What is a Milk Bath Session?
It's a session that features an individual immersed in a bath tub or small pool filled with warm water mixed with whole fat and powdered milk.
These sessions are creamy, dreamy, and absolutely beautiful. They take place either clothed in lightweight fabrics or nude and are meant to showcase the incredible human body in all its glory and multiple forms.
Fresh, live florals and greenery are included and added to the luscious foggy water, too.
Early on in my photography journey, I knew I wanted to offer milk bath sessions to my clients.
I had a vision in my mind of what my ideal space would look like, and I did my best to mimic that vision with the resources I had on hand...at least until I had figured out the process enough to feel comfortable charging for it.
For my first attempt at a milk bath session, I sent a text to my friend and birth client, Sarah, who was pregnant and believed in me... and also lived a mile away. I bought an inflatable swimming pool on Amazon and blew it up it in our front living room.
I stopped by every local grocery store, plus Jo Ann's and Target, to get the necessities and fresh flowers. I filled the pool with hose water, and added my gathering of florals. It was janky, and a fly-on-the-wall look would have revealed some chaos, and the inside of the tub was bright blue with fish.... BUT, the results?
Convinced me I had to do this. With tons of Photoshop work to remove the blue tub, I got one of my favorite photographs I've ever taken.
I knew I had to offer milk baths, for sure. BUT I had to find a better way.
About a month after Sarah's session, an unexpected move landed us in a new home without space for the inflatable tub, and without the natural light I needed.
At the very same time, however... my mom was purchasing a 1930's farmhouse right down the road.
After dinner one night, a few months later, I was taking some time to check out the new home all settled. I turned on the light in one of the front sunrooms that had yet to be touched and something clicked in my mind. The space was perfect, it needed work, paint, and love, but Mom's house had two identical sunrooms, and maybe she'd let me rent one, just ONE, for milk bath sessions.
She was a little hesitant, but after some time to think, she gave her blessing to move forward, and the room was officially property of Milk & Hannah Photo.
I started by clearing out the room of extra furniture and disassembling the desk mounted under the rear window.
The next step was convincing her to let me get rid of the red floor...errrr.... I mean, painting the floor. ;)
With the space painted--I started to think about the actual "bath" part of the equation. My vision included a claw foot bathtub, but my budget really only left room for more of a 5 gallon bucket--maybe two.
After a few weeks stalking Craigslist, LetGo, and Facebook Marketplace, I found a lady in Lancaster selling a clawfoot tub in my price range...
A little dirt doesn't scare me!!
(This is the part of the blog where I shout out my partner, lover, best friend in the world, Drew. I told him I needed him to take the seats (and carseats) out of the van to go pick up a cast iron claw foot tub... and he was gracious and kind and into it. Always thankful for you, Babe.)
So, I secured a tub... but it did, as the seller said, need some new paint. So, like the broke bitch I am, I researched repairing porcelain, and gave ol' gal a solid sand down. And then a sand down. And then another sand down. And then a sand down. And then some sanding.
And four million seconds later, some porcelain glaze-y stuff.
Side note: messing with unventilated spaces and highly toxic fumes is no joke. At one point I was yelling at my mom that I couldn't talk or feel my face. If you choose to redo a porcelain surface...wear a mask.
Here's the "After" video I sent to a friend.
With the audio removed because I'm loud and a little curse-ing:
And after a few hours at Home Depot + some DIY plumbing action + an IKEA rug shopping trip in Michigan + 72 handmade yarn tassels + a thrifted mustard armchair + a TJ Maxx clearance sheepskin + one plant transported from home....
Here she is.
The Milk Bath Room.
I'm so proud of this space.
I hope you love it as much as I do.
Ready to book your own Milk Bath Session? Send me an e-mail to email@example.com.
Oh, one more thing.
This is Kirstin.
She's the owner of Bear Roots Floral in Columbus, Ohio.
We're working on something together....