It had been almost a year since I ended my service in the Navy. What does that mean? Well, that means that it had been almost a year without providing a paycheck for my family! It wasn’t until August of 2018 that I managed to bring home a whopping $800 to contribute to this household. I was beyond excited to no longer “just” be a stay at home mom.
I honestly had a difficult time finding a purpose for myself. I grew up with very little hobby skills, was/am very antisocial and heck; what kind of NEW hobby does a 21 year old tackle? Everybody my age already had 10 years of baseball, guitar or painting under their belt.
I scrolled through Pinterest for what seemed like forever! I typed in stupid things like “hobbies for the untalented,” “hobbies when you suck at life,” and “mom hobbies.” Well, one of those ideas was photography. I talked to my husband and asked what he thought about that idea. Fortunately for me, my husband runs with my dreams with me and was more than supportive. Later that evening, I bought -with my OWN MONEY- a fancy schmancy camera.
We’ll get back in to that later on in this post – for now, let’s talk about milk baths!
How to DIY a milk bath photoshoot
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This will not increase your cost, but I will receive a slight commission.
If shooting with your phone
Make sure to focus on your subject by simply tapping on your screen. This will help with a more dramatic appearance.
If you’re like me – it might be time to upgrade to something more fun! We’ll briefly talk about DSLRs. I started out with the Nikon D3300 and loved it!
DSLR Camera settings for a milk bath photo shoot
Let me tell you what – I have done a lot of learning since taking these photos. Don’t get me wrong, I love them because they’re of my daughter! However, we might have to create new photos for her one year milestone. I am almost embarrassed over how poorly the editing is. . . oh well. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t deal with the same heartache, I suppose.
This unfortunately will not be a full photography lesson. Think of it more of a what to do and what not to do sort of lesson. If you’re completely new to photography, check out this article from Fstoppers on The Exposure Triangle.
When I first pulled my camera out of the box, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Looking through the milk bath photo album, about half of my photos were either out of focus or blurry from even the slightest movement. Do not think that you need to set your camera to only zero out on the light meter! With that being said, when you adjust one side of the triangle – you must compensate again elsewhere until you find your desired result.
Fun fact – babies move around A LOT. Like, a lot a lot.
How do you prevent all your pictures from having terrible blurs? Well, you shoot with a quicker shutter. Since this shoot, I found a happy place around 1/200 – 1/150.
When dealing with any baby – safety is always first priority!
Evelyn hadn’t completely mastered sitting up quite yet. The bath made a little slippery slope for her! If you have it on hand, find a non-slip mat to place on the bottom. Either cut to the appropriate size, orrrrrr be a lazy mom like me – just ball it up and call it good.
Having my husband on standby was absolutely crucial. He was standing only about 2 feet away from her for most of the shoot. You never know when your baby might slip! Remember, it doesn’t take long for one to drown.
JUST IN CASE OF EMERGENCY – as a parent, you should already know basic infant first aide and CPR. If not, go to your local Red Cross and get your certification! Also, make sure to have your phone on you, incase you need to call 911.
Make the water “milky”
As previously stated, you will need 1 part breastmilk to 4 parts water. We have about 2 gallons of water in our wash tub and only about 24 oz of milk. Evelyn refuses a bottle, so pumping isn’t really necessary in this house. Plus, I’m a stay at home mom with an unlimited tap – why should she want a bottle????
Even though the water has an okay consistency, it’s not as great as it could be.
If you’re using roughly 2 gallons of water like we did, you should aim for 64(ish) oz of breastmilk. If you’re adamant about not wasting your liquid gold, use either cows milk or almond milk!
What to do if your baby is bored
It felt as if we tried everything to keep Evelyn entertained long enough to get a few decent pictures. She was constantly standing up and trying to climb out of the tub. She would just stare at me blankly like “wtf mom.” No smiles, no emotions, no nothing. She wasn’t amused with her toys, daddy was no longer the funniest person ever, and apparently politely asking her to smile wasn’t cutting it either.
I’m not happy to admit it, but we caved and gave her a piece of chocolate. Yes, that’s the brown stuff dripping from her mouth – not poop. It wasn’t until then that she started to cooperate. Hey, you gotta do what ya gotta do.
If you do decided to turn your milk bath into a chocolate milk bath, make sure to practice proper Baby Led Weaning techniques. No idea what BLW is? Check out this post – allllll of your questions answered about Baby Led Weaning.
Remember, you’re celebrating milestones and capturing the moment on your camera. Maybe it is okay to break the rules a little bit. Give your baby the piece of chocolate. Let them fall on their face if they get too crazy! Laugh with them and enjoy those tiny little hands splashing in that liquid gold.
I hope this has given you a little inspiration! Go out there and have fun with your babies. Feel free to comment with your milk bath pics!