The latest trend for pregnant women is absolutely stunning! Many are in favor of a more calm and organic look for their maternity portraits by investing in milk bath photography. These sessions typically take place in the comfort of my home, filling my bathtub with warm water, adding milk and fresh florals… creating some magnificent art! This style is beautiful for newborn and breastfeeding 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 my client’s can prepare for a milk bath session…
- Natural (window) light is key! Clients typically meet me in my home where we utilize my master bathroom which 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). Trust me, it’s cleaner than the Ritz when you arrive! I like to give off a spa-like experience from the moment you arrive. I clear the area all around my tub and sink so everything super clean and open. There is a vanity area available, as well as, a fresh towel and water.
- The best time to schedule a milk bath session is between 30-34 weeks pregnant. The session lasts roughly 45-minutes including prepping the bath/florals and shooting time. The best time for lighting will vary depending on the time of year (and the direction of your bathroom window if we’re off-site). 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 milk which is the perfect amount for the desired translucent look I strive for in the resulting images. Milk also has numerous benefits to the skin that pregnant mommies can take advantage of!
- I offer my clients complimentary florals for their milk bath session. I use 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, hydrangeas, spray roses, and eucalyptus. I 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! You can view examples of them here.
- I would suggest setting an appointment for the morning of your session.It’s a great excuse to pamper myself! The fabulously talented ladies at Avenue 42 Style Studio is my go-to recommendation! It is such a confidence booster going into a photo session and makes such a difference in your images. Go ahead and get a manicure and pedicure the day before our session too! 🙂
- As a complimentary option, I offer my clients a beautiful white floral lace gown (as shown below) to wear during their milk bath. It’s so very feminine and elegant — 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 bring and wrap yourself in.
- Once dressed in their milk bath attire, 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 between posing.
- 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.
Motherhood & family photographer based in Richmond, Virginia.
For details on booking your maternity, milk bath, newborn, or family session —
please inquire through my contact page.