make the photo shoot more unique. For instance, why not shooting the model from behind?
This is common for boudoir photography but works even better in milk. Picking white or creamy colors, when lace gets wet, it will create an incredible impression of painted patterns. Nothing works better for a feminine, gracious, glamorous look, but additional benefits are flexibility and comfort. This really matters if the milk bath pregnancy photos are taken at a later stage.
For an ethereal look that is hard to achieve any other way, I use sheer fabrics. They look incredible when they drape around the body in translucent milky water. A common option is tulle but other fabrics might be suitable too.
Some models prefer being photographed in a dress and it’s perfectly fine if they do. Just make sure that the dress they pick is really tight around the curves. Otherwise, in milk bath photography, loose fabric can distort the figure in an unflattering way.
If the model doesn’t feel awkward, try taking some nude shots to really emphasize her femininity. Some shots can be made more discreet with the use of hands or opaque milk mixture over inappropriate parts for the possibility of social sharing. More daring shots can be taken for the client’s private use.
Despite how flattering those Pinterest suggestions might look, don’t just be a copycat and concentrate more on your client’s body instead. Choose angles and positioning that work best for the particular body type. Experiment with portrait photography poses to see how they are influenced by the liquid around.
The limited space of a bathroom will most likely prevent you from excluding every distraction from a shot. Don’t be upset if during your milk bath photography sessions some unwanted objects remain in the frame, just crop them up during picture post-production.
Regardless of your personal style and preferences, you will certainly want to see the bathtub snow white in the photos. To achieve that, you don’t need much image retouching, in most cases increasing exposure and whites does the trick.
Who says water only needs to be white? Interesting shots can be created with tinted water and that doesn’t even require you to purchase food dye or special paints. Use Photoshop for colored milk bath photography and expand your possibilities.
Please don’t think that image editing requires a special talent. All you really need is a systematized collection of knowledge and some practice time to reach the level of professionals, and this resource is perfect for you.
We all know how it feels when you took an amazing shot only to discover later that there is a small detail that completely ruins the impression. Here is where editing milk bath photos comes to the rescue. Apply the stamp tool over that annoying flaw, be it a piece of décor or body, and enjoy your perfect shot.
You don’t really need to have a huge bath, sometimes the trick is to leave some white space on every side when framing the shot. This can help broaden the whiteness of milk and thus emphasizing your model’s features.
Both amateurs and professionals love and actively use free image editing tools to strengthen the impression of their milk bath photography concept. The ones you see below are free to download and take seconds to apply.
Intensifying luminosity is always a good idea in this genre. This preset will do it in a natural way, also increasing brightness and adding a gentle warm tint.
Wondering how to take a milk bath shot with that airy, dreamy look? It can be done in just one click with this magnificent preset that illuminates darkened areas maintaining the depth.
The most requested action in portrait photography is certainly the one for perfecting skin and here is the best one so far. It helps easily erase acne, bags under eyes and various other imperfections to leave you with smooth, glowing skin.
Earlier, as an alternative décor for milk bath images, I offered to use glitter. But if your model wasn’t happy at the thought of washing it off, you can simply imitate it with this great overlay that adds tiny golden sparks.
This Lightroom preset is incredibly suitable for baby milk bath photography. It will give the image that lovely warm look that fits so much the tender age of little children.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.