5 Things I learned about milk bath photography!

Updated: May 11

Well...it was time...We had somehow avoided the request for almost 5 years in boudoir photography and alas...it was time, for a MILK BATH!!!! OK, guys seriously I had never done a milk bath before last week and have to say the results were awesome! I wanted to share some tips and tricks that we learned along the way!


When it comes to gear, I found lenses over 35 mm were too tight to shoot in a standard bath space so I whipped out my wide angle Tokina 16-28 2.8 and rolled with it.

Tip #1- If you are limited on space, use a wide-angle lens. Because milk baths are a little more of an "artsy" style anyway the distortion of a wide-angle didn't seem to matter too much as long as I was mindful of checking how the images looked.

THE MILK...what is it anyway? Is it all actually milk? Is it some weird magical powder? what is it?! Well my friends we ran some small-batch tests and found that what we really liked was 3/5 warm/hot water 1/4 powdered milk and .1/5 whole milk. The whole milk gives the water depth and body while the powdered milk adds an iridescent element. What NOT to do....add any type of water enhancement flavoring to try and change colors...it attaches to the fat cells of the milk (both liquid and powder) to give a really gross coagulated look...unless that is your thing, I'd avoid it.

SO tip # 2: the mix will depend on what you are going for, test in small batches first.

THE FLOWERS! Fake flowers will not float so make sure you get REAL flowers. I popped over to our local grocery store (Kroger) the morning of the shoot and picked up a bunch of their "on the way out" flowers and some specific flowers by client request. Hindsight being 20/20 I would have purchased more flowers. Make sure to get different sizes and just a tip, baby's breath is a great, cost-effective filler! Once the flowers are in the water we had about 45 min before they started to lose their body and wilt. We had a game plan and pose list so this was plenty of time.

Tip #3 in milk bath photography always get lots of fresh flowers, they don't have to be fancy.

POSING- Pre-planning base poses and making small adjustments worked really well for us! We focused more on adjustments to the base pose instead of entirely different poses.

Tip #4- When posing have a plan and make small adjustments to find what works for you.

GET HIGH...that's right. Even with a wide-angle lens, you will want to get up on a ladder to make sure you are far enough away from your subject to minimize distortion and get your entire setup in the shot, also you will be very focused on your subject so it's a good idea to have a spot assistant to let you know when you are leaning too far. #safteyfirst

Tip 5: Get high, have a spotter.

There you have it! The top 5 things I think are important to know when going into your first milk bath photoshoot for boudoir or really any style of milk bath photography. Don't sweat the small stuff and stay creative.

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