Got Milk?

May 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

MilkMilk Milk bath photography has been popular for some time. This style usually involves a female model immersed in a white milky liquid. A series of art or sensuous poses with a variety of props can create an interesting set of images.

There are quiet a variety of opinions and formulas for creating the 'milky liquid". These usually involve mixing water with:

  • Coffee Creamer
  • Real milk (Whole, fat free, etc..)
  • Powdered Milk
  • Cornstarch

​As well as others. One of the factors in deciding what you will use may be the volume of liquid that you will be working with. It can be very practical to use actual milk in a standard bathtub with 10-20 gallons of water, but may get costly if the shoot involves a children's pool with significantly more volume to be filled. Generally 2-3 Gallons of real milk is sufficient to create an opaque milky bath when enough water is added to fill it about 1/2 full. One important tip here is to start with warm water not only for the comfort of your model but also to achieve a even color.  

Props can vary, but flowers are common. Be sure that you do not use artificial flowers, since they will sink rapidly unless you have waterproofed them. Also, Flowers with a larger bloom can be appealing and will last for longer periods of time. Small flowers and leaves will initially float, however some may become partially submerged over time.  Leaves are of course another option as are different type of fruits or vegetables that float.

Think about wardrobe for your model. Although part of the shoot may be nude, dark or even lacy clothing can add much to the image. Once again, real milk from the refrigerator is going to make your model very uncomfortable and you may not get the shots that you want. Sitting poses to partially submerged poses can create some very dynamic images.

When it comes to lighting, some people prefer natural light. The photographer does not a strong source of light directly hitting the milk since this can create hot spots, glare, or other undesirable elements. A very large even source of light is helpful, such as a strobe aimed at the ceiling if the shot is performed in the bathroom. If a pool is used outdoors, a shaded area will produce better results in most cases. Remember that the milk is a giant reflector when setting up a lighting plan. 

Try varying camera angles, lighting intensity, and aperture.  Your model may also have a very different look with her hair wet, and having her change from a white outfit to a dark outfit. Try shooting only in milk, then add props. You may be surprised at what you come up with!