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Tuesday Tips || Creative Maternity Photography

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

In the past, we have shown you some truly creative maternity photography ideas. Today, we want to feature a few photographers who have taken maternity photography to a whole new level.
Meet Adrienne of Gemini Visuals and Eden of Eden Bao Photography. They had a day to play and be creative with a client. The results are truly one-of-a-kind. Here is Eden Bao describing the Milky Dress Maternity Shoot.
Maternity Milk Dress Seattle Eden Bao 2

As a maternity photographer based in Bothell, WA and serving the Seattle and Everett area, I am constantly seeking ways to improve my craft and advance my knowledge so I can serve my clients better. To do something different than the norm, think outside the box and learn a little more about myself along the way.

I am fascinated by Andrey Razoomovsky’s milk projects and Jaroslav Wieczorkiewics of Aurum Light‘s “Milky Pinups” and wanted to try the milky dress shoot for my maternity work. After research on the internet, I decided to take the plunge. I enlisted my colleague Adrienne of Gemini Visuals Creative Photography for collaboration (we share the photoshoot, the RAWs but process our own images) and a willing model-friend Elena who was 36 weeks pregnant.  (Check out her maternity session on my blog!)  Just in case this turns out to be an epic failure, I have a buddy to cry over spilt milk with—literally—and a friend that will forgive me for wasting her vacation day.

Thankfully the shoot turned out very well! Here’s what we did.

Camera: Nikon D3s, 85mm f/1.4G
Settings: f/8, 1/250, ISO400, 5260K
Tripod: Manfrotto tripod that I bought over 20 years ago that is probably not in production today. I’m too lazy to get off my chair to check.
Lighting: Paul C Buff Einstein E640s, Westcott softbox 54″x72″, Paul C Buff stripbox 10″x36″, Cyber Commander trigger and receiver
The shoot took place at Adrienne’s lovely studio in Surrey, BC. When I arrived with the gear at 9:00 AM, she had the kiddie pool, bucket, bowl, towels and 8 gallons of whole milk ready. We taped plastic on the floor and the walls and covered the stripbox. Like most photographers, I don’t like to be in photos but here I am in action behind the scenes
Maternity Milk Dress Photoshoot Setting Up
We also turned up the heat in the studio for Elena’s comfort.
We placed the main light about five feet from the model on the camera left and the fill light the same distance behind the model on the camera right. The camera on the tripod is in front of the model about 20 feet.
Milk Dress Maternity Seattle Setup
After some test shots, we settled on f/8, 1/250 and ISO 400. At this setting, we can freeze the movement and splash of the milk. We warmed up the milk in the microwave and we’re ready. Let the splashing begin!

After some missed throws and messy splashes, Adrienne zeroed in on the technique, force and precision of her throws while I shot rapidfire.

To see the behind the scenes splash session, click HERE.


Adrienne and I went back to our workspace with over 500 RAWs and started the painstaking work of piecing together the elements of the milk splashes to make a dress in Photoshop. Each image took about six hours to edit!

The cool thing about editing these milk dresses is that every dress is a surprise. You never know at the time of the shoot what you are going to get.

Maternity Milk Dress Seattle Eden Bao 3 (2)

It was a fun project and I have the utmost respect for Jaroslav Wieczorkiewics’s amazing work.

Thank you to these two amazing photographers. To see the original,  full blog post on this photo shoot, click  HERE.

Eden Bao is a newborn and maternity photographer from Vancouver, BC  currently relocating to Seattle, WA., area. She is a member of the PPA and she is a Master Member of the Master Photographers National. You can see her beautiful work on her website EdenBaoPhotography.com or on her facebook page.

Adrienne Thiessen of Gemini Visuals Creative Photography, based out of South Surrey/White Rock BC offers over 20 years experience. Serving the lower mainland area, with a large studio centrally located in South Surrey, Gemini Visuals specializes in newborns, maternity, babies of all ages and cake smash sessions, families, headshots and dance photography. Adrienne graduated from the Langara College professional photography program, and participates frequently in various workshops. She is passionate about learning and constantly improving her art by focusing on creative sessions and collaborations. You can see her beautiful work on her website Gemini Visuals Creative Photography or on her facebook page.