Good Ol' Pinterest. .
Okay, Pinterest may be to blame for this . . while searching for maternity photo ideas, I came across all the dreamiest milk bath photos of mama's to be glowing while showing off their bump! The thought of being in a warm tub surrounded by flowers was enough motivation in itself to attempt this at home in our tub, without a professional photographer.
I read somewhere, that 31 weeks is the optimum time do shoot maternity - as at that point your belly is big, but the rest of you isn't (yet). That definitely is the case for me . . As it seems like after 34 weeks, everything starts expanding and swelling in preparation for labor. My face, hands, feet - even my lips become huge(r) ! So word to the wise ; if you are a new mama to be - shoot before 31 weeks. . Unless of course you are one of those freaks of nature who look completely normal with just a thought little belly, and in that case- you have nothing to worry about (PS congrats on winning supreme genetics).
Setting up the scene
The beauty of milk bath photography comes from the simplicity of the subject (you) being merged in a milky white backdrop. It creates an ethereal look, which can be played up with creative use of fabrics and textures.
Obviously, as the name implies - there is milk involved, and how much you use depends on the size of your tub and how opaque you want the water to be . . Our tub is large, and I wanted the water to be white - yet not completely opaque. This equaled 1 1/2 gallons for us (total, $4ish - this is NOT the time to buy organic!).
I honestly had no idea what kind of florals I wanted to do.
I knew I wanted it to be understated - with minimal colors/variations . . Thankfully, while grocery shopping at Costco the morning of our shoot - I came across some beautiful bouquets. I bought 3 different sets, and they totaled under $30 . . score!
To set up the tub, I filled it 1/4 way with very warm water - I did this because I hate being cold, and knew it would take a minute to set everything up. . After filling up the tub, I dumped the milk until I liked how white the water looked. After the tub was filled, and the correct opaqueness - I added the florals. . easy, peasy!
This is where you can put your stamp of originality on the shoot..
The amount of florals you buy - the colors you chose, the way you trim them - and place them in the tub, will all have a different effect on the overall look of the photo.
What to wear in a milk bath . .
Getting dressed, only to take a bath - is somewhat of a humorous concept . .but this is where the milky magic sets in!
How much - or little skin you show, is your choice - but showing off that bump should be the focus! I chose the dress I saw nearly every other mama to be wearing, because a) It looked good b)Amazon prime c) not enough brain power to think of creative alternative!
The dress is cumbersome - it has a plunging neckline that even my deepest plunging bra was no match for (you can see it peeking out in some photos) , so keep that in mind if you purchase it!
As for hair + make-up . . I'm definitely apart of the "less is more" tribe . I didn't want to look glamorous, I wanted to look like myself . .Like myself, just surrounded by flowers wearing a lace dress in a tub filled with milk . .yeo!
So again, let your personal style shine here! A tip for those with long hair, the less you fill the tub - the less wet your hair will get.
Entering the tub, and trying not to ruin it
So what I've failed to mention up until this point is that, eventually you will have to get in the tub . .which is harder than it sounds because huge bellies and stealthliness, usually don't mix!
lights, camera . . !
The most important piece of this puzzle is lighting! Natural light is the camera's best friend - and the more you can let into your bathroom , the better!
Our tub sits beneath a bunch of large windows - allowing us to take full advantage! The 'us' in the equation is my husband, and I. He is the one who glanced himself on the edge of our tub to get these shots. . I simply showed him examples of the angles I wanted - and he would show me as he shot, what it was looking like.
Full disclosure, we used our DSLR - and I edited these photos in Lightroom . . but, if you have an iPhone with portrait mode - and the vsco app, this look can totally be achieved (and a lot easier) .
I hope you are inspired to try this DIY maternity shoot for yourself! I promise you won't regret it, and will have some beautiful photos to look back on.
If this style isn't so much you - check out my "Maternity Shoot" Pinterest board loaded with inspiration!
Comment below If you are game to try, and make sure you show me your photos if you do!