Floral Milk Bath Pictures & Tips {Toledo Maternity Photographer}

Milk Bath Photography, Herbal Bath Sessions, and Floral Baths are making a huge splash these days- cheesy pun intended.   (Sorry, I’m still sleepy.)   These beautiful milky photo sessions always bring a ton of questions, so I thought I would share this gorgeous Floral Milk Bath session with you and share what I did.   (Though I don’t claim to be an expert, please feel free to login to ask questions in the comments section!)

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Milk bath portraits don’t have to be soft and airy- dramatic works, too.

Both Professional Maternity Photographers and pregnant moms always seem to ask one question first- “Is it real milk?”  Which is always following immediately by, “It seems like it would take gallons of milk to fill a bath!”   So let’s start there!  I think this answer varies from photographer to photographer, and maybe even from milk bath to milk bath, depending on the look and feel desired by the artist.   Most often, real milk is used in at least some form, yes!  However, that does NOT mean that you need to stray away from these beautiful portraits if you have a problem with dairy!  Almond milk, coconut milk, goats milk, even breast milk… pretty much any milk substitute could likely be used in place of regular milk- just give it a try!  You do not need to have gallons and gallons to fill the bath tub.  Surprisingly, a lot of times one gallon will do the trick, depending on how translucent you want the water to be.   Now, to get really honest, most professional maternity photographers I know will not use a gallon of any kind of milk!  (What?!)  Yeah, I know.  The trade secrets:  There are many other options that allow more room for creative control.  These beautiful milk bath images were created with a powdered creamer, something like this: (click for link.)   This is still a milk product, so not a really great substitute if you are trying to avoid dairy.   This worked out really well for me, and a little bit goes a long way.  At this point, you may be thinking about the last time you used powdered creamer, and it all just clumped at the top of your coffee.  Well, don’t worry about that.   I have another little trick.   Simply mix it up in a pitcher (or shake it in an empty bottle) before you add it to the bath.  Once that condensed “milk” is made, then you can add it in to the bath water as needed.  My pitcher actually has a handle on it for easy mixing, so it was really a speedy process.  (I use one like this.)  Another dairy-free option is corn starch, though I have not tried that one.  Please comment below, if you have!

 

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Our milk bath wasn’t very translucent, which helped when we wanted to be a bit modest.

 

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Once the clothes and hair get wet, you can’t “undo it”, so be sure to enter slowly.

 

 

After your milk bath is created, many maternity photographers choose at add floating flowers.  This is such a gorgeous option, but please make sure to ask your expecting momma if she has any allergies.  If she does, be certain to find non-allergenic flowers, or use silk flowers.   I added my flowers as the momma was getting in, and then throughout the photo session.  They did start to immerse deeper, the longer we photographed, so it was nice to have more to add in.  We also needed them in various places as we changed poses, so having extras to toss here and there was nice.  If you are photographing from above, it may be a good idea to have something long that you can reach down and move the flowers around, without moving up and down.  If you are planning to use silk flowers, I’ve heard that they often sink.  To avoid this, try dipping the bottom in melted wax well before your bath session.  (Sorry, I haven’t personally tried this one, so let me know if you have!)

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Carefully choose your style and colors of flowers. If you have bright colors, your image will have a very different overall feel than if you have soft colors.

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As you can see, some flowers float more than others, so having a variety will help create depth in your photograph.

 

So you’ve got your pregnant momma, your milk, your flowers…. what about the tub?  This seems to be the hardest problem, I’m not going to lie!  The ideal location would be a beautiful jacuzzi bath tub, with sides the photographer can stand on, lots of space in the bathroom, and glorious natural light.  Good luck!  If you have access to one, take advantage of it!  Most photographers don’t, so here’s what you can do:  call around to local Bed and Breakfast locations, or do a quick search on airbnb.com.  Many local places are looking to make a few dollars and have beautiful options.  If that doesn’t work, there’s another option, but it will be more challenging.  That is…. a blow up swimming pool.  Don’t believe it will work?  That’s what we used in all of these images.  It left us with a lot of laughs and a few stories to tell, but it got the job done!  If you can do this outside, in the shade, you may have a great lighting situation, naturally.  If not, try to do it in the studio with your strobe lights.  That’s what we did, and I think the images are beautiful.

 

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This was photographed in a kiddy pool, in our Archbold studio.

If you are planning to do a session like this with a newborn, it would be a better idea to do a Postpartum Herbal Bath.  Lots of babies have sensitive skin and dairy allergies, and who wants to find that out the hard way?  There are a lot of Herbal Bath kits on the market, so just be sure you’re getting one that is safe and gentle for babies.  If you want your water to look darker, make sure you steep the herbs for a long time before pouring it in the bath.  Start this process well before the bath!

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Scarves, wraps, and other delicate material are great for covering momma where needed.  Be creative and find something that fits your style!

 

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You may want a white pillow under the mother’s head, to help keep her head out of the bath and make sure you don’t create a double chin.

If you have any other tips or tricks for a maternity or glamour milk bath or floral bath, please share them in the comments below!

 

For a free pre-design consultation for  your own custom session, please call us today!  419. 231. 1174

 

We are currently serving all of Northwest Ohio, Southwest Michigan,  as well as the Fort Wayne Indiana area. (Including but not limited to Wauseon, Archbold, Napoleon, Bryan, Pettisville, Defiance, Whitehouse, Toledo, Delta, Swanton, Perrysburg, Maumee, Holland, Sylvania, and more.)

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  • What a gorgeous maternity milk bath session!
    I love all the photographs and think mum to be looks so beautiful and serene!ReplyCancel

    • ash.short@yahoo.com

      Thank you, Effie! I love milk bath portraits, too. So dreamy!ReplyCancel

  • These milk bath maternity photos are so beautiful! Love the tips you gave too – thank you!ReplyCancel

    • ash.short@yahoo.com

      My pleasure, Corey! Hopefully the tips for the milk bath photos help if you do the next time you try!ReplyCancel

  • What fabulous tips for rocking a maternity milk bath session! I’ve never ever tried a milk bath session before because I don’t have the ideal location for it, but I might try to track down a blow up swimming pool. That is pretty genius!ReplyCancel

    • ash.short@yahoo.com

      Haha, thanks Allison! I can’t take the credit for using the swimming pool, but I do think it’s a great idea. I’d love to see some of your milk bath portraits if you give it a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Mason

    These are beautiful! I love her dress and the colors and edits!!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, these are stunning! This answered so many questions I’ve had about these milk bath sessions! I don’t generally take maternity clients, so this is totally foreign to me. Thanks for sharing!!ReplyCancel

    • ash.short@yahoo.com

      Thanks, Kayla! I’m glad it helped. I seem to see a lot of the same questions over and again. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Mendez

    WOW.

    I am speechless.

    These images are so beautiful and amazing. Thank you for sharing these!!!ReplyCancel

    • ash.short@yahoo.com

      Aw, thank you so much, Vanessa! My pleasure!ReplyCancel

  • silke

    Great photos! I love the style and lighting!

    How do you empty and clean the pool in the studio? 😬ReplyCancel

    • ash.short@yahoo.com

      Thank you! Cleaning it isn’t tricky, it’s the emptying it. 😉 We used a hose to fill it, which was connected to a sink, thus providing warm water. When we were ready to empty it, we simply used the hose to syphon it out. A simple pool pump would be a simple choice as well.ReplyCancel

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