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Toddler paddling pool portrait photoshoot

Who ever thought a lime green toddler's paddling pool would make a good portrait prop? The best thing about this was the cost, a mere £3.95!

I used the Bestway Splash and Play Three Ring Play Paddling Pool - green - 122 cm

Bestway Splash and Play Three Ring Play Paddling Pool - green - 122 cm

I am a studio portrait photographer based in Portishead, Bristol. I wanted to try a water and floral themed portrait session. I really wanted to try a toddler paddling pool portrait photoshoot I was thinking about using my bath and doing a milkbath session but wanted something dark instead of white. So I got my dogs paddling pool out the garage!

Obviously I didn't want the lime green and white base to show up on the photos so I had a black fabric backdrop lying about the studio so covered the base and sides of the paddling pool with the fabric.

Bestway Splash and Play Three Ring Play Paddling Pool - green - 122 cm

After putting the fabric over the pool I then filled it with a fake florals. I used fake ivy and ferns to weight the fabric down and to create a lot of greenery like in a natural pool of water in the middle of the outdoors. From experience with milk bath photography, I know that fake florals sink, so I went and collected some real flowers and petals for the floating florals.

a pile of picked wild flowers

Myself and Abi (model) then filled the paddling pool up with the garden hose (my studio is a converted garage in the bottom of my garden) and scattered the flowers around the pool. I also added some food colouring (green and blue) to add some colour to the water.

I photographed Abi from up a step ladder above her. I used a Godox strobe and large softbox to light her. Her top half was in the water, her bottom half on the floor with her pelvis raised up so she didn't lean on the edge of the pool and flood the studio!

I also gave her a pillow (rolled up towel) for comfort, which was underneath the black fabric.

model lying in a green bestways paddling pool with flowers surrounding her

My settings for the camera was iso 100, f4.5 and 1/160. This is my final finished portrait.

professional portrait of a girl lying in a pool of water with flowers and ferns around her

I would love to see your portraits if you choose this set up! Feel free to tag me.

If you would like to book in for a portrait session in Bristol then check out my other photographs on

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