A milk bath benefits all parties involved.
I have yet to shoot a milk bath where the client gets out and DOESN'T say, "Holy shit, my skin feels AMAZING!" For all of the awkward posing that goes on in such a confined space, and for all of the cramped quarters, it's...it's kinda like a spa treatment.
For Derek and I, we usually get pretty portraits out of the deal, and historically, that's been absolutely enough. It's all we NEEDED for ourselves, anything we got on top of that was just a bonus. Back in Texas, because we didn't have the space for a brick and mortar studio, we kind of (and by kind of, I mean 100%) relied on AirBnBs for our boudoir shoots. We'd look for ones with really great tubs, and that's how we found milk bath locations. Hotels, as well, but AirBnBs were a lot less hassle. No need to explain to lookiloo concierges why we're dragging several trolleys of equipment through the lobby, though that's really only happened once. Everybody else gawks, but minds their business.
For this particular milk bath, citrus was opted for rather than flowers. I was elated, because we've only used citrus once and I think it looks magical, AND our client found a blood orange. My favorite kind of citrus!!! I was also just bummed as hell, because I've been keto for two years now and I haven't gotten even a lick of an orange, and I miss them. I love them, and smelling them while I was slicing them was bumming me out.
Derek and I had had some mild panic attacks over this shoot in the days leading up to it, mostly regarding the actual tub itself. I've seen loads of photographers get SUPER creative with small spaces, or a lack of a tub. Plastic kiddie pools, inflatable pools, using natural bodies of water and then just editing some color in. I figured we'd be alright just getting a plastic or inflatable pool. This was kind of a last minute shoot (we have 11 coming up over the course of the next two weekends, so I had to squeeze her in! Plus this was for her anniversary, and we had a deadline), so I didn't get to prepare like I normally do. And...we found ourselves low on inflatable pool stock. And plastic kiddie pool stock. And all pool stock.
But no worries for me and Derek. We're resourceful. We got ready to buy...a drop in tub. A really real one that we would set up in the garage. Because when it's fuckin' go time, we RAGE. Home Depot was a bit on the expensive side for a drop in tub, though. We talked about just swallowing the cost and keeping the tub for our permanent set up in Missouri, but then Derek found a few local drop in tubs for the low low price of hundreds cheaper. One was cast iron and free, the other was porcelain and 25. Either would have been an excellent option, and we were delighted with our good fortune. It isn't all that common a sale item on Craigslist, after all. Derek built a list of the items we'd need for the tub to function properly in our garage (or the yard we'll eventually put it in when we get back to the mainland), and while it was nowhere near the realm of 350 like the drop ins were, it still ended up being a lot more dollars than we were ready to eat without knowing what we'd be looking at in whatever in home studio set up we choose after moving.
We resigned ourselves to using our tub in our bedroom. Our tiny, cracked, uncomfortable for any person over two feet tall tub.
And it worked. It worked gloriously.
What we didn't have was the space that other AirBnBs have afforded us when doing milk bath shoots, which also meant we didn't have the angles. And that was a bit of a problem, as the french say. We discussed how to make a rig for the camera to sit over the tub, Derek built it, and we were in business. All in all, it was an entirely breezy, wonderful milk bath. And for the next 24 hours, our bathroom smelled AMAZING.