What's the deal with milk baths and how does it fit into Boudoir photography?
What are milk baths? Why would I want to lay in a pool of milk and have my picture taken? Why are they so popular? I wondered the same thing when I first was introduced to the idea. Doing a little research and experimentation, I was able to find some answers.
Milk baths started in ancient Egypt and were popularized by her Majesty Cleopatra. The glowing radiance she was known for having was achieved by lavishly bathing in milk and natural oils. Ever since then, milk baths have been used as a beauty regimen for smoothing skin and improving its appearance.
The fat and protein found in milk mixed with warm bathwater helps exfoliate the skin. Meanwhile the lactic acid helps cleanse and soften. For those with dry, itchy skin, milk baths are ideal to hydrate the skin and remove dead skin cells in order to encourage skin cell renewal. Milk baths may even reduce darkening of the skin that occurs naturally as we age. Those suffering from skin irritations, like eczema, may find relief from a milk soak. People who are lactose intolerant should not experience discomfort as long as they do not ingest any of the milk. However, I suggest using whole milk because it is better for the skin than nonfat or low-fat milk.
In boudoir photography, milk baths first gained popularity with maternity shoots. Some think of it as a metaphor for nourishing the baby with a mother's milk. Others simply adore the clean and peaceful look of the portraits. For maternity shoots, an interesting idea might be to add the flowers you had in your wedding to the bath. The colors will really pop against the white water. As far as wardrobe, you should feel free to wear whatever you want. I suggest sticking to neutral colors or light pinks or blues. Bright, bold colors will cause discoloration in the bath.
Although, not all milk baths have to white! If you are feeling cheeky, you might want to try adding dyes to the bath to create vibrant colors.