I'm often coming up with ideas for creative portraits; some I don't do anything about, others I get a little bit obsessed with and decide to give it a go.
Case in point. Last year I saw the most amazing 'milk dress' "pinup" style photos from a great photographer called Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz.
Wow! His work is just inspirational and brilliantly done.
My creative mind started working. I wondered if I could produce a milk dress maternity image without wrecking the whole photography studio too much!
Luckily, it wasn't too hard to find a willing victim (I mean model, ha ha) who was happy for me to give it a go.
So armed with eight litres of milk and a big roll of plastic sheeting, I decided to give try out a milk dress photoshoot with the help of my photographer friend Jacky.
I really didn't want to let any of the milk I was going to be using during the photoshoot to hit the floor.
That would have been a nightmare to clean up afterwards, and the smell would have been just horrible! So, as you can see, we covered everything!
I did warm the milk but only a tad, as I'd been told that warm milk is a little more translucent than cold milk. And I really needed the milk to cover my model Lindsay's body to achieve the effect I was after.
We tried a few milk throwing/pouring techniques. But, to be honest, for the milk skirt splashes (which you can see below), it really was a case of just chucking it! No finesse was needed. The goal was simply to hit the target (poor Lindsay!).
The top half was more tricky. In order to create the final 'dress', we needed the milk to run in a certain way and not spread too much as it ran down the body.
In the end, it took roughly 500 photos to have enough to piece together the dress bit by bit. The splash skirt ones were my personal fave!
Jacky and I worked as quickly as possible but it soon got a bit cold for my poor model despite the central heating being on.
I think Lindsay deserved a medal for braving the cold milk at 30 weeks pregnant (yes, doesn't she look amazing for 30 weeks!)
We all had a lot of fun trying out the milk dress technique. Lindsay was a great sport for putting up with us and all the milk being thrown at her naked body.
It probably wasn't the most enjoyable experience she has ever had. And I think her face in this photo says it all really!
After the studio cleanup, and armed with my 500 photos of a milk-covered model, I set about the task of piecing it all together in my photo editing software, Photoshop.
Boy, how I had underestimated this part of the process!
It's safe to say that my photoshop skills were tested to the limit with this portrait.
I normally use Photoshop to enhance a photo, not completely manipulate it. And being self-taught, it took a little research into areas of Photoshop that I don't normally use. But after several hours I got there.
I had lots of fun throwing milk and a few hair-pulling moments in Photoshop, but I'm pleased with the end result and hope Lindsay loves it too.
What do you think? Do please let me know in the comment below.
I'm hoping to do a few more creative photoshoots over the coming months so look out for those on the blog soon.
There won't be any need for you to be subjected to the milk throwing, like Lindsay was. My normal maternity photoshoots are far more conventional!
But they do make you feel and look amazing and are a great way to celebrate this special time in your life before your new baby arrives.
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