|This was one of the sets I shot of Carmen upon her return to the site in 2007.|
"I love my high arches. Barbie always had them, so they make me feel ultra feminine."
- Carmen: Introductory Interview
Welcome to the second entry into the Models I Miss series here on the Soles of Silk Blog. If you missed the first entry, "Models I Miss - Madison," this blog series is going to focus on some of my former models who have either stopped modeling, moved, or are just someone I've lost touch with. Here, in this second installment, I focus on none other than Carmen.
When I opened Soles of Silk on December 29, 2004, I did so with eight models. Carmen was not among them. I had asked her to pose for me during the spring and summer months of 2004, but due to being in a relationship at the time, she declined. She, however, really wanted to do it.
It didn't take long for Soles of Silk to gain it's first new model to the roster. On December 12, 2005, Sara Swirls became the first non-launch model to join the site's roster. One week after, Carmen became the second. She had broken up with her boyfriend and jumped at the chance to shoot. Only problem - it was early January and very cold.
She didn't care.
I still remember shooting Carmen for Soles of Silk for the first time. It was early afternoon and she couldn't wait to go. I, too, couldn't wait. Although we had shot some photos previously for The 10 Little Piggies (my former site), that was over a year prior. I found myself jumping at the chance to see her pretty little size 5.5 feet again. So I picked her up and on our way we went.
|Carmen shot her first set in the bitter cold of January back in 2005.|
Our little journey took us to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. We did the first set in this wooden hut (above), located behind a nearby art museum. The second photo set was done out on a pier right in front of a Clipper ship. Both sets came out wonderfully. She really did an amazing job considering how cold it was.
In the months following I'd end up shooting a couple of other sets with Carmen, all of which made their way onto the site in 2005. She was just so over with everyone and I couldn't wait to post her again and again. It also helped that I only had about a dozen models at the time, so I didn't have as many girls to rotate in and out as I do now. So yeah, Carmen got a lot of updates early on - including my first ever four girl set that featured: Carmen, Kellie, Kimmie, and Cheri. There was one set, however, that would shadow even that...
|Carmen will always be Soles of Silk's first-ever, Wu's Feature Model.|
With Carmen's immense love among fans, Wu, of Wu's Feet Links asked me if I'd mind doing a feature set for his site featuring Carmen. I was honored! I shared the news with Carmen moments later and she was super excited. Wu asked us to do two things in the set, but left the rest to us. His criteria: 1) blue toenail polish and 2) blue jeans. He wanted the set to feature two things a fellow Wu's Feet Links Forum member enjoyed who had been struggling with his health. Carmen and I were only too happy to oblige.
This is when the story of Carmen experiences a hiccup, of sorts. Carmen would move and we'd lose touch for a little bit. When she finally reached out to me and asked if I'd like to shoot again, I couldn't wait. Neither could her fans. After a two year absence, Carmen was going to return and that's when I also got a huge scare!
Carmen and I shoot a handful of photos over the course of a day to mark her big return. When we wrapped up shooting, I dropped her off and went home to upload the photos. That's when my camera card decided to tell me there were no files on the card - even though a few hundred megabytes of data were filled up somewhere. My heart sank. After two years, I lost all the photos? Luckily I had her penciled in to shoot again the next day, Nevertheless,I was still bummed. But my luck would change!
After complaining on the Wu's Forum about what had happened, a forum member recommended an application that might be able to restore the data on the card. I gave it a try and found out that five of the photos were corrupted, but the rest were still intact. I gave that person a six month membership to Soles of Silk for saving the day. Carmen was so happy too.
|Carmen made me smell her toes even with a crowded bus stop close by.|
With our previous day's worth of work saved, we out the next day and shot a few more sets. With more models now on the site, and me knowing Carmen wasn't as available as she used to be, I slowed down on getting her updates online. I posted the new sets we did over the next two years. On September 10, 2008, however, the final set from that two day span was published (above). That has been the last update she's had on the site.
Carmen: My Friendly Little Goofball
With all those experiences I mentioned above, one thing I didn't really say was just how much of a friend Carmen was to me. In prior years she was my go-to girl who'd help me whenever I had issues with my relationships, or was there just when I needed someone to bounce ideas off of. She was a great friend!
In addition to our awesome friendship, I couldn't even begin to explain how much fun Carmen was to be around. She could be so flirty and fun that you'd just sit there dumbfounded. I can attest that she left me looking, and feeling, that way many of times. Our last shoot is a prime example.
I had mentioned to Carmen leading up to our shoot that I wanted to get a couple of photos of her feet on my face for my Wu's Feet Links Forum avatar. She happily agreed. It was when she told me to get down and sniff her toes out in the middle of the city, however, that the Carmen I've come to love came out. I just couldn't believe it.
"Stop being a pussy and to smell my feet, "she said.
I did as I was told, even though there was a bus stop close by with people looking our way and laughing.
I would honestly be the happiest guy in the world if I could get some new sets with Carmen for Soles of Silk one day. A few years ago I tried to reach out to her about shooting. She's now living out of state - many hours away. A friend of mine and I were doing a multi-state amusement park trip and I was thinking we could meet up when we passed through her state. I didn't get a response, so I don't know where she sits on the idea. I'm not even sure if she makes it back up here to see family either. I just know I'd cherish the chance to do just one more set even!
One of my dream sets with Carmen would be to shoot her with our mutual friend, Carlin - another model I am really beginning to miss! The two are longtime friends and I know they'd pull off something super fun, super sexy, and probably super silly. Who knows? Maybe one day...
Until then, I'll just say that Carmen was a big part of this site's success early on. I still get emails today asking about her and if she'll ever return. I sure do miss my pal and would welcome those itty bitty feet of hers back quicker than the Flash doing a 40 yard dash.