Milk bath maternity pictures… say what?

My first ever client, from almost four years ago, came to me and asked if I would do her maternity pictures again. I was ecstatic and emphatically said, “Yes, of course!” She then told me she wanted to try a “milk bath session.” My brain said, “A what?!?” and my hands feverishly started googling. I had no idea what this was all about. I looked at a few images and it seemed pretty straightforward. So I then looking up “how to” do a milk bath maternity session and a few questions were answered. I then returned to her text message and said, “Okay, sure! Let’s try this. I’ve never done it, but it looks like fun!”

Thank goodness, that ended up being true!

We picked our date and planned on using the tub at her place… but that didn’t end up working out. So about two weeks before “go time” we had to find a different tub or buy a kiddie pool and pray. Thank goodness (again), my brother-in-law has a wonderful house and downstairs bathroom with a jacuzzi tub right next to a big window. Yay! The plan was back in action!

So, we got together on June 24th to carpool to the store to grab our milk and fresh flowers. Spoiler alert: it does not take very much milk.

Then, into the tub we headed!

I had brought three different maternity gowns, a headpiece, some sheer curtains, and my gear. She brought a couple of other headpieces with her, so once we took stock of the wardrobe and decided what to put her in, it was really easy to proceed. She got dressed while I ran the bath water, unpackaged the flowers, turned on some music, and set up my gear. One of the how to blogs I had read prepared me to tap into my patience for this type of session. Working with water makes everything fluid- fabric, hair, flowers. Too much shifting around causes complete chaos because the photographer is essentially doing a floating floral arrangement and treating the subject (a uncomfortable pregnant woman) like one of the flowers. So that means some acrobatics on the part of the photographer, seriously obsessive posing, and a great need for a relaxing atmosphere for the mommy. Thankfully, we seemed to juggle all of those elements really well together!

From the point she entered the tub it was all about arranging and then shooting from every conceivable angle.

Here are some of my favorite shots:

 

 

 

 

I will be the first to admit that even though my natural leaning is toward unposed, candid portraits… this was actually a lot of fun. I got to tap into more of my art background and really have a hand in every little detail. I also have to admit that I enjoy arranging flowers and his was not too far removed from that process.

The next time we meet our session will be 100% documentary: when we welcome Baby Preston into the world! I can’t wait to share that beautiful day with the world as well. From beautiful milk bath maternity images to the birth of a new, beautiful baby. It’s going to be really special.