Capturing the beauty of motherhood has been a trend in maternity photography for years, and one of the most popular ways to do so is with a flower bath or milk bath. It’s a great way to celebrate your femininity and embrace the journey of motherhood. If you’re a photographer looking for an extra level of sophistication and style for your maternity flower or milk bath photoshoots, then you’ve come to the right place. Adding a fashion flair to milk and floral baths helps take these classic photo shoots up a notch and makes them look even more editorial-worthy than ever before.
In this blog post, I will explain how I got this editorial-style flower bath maternity portrait! (This setup was a part of the latest episode of the Collective).
The flower bath setup
There is no bathtub or real pool at my studio. Embracing the mantra ‘when life hands you a kiddy pool, make art,’ I put my creativity to work and transformed an inexpensive find from Amazon into a unique photography set for my studio.
Setting up for this shoot was fairly straightforward. I started by setting up a kiddy pool. I used several soft blankets under the pool for my model’s comfort and placed a black velvet fabric for a rich black background tone. I then added several buckets of warm water filled up 1/3rd.
Lighting for a flower bath photoshoot
Creating something beautiful out of a mini pool can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding! To make sure that your maternity photoshoot is as successful as possible, it’s important to set up your lighting correctly. I like to get all my lighting ready ahead of time so that you don’t scramble at the last minute trying to figure out what kind of light works best for each shot. To create a beautifully sculpted look, I positioned one softbox at an angle of 45 degrees to the model and angled it down for dramatic shadows that emphasize her cheekbones. A window on the left was used to fill in any gaps with natural light – highlighting all those stunning features!
With everything prepared for the perfect pool maternity photoshoot, all that remained was to place my model in position and start taking shots. I had a particular pose at the top of my list – one with her hand close to her face – which we ran through multiple times until it felt right before adding flowers to our pool setup.
For this bath session setup, I decided to keep the water clear, with no milk, just flowers. To bring my vision to life, I spruced up the scene with some stunning floral touches from Trader Joe’s. Splashes of color and texture were added by having flowers delicately drift around the model – it was beautiful!
Capturing that perfect moment
Once we had our setup complete, we were ready to start capturing some amazing images. Using my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera body with an EF 24–105mm f4 lens attached, I took several shots of our model.
By angling my camera slightly to the right or left I captured the beauty of my model’s silhouette and pregnancy with a unique twist. The small droplets on her arms created an extra sparkle and petals delicately decorated her body, making the photos look totally magical. The handmade silk fabric dress flowing around her created a wonderful texture. She looked absolutely gorgeous in her flower bath photoshoot! I ended up loving the portrait of her not looking directly into the camera but gazing off to the left side.
Maternity flower bath image editing
Firstly, my editing process started in Lightroom by increasing exposure and adding contrast by adjusting curves. In addition, I moved on to post-processing in Photoshop – fixing the dress, then adjusting body contours and continuing to polish skin, and applying subtle burning and dodging. To give each image its own unique look and feel, I performed color correction techniques by adding warm tones to blacks and shadows. Finally, I ran my Exposure X7 plug-in to add a final touch and make this portrait pop.
This episode of The Collective has been nothing short of fantastic! I will show you how to create magazine-worthy maternity photos and add a fashion editorial flair to classic milk bath maternity photography! You’ll learn everything from the setup of the shot to transforming one simple studio light into something truly captivating, to my editing process in Photoshop.
If you’re looking for inspiration or tips on how to make your maternity photos POP – then be sure to check out this month’s episode of The Collective for all your photo needs!