a milk bath with ashleigh and aurora
I have been dying to try my hand at a milk bath shoot. There’s something incredibly elegant and luxurious about the way the milky water interacts with skin. Adding a bunch of flowers for a touch of color enhances that luxurious feel.
It’s not all milk, honey and flowers though. It was surprisingly challenging creating milk bath images, much more so than I thought it would. I came face-to-face with issues I hadn’t anticipated to be issues at all.
and so it begins…
To get the bath ready is simple enough, or so you’d think. Sure, there is a general guide as to how much milk and honey to use (2 liters milk in a large tub with 2 tablespoons honey was the sweet spot for me), but the first problem I faced was that of the milk bath water temperature. Obviously, I wanted my model to be comfortable in a nice, relaxing, warm tub (it being winter and all), but the problem is water which is too warm would flush the skin to a very unflattering, bright pinkish red more suited to a delicious queen prawn or lobster,especially with a person with very fair skin. Too cold would leave her shivering and covered in goosebumps. I found it very challenging to find the perfect balance.
it’s getting foggy in here!
The second problem with the warm water and humidity was that of the lens fogging over. I did however find a very simple solution to this problem thanks to my great pal, Google. Simply pop the camera with lens attached into a rubbish bag (those huge black ones), pushing out most of the air and tying it shut. Leave said camera in the bag in the bathroom for about 5 minutes whilst the water is in the tub and creating steam. Then remove the camera from the bag, and presto! No foggy lens! Apparently, the key here is to acclimate the camera to the environment. I can truly say this method works wonders!
check your surroundings!
So, the bath water was ready, and so was my camera, and I was hit with problem number 3: that darn pesky toilet! I have two large tubs at my disposal for these photos. Problem is, both the tubs feature the glorious white throne right behind them. This meant I could only shoot from either right above the tub, standing on the tub edges, or leaning in as close as humanly possible so the camera’s angle was lower than that of the tub rim.
So, what’s the big deal then? Well, if your subject isn’t the size of a tree sapling needing only a sliver of water to cover their body the chances are the space you would have available to play with within the tub to get below the rim is minuet. My model was a teeny tiny size 8 and I still had trouble with those angles.
Which only leaves you with shots from above. Great! Problem solved! Not quite. If your model isn’t ridiculously flexible, you are once more limited to the amount of poses you can get out of her.
Photographing a toddler isn’t a walk in the park either. You would think since they are small and you can get by with a little water you would have much more space to get many more shots. Wrong! Well, right on the space part, wrong on the many more shots.
Babies and toddlers LOVE playing with the flowers, which makes super happy kiddo faces for your super adorable photos. That is, if you can get them to look up from the water long enough. They want to play with the flowers and tend to go for the blossoms right in front of them leaving their faces pointing straight down.
In summary, be prepared! You won’t have a ton of time because the water will get cold, and there is limited space to work with. Ideally you would use a large tub in the middle of a room, and a size 8 or smaller model with superhuman flexibility. But as we all know, these shoots are incredibly popular for maternity and newborn / baby shoots, so be prepared.
All-in-all, I did have a ton of fun creating these images, and I am still absolutely in love with milk bath photos. In my humble opinion, absolutely worth the trouble.