11 Creative Bathtub Photoshoot Ideas

Even at home you may realize creative and sensual bathtub photoshoot ideas. Obviously, organizing such a photoshoot demands proper planning, preparation, and choosing an appropriate concept. Below you’ll find an array of interesting ideas that range from a bathtub filled with balloons to sensual shots featuring milk or flowers.

1. Use a Milk Bath

milk bath photoshoot idea

Milk bath photography is a unique part of portrait photography that prioritizes sensual, minimalist imagery. You can use the created negative space to focus the viewer’s attention on the subject’s face and body.

Professional milk bath photographers tend to buy about 4-7 liters of milk for each shoot. The first step is filling your bathtub with warm water before you pour the milk into it. Whole milk provides the best results in such scenarios but milk powder is also a valid alternative. Don't be too shy about the milk usage since otherwise, the liquid will look overly translucent instead of having a nice opaque texture.

milk bath photoshoot example

Pro tip: Trying out various focal lengths will help make your milk bath photography more distinct. If you have a prime lens, consider going with 50mm or 85mm for portrait and detail shots. If possible, you should also use a wide-angle lens, especially if the bathroom is rather small and you’d like to encompass a larger part of the scene.

Additionally, photographers that plan to use a zoom lens are advised to use a model that covers the range between wide-angle to short telephoto. For instance, a 24-70mm lens is a perfect fit for taking milk bathtub photos.

2. Shoot in the Gorgeous Green Garden

bathtub photoshoot in the gorgeous garden

If you’re interested in natural bathtub shoot ideas, try finding a location that features trees in bloom, a floral archway, or simply a beautiful garden. It can be a fantastic choice for children photos or newborn photography. You can get the best results by scheduling the photoshoot near the start or the end of the day so that the subject is surrounded by a soft, yellowish glow.

bathtub photoshoot in garden example

Transparent water tends to get old eventually so feel free to add diversity to your bathtub photos with different colors. Such an effect can be achieved by employing food dye or non-toxic paints. Alternatively, you can use a bath bomb to infuse the water with artistic color patterns.

Pro tip: Stick to as low of an aperture value as you can to create a soft, dreamlike backdrop while the subject maintains maximum sharpness and ensures the viewer’s attention doesn’t get distracted from the child. I prefer to take such photos with an aperture of f/2.8. Meanwhile, photographers who want to keep a bigger part of the scene in focus can use a bigger aperture of about f/8.

bathtub photoshoot color correction by fixthephoto bathtub photoshoot color correction by fixthephoto

Want Terrific Images in The Bathtub?

If you want to enhance the quality of your bathtub photos and attract attention with vibrant images, take advantage of the services provided by FixThePhoto retouchers. Specialists will perform color correction, apply film effects, and make manipulations.

3. Play with Soap

bathtub photoshoot with soap

Start by putting 2 tablespoons of liquid soap (hand soap also works) into half a cup of water. Then, add a couple of glycerin drops and let it mix for a couple of hours. Glycerin is needed to strengthen the bubbles and ensure they don’t pop immediately. As another option, you can purchase a little bottle of bubble solution.

When shooting, employ a waterproof camera like Panasonic Lumix FT7/TS7, Olympus Tough! TG-5, SeaLife DC2000, or Nikon Coolpix W300 to prevent water splashes from damaging your equipment. Your goal is to capture the most emotional moments created by the model so be ready to release the shutter at all times. The average DSLR camera starts up virtually instantly and you don’t waste any battery by keeping the camera turned on when not using it.

bathtub photoshoot with soap example

Pro tip: Set the camera to either a semi-automatic or automatic mode to quickly capture moments when the model is playing around with the soap since such dynamic scenes don’t give you the time necessary to adjust all the settings manually. Once the model is done constantly moving around, you can go back to manual mode while carefully adjusting the settings before each shot.

4. Organize Bathtub Party

bathtub photoshoot party

If you’re looking for some fun and lively bathtub photoshoot ideas, you can always try organizing a bathroom party. Such a shoot requires nothing more than a beautiful dress, some wine or champagne, and possibly a couple of decorations that fit the overall theme like white balloons or a balloon arch.

bathtub photoshoot party idea

Pro tip: The lighting conditions during such parties can vary greatly so it’s impossible to suggest a single set of parameters that will work optimally in all cases. Consider beginning at an aperture value between f/5.6 and f/8 while keeping the ISO at 400 and making appropriate adjustments from there. If your bath party is organized indoors, you should stay in the 400-800 ISO range during the entire photoshoot unless it's a brightly-lit bathroom. That said, don't lower the image quality just to follow the aforementioned numbers. If you need to set ISO at 800 – do it.

5. Wine-d Down

bathtub photoshoot with wine

There’s nothing better than chilling in a bathtub with a glass of a tasty drink to relax after a hard day. Regardless of whether it’s wine, lemonade, or soda – fill a glass and enjoy it while posing for the camera. Red and blueberry wine looks particularly appealing in such photos. You can also further enhance the shot with such props as books, vintage bottles, empty glasses, bouquets, or jewelry items like a hair bow.

Pro tip: Once you’ve staged the shot perfectly, be sure to also take a couple of photos to showcase all essential details. For instance, rather than taking a wide shot of the model in the tub, take a couple of close-up photos instead. Focus on the wineglass in their hand, the model's hair or other detail to increase the emotional value of the photo.

6. Use Vintage Bathtub

photoshoot in vintage bathtub

You can add diversity to your photos by using a vintage bathtub. If your home doesn’t have such a tub, try booking a hotel room with a similar bathroom or find a suitable photo studio. Some possible options include the Farmhouse Bathroom Studio in Los Angeles, FD Photo Studio in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

To ensure your shot has the best lighting possible, put the bathtub near a big window. Natural lighting will cast appealing soft shadows. As a result, you’ll be able to experiment with various angles. If the scene is overly dark, use a reflector to get rid of rough shadows and add a spark to the subject’s eyes.

photoshoot in vintage bathtub example

Pro tip: By trying out different camera angles, you can add interest and value to an otherwise boring photo. Place the camera along the edge of the bathtub, take a photo while aiming the camera upward, or take a top-down picture – all angles are valid as long as they benefit the shot and are okay with the model.

7. Make Calming Bathhouse

calming bathtub photoshoot

If you want to establish as relaxed of an atmosphere for your photoshoot in bathtub as possible, try using your favorite aroma oils and turn on some calming music. You can also light up a calming candle to achieve the same purpose.

You can make the model more popping, try setting a broader aperture. It’s advised to set this parameter in the f/2.8 to f/5.6 range to slightly blur the backdrop. This is particularly useful if the background is overly distracting and you don’t want it to divert attention from the subject. You can set an even wider aperture, but make sure the model’s eyes remain in focus.

calming bathtub photoshoot example

Pro tip: If you want to ensure your photos don’t turn out blurry, you have to match the shutter speed with the focal length. For instance, if you have a 50mm lens, you have to set the shutter speed at 1/50sec or faster to take sharp handheld photos. Longer lenses are heavier and aren’t as easy to use in handheld mode so a higher shutter speed is essential for preventing camera shake.

8. Decorate Your Bath with Flowers

bathtub photoshoot with flowers example

If you don’t own a beautiful or vintage bathtub, you can mitigate that issue with some flowers. Collect or purchase a bouquet from a florist and spread it across the bathtub to arrange a beautiful shot. You can take most photos from a top-down angle to focus on the entire body of the model or its individual parts like the face, legs, or hands. Such an idea is perfectly suited for maternity photography.

bathtub photoshoot with flowers

Be careful to not use flowers that have dirt, pollen, or thorns. You have to be ready to show a lot of patience when working with real flowers. If they aren’t clean or have an overabundance of pollen, the water can become murky and ruin the entire setup. The downside of thorny flowers is obvious.

Pro tip: If you plan to get real flowers, find out if the model is allergic to any of them. Alternatively, you can simply purchase some premium-quality artificial flowers since they look just like the real thing. If you have trouble keeping artificial flowers afloat, you can employ a bit of bubble wrap.

9. Funny Bubble Bath

bathtub photoshoot with bubble bath

You can rarely find any fun bathtub photography ideas for children that don’t mention bubbles. You can take some terrific photos while kids try to blow the largest bubble they can. A huge advantage of this idea is that it doesn’t require an actual bubble bath to achieve the desired effect. You can simply add in the bubbles by getting Adobe Photoshop and employing Photoshop overlays.

If you want to use real bubbles to create more creative photos, prepare large bubble wands and a bottle of bubble solution.

bathtub photoshoot with bubble

Pro tip: The vast majority of DSLRs allow you to take RAW and JPG images while giving you the freedom to switch between the two modes as you see fit. RAW photos take up a lot more space because they contain uncompressed image data that lets you better adjust the exposure, white balance, and colors during the photo processing stage without lowering the picture’s quality. You can try taking photos in both RAW and JPG formats and if you’ll be happy with the latter version, you can simply delete the RAW file to save space.

10. Create Eye-Catching Spa Day

bathtub spa day photoshoot

Treat yourself to a spa day and combine it with a photo shoot. The only things you need to take such photos are a calm, relaxing atmosphere and a couple of props. Possible options include facial masks, towels, candles, petals, essential oils, various lotions, and so on.

Even if the lighting conditions are ideal, there are still aspects you can improve during the image post processing stage to make your work look even more beautiful and professional. Thankfully, the market is full of user-friendly photo editing software for PC or smartphones. Consider getting Adobe Software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom.

bathtub spa day photoshoot idea

Pro tip: One of the easiest tasks related to photo editing for beginners involves adjusting the highlight and shadow levels as well as making contrast adjustments. In many cases, a simple contrast or brightness change can already significantly increase the quality of the photo.

11. Romantic Atmosphere with Soulmate

bathtub photoshoot in romantic atmosphere

If you want to set a romantic atmosphere, you can employ a candle set, fruit, a beautiful view, and warm lighting. Stick to natural poses, for instance, you can hug your partner, tenderly kiss them, etc.

romantic bathtub photoshoot

Experiment with candid photography. Posed photos have their value but if your goal is to convey the feelings shared by a couple, then candid shots serve that purpose a lot better. If you have a longer lens like the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, you can take sharp photos from a larger distance, which is useful for helping the models. It’s also recommended to turn off the camera’s AF assist light to ensure the couple doesn’t get distracted.

Pro tip: Instead of relying on flash when doing candid photography, it's a better idea to set a broader aperture and increase the ISO so that all subjects look sharp and are in focus. Just ensure the shutter speed s high enough to handle any movement that might be happening in the shot.


freebies for lightroom

Once you’re done with your creative bathtub photoshoot, it’s time to edit your photos. This selection of portrait presets will ensure your portrait pictures will look beautiful and professional even if you’ve never used Lightroom before. These tools will enhance the colors in your images, fix the lighting, and perform other adjustments to add depth and personality to your work.

All included presets are provided in .xmp and .Irtemplate formats. You can use them in all popular Lightroom versions.