Milk Bath Shoot

Something I have been wanting to try, but it is not quite as easy as it seems, or so I found out recently. There world of Instagram and Pinterest are full of amazing images of beautiful women in baths full of milk. Standing on the edge of the bath leaning over the model taking a photo, is not something I was comfortable with, AT ALL……I’m a clutz; I’m sure you have read that a time or two. I have heard urban legend horror stories of big burly photographers slipping and crushing both model and camera gear in bath…….not on.I was watching a Brooke Shaden video a while back where she did a Milk Bath in a kiddies pool………now that is an idea I can work worth; so we started from there.

My lovely model for the day was Rachelle James, ever patient and ever gutsy, happily trying anything out in the name of art, fashion and just plain good fun.

I learned a lot in this shoot, warm weather is a good idea (we were lucky it was hot), 1.6m toddler paddling pools are not as big as you think, but at the same time take up a lot of room. I did the shoot in the studio/garage…….water and all those lights! I did actually drop one in the water during setup, Rachelle was not in it yet, neither light nor pool seemed to suffer any damage and we did not lose electricity; so all good.

I covered the pool with Β large black bed sheet, and then filled the already blown up pool with water. Do not blow these pools up yourself, use an air pump, seriously I think I would have passed out. Also make sure the hose is not turned up full bore…….water tends to go everywhere! The Milk? I had heard that Cow’s milk (although cheaper) can smell and irritates sensitive skin and that Almond or Coconut milk is much better, it also has a creamier consistency. I went for Almond Milk, actually I got vanilla almond milk, the smell was heavenly……even after the milk was left in the studio over 3 very hot days! Oops, needed to empty that one out sooner. Another lesson learned…

What else have I learnt?

  1. Do this on a hot day, but out of the sun
  2. Keeps lights far back as possible from the water/milk, natural light would have been better
  3. Keep lots of towels on hand, water gets everywhere
  4. You cannot get close enough on a ladder
  5. You cannot get close enough with a tripod
  6. Use a wide angle lens
  7. The photographer has to get wet too, so prepare to get in too (Rachelle thought this was hilarious)
  8. A full grown model doesn’t not fit all that well in a toddler pool with you in there as well
  9. Water on Lino (studio floor) is VERY slippery
  10. Water on concrete can also be slippery
  11. Make sure camera is well anchored to something so it doesn’t hit the model or water (No mine didn’t take a swim, thank goodness)
  12. Milk Bath shoots are for photographers; much smaller, thinner and more agile than myself
  13. Do NOT attempt this with someone you do not get along well with, it gets awkward in tight confined space.
  14. Milk Baths at not as easy as I thought
  15. Emptying the pool is harder than filling it……PS you cannot drag the pool to the drain with the water, scoop it into a bucket and then carry the bucket to the drain.

We used carnations for the flowers, as roses were too well used, and the colours caught my eye. Try not to take too long as you and the model will get cold, even on a hot day.

Some poses work better than others, so try a few, move around, some people look better all wet than others and some poses are not brilliant all wet.


So will I do another Milk Bath, not entirely sure; a different tripod rig and remote control and possibly I might attempt it, other wise I have other ideas for the pool!

~ Julz