The latest trend for pregnant women is absolutely stunning! Many are steering away from the traditional outdoor maternity session and are in favor of a more calm and organic look with milk bath photography. These sessions typically take place in the comfort of the client’s home, filling their bathtub with water, adding milk… and creating some magnificent art! This style is beautiful for newborn sessions too! These sessions truly offer the opportunity as an artist for the creative juices to flow!
There are many ways to set the “stage” for a milk bath scene. This type of maternity session is about creating art so it’s up to you on how you want to bring it to life! Here are some tips and best practices on how to prepare for a milk bath session…
- The best time to schedule a milk bath session is between 33-36 weeks pregnant. The session lasts roughly an hour — 30 minutes to prep the bath/florals and roughly 30 minutes of shooting time.
- Plan in advance your color scheme. I used fresh florals because they float best and look more real in photographs (not to mention they smell amazing!). I’ve worked with The Proper Petal in the past and have used their expertise on what florals would work best for my shoots. Some popular florals are football mums, dendrobium orchids, spray roses, and eucalyptus. Cut the stems to ½-1”. You can use Scotch Guard to spray them all down really well as a means of “waterproofing” them to ensure you have the best chance in keeping them afloat. Any remaining florals/greenery that aren’t used you can always decorate the border of the bathtub (but you also don’t want the images to look too busy). I highly recommend The Proper Petal for their gorgeous floral crowns — it adds gorgeous pops of color!
- The morning of your session, I would suggest getting your makeup done. I highly recommend the fabulously talented, Natalie Gordon, owner of Avenue 42 Style Studio. It’s a great excuse to pamper myself! It is such a confidence booster going into a photo session and makes such a differences in your images. Go ahead and get a manicure and pedicure too! 🙂
- Natural (window) light is key! In the past, clients have been comfortable meeting me at my home since my master bathroom has a large soaker tub with a big window next to it letting lots of beautifully diffused light in (as shown in slideshow and images below). I clear the area all around my tub and sink so the background is super clean and white.
- I offer my milk bath clients a beautiful white floral lace gown that I found on Amazon (Prime!). It’s so very feminine and elegant — It’s perfect for milk bath sessions! Since this gown is very see-through, I also offer tan pasties and suggest my clients bring along some white lace undergarments so it all blends nicely. If you’re going for a more nude look then white tulle is another great option to wrap yourself in.
- The best time for lighting will vary depending on the time of year and direction of your bathroom window. In my bathroom, the best time is mid-afternoon. I fill the tub about ½ way with warm water. I then use 1 gallon of whole milk which is the perfect amount for the desired translucent look I like in my resulting images. Milk also has numerous benefits to the skin that pregnant mommies can take advantage of!
- I have my clients first recline into the water and stay very still while I strategically place the florals in the bath tub. We’ll do some adjusting throughout the session since the florals move around easily.
- When we’re finished, I use a strainer and put it upside down over the drain. This helps in allowing us to quickly drain the tub without any flower petals getting stuck down the drain and makes for easy clean up.
What’s great about these milk bath sessions is that each one is unique – from the bathtub, to the florals, the jewelry, the attire… it’s very versatile where you can personalize it however you want. I believe this milk bath trend is becoming popular because of the simplicity of it so don’t rule out keeping it simple. It also puts much of the focus on your beautiful growing baby bump which is what I want to capture.
The purpose of milk bath sessions is a way to embrace the end of your pregnancy in a comfortable, relaxed, and natural environment. What a beautiful way to show the loving bond you had with your little one before they were even born. Celebrating not only your beautiful bump and the strength of your body but also documenting a life created, a life changed.