Monday, December 26, 2016

My Favorite Photo Sets of 2016

With the last update of 2016 now in the books, it's time to take a look back at my favorite photo sets of the year on Soles of Silk. just like in previous years, this was no easy task. All of my models featured in 2016 really brought their A-game and did some sets that I was eager to share with you each and every week.

As a reminder, I do not include feature model galleries on this lists, so Mindee's "Ferris-t of Them All" set is not eligible. Don't worry though, Mindee always finds herself sprinkled throughout these lists. I'm sure this year will be no different.

Also, only sets that were published in 2016 are included. I shot a lot of amazing sets this year that are still waiting to make their way onto the site, but there are only so many weeks in a year. And believe me, you'll surely be seeing some of those sets on next year's Top 10 listing.

Now, onto my 10 favorite photo sets of 2016, a list that I changed several times before hitting the publish button. Man, these things can be so hard...



10. Pink Over the Knee Socks
Model(s): Mindee
Published Date: October 26, 2016

Didn't I tell you that Mindee would be sprinkled throughout this list? Having done the Monthly Mindee Update (see blog: "Monthly Mindee Updates?"), she sure gave me enough material to do a list made up entirely of just her sets. Hmm... Maybe I can write that up before the end of the year? Yeah, I think I will!

Anyhow, this set was the one that put Mindee into the 4K Club (4,000 photos) recently. What drew me to this set, other than the beautiful model with the ever so lovely size 8 feet, was the bright colors. The neon pink outfit, the bright blue sky, and the green grass all made this set one of the more vivid ones I've done. And those socks were awesome. I recently bought a couple more pairs to use in future sets.

 

9. Cookout Cutie
Model(s): Kaycee
Published Date: May 25, 2016

Kaycee is always up for a fun, creative idea. When we began brainstorming a cookout theme for a set, she was so excited. So was I. We faced a little bit of an issue when we first set out to shoot it, but we quickly rectified that and shot the amazing set shown above.

This set was one I shot, knowing it would be a while before I used it on the site. The plan from the start was to publish it for the Memorial Day 2016 update. With all the cookouts people attend, I figured it would be the perfect theme. The feedback that was sent to me confirmed that. People loved this set just as much as I did. Kaycee really had a blast doing it and it showed in all of the photos. Sets don't get much more fun to shoot that this one.

 

8. Super Sweaty Soles
Model(s): Mindee & Cierra
Published Date: August 31, 2016

Talk about a spontaneous set. I didn't even plan on shooting this one. Mindee was babysitting for Cierra so she could get in some new sets. When we were done shooting Cierra called Mindee to tell her we were on our way back to her place. That's when I got the idea to see if I could get them in a set together really quick. Mindee got her husband to watch the kids for a few minutes and I got the girls to go to a nearby park and show off their sweaty soles, side by side.

This wasn't the first time I got my site's two most photographed models in the same set together, but I can honestly say this is my favorite one of the bunch. I adore sweaty female feet fresh from sneakers, especially without socks. That is what I got to witness as these two tugged off each other's shoes on a sweltering hot day. It's a sight and experience I'll never forget.

 

7. Rainy Day Workout
Model(s): Riley
Published Date: February 24, 2016

Riley and I ran into a few days of scattered showers over a two day span where we got scheduled some shoots. With both of us really wanting to shoot, however, we made it happen and the workout themed set above was one I fell in love with immediately. The fact that I got all wet laying on the ground to shoot it was negated by how well this one came out.

In addition to the great colors found in this set, and the pretty little feet Riley was sticking out front and center, was the addition of her toes getting pruned up in the rain. She thought it was weird, but I loved it! I told her people were going to like it too and she just shook her head in wonder. And guess what? Almost immediately compliments about her pruned up toes came in over social media. I made sure to show her just how right I was.

 

6. Cinnaball Smash
Model(s): Jasey Rae
Published Date: June 15, 2016

I had ordered Jasey Rae a T-shirt online a while back that showed a large rooster and featured the word "Tease" underneath. She thought it was cute and we have a running gag about her love of denying me her adorable feet. It's just our little friendly fun thing and we decided to go ahead and play off of that.

Right before we shot this set the idea of picking up some cinnaballs from Taco Bell popped in my head. Seeing her smash them and the icing seep out would make for a fun addition. Jasey liked the idea too, especially since we hadn't done a food smashing set at that point.

I can honestly say that Jasey nailed this set. Not only did her pudgy toes look so darn cute here, but her emotion and fun loving personality was on point. This set was a blast to shoot and you can sure tell that Jasey was loving this one just as much as all of you did.

 

5. Gummi Dicks
Model(s): Alice
Published Date: October 12, 2016

Ever hear the term, "Go eat a bag of dicks?" Well, when I saw an actual bag of dicks, in gummy form, at the mall, I just had to buy them and think of a way to incorporate them into a set. When the fact hit me that they were tiny, I thought the best pairing would be to have them in a set with Alice's alluring size 11 feet. When I mentioned it to her and that we could turn it into a light size tease theme, she was all about it.

Before shooting this set I grabbed a ruler, a magnifying glass, and a pair of kids scissors from the store. I told her to have at it with whatever props she wanted to use. But when I saw her start snipping off the balls... Yeah, she sent a message loud and clear without saying a word. She's good like that!

 

4. BFFs
Model(s): Camille & Alice
Published Date: November 16, 2016

Hey, look! It's Alice again! Yup, back to back sets featuring my big footed friend, this time with our friend, with smaller feet, Camille. And if you're a fan of Alice, I have a strong feeling that she's going to be all over next year's Top 10 List!

Anyhow, this set was inspired by a pair of shirts I found while out shopping at the mall. I saw two shirts, both featuring "BFF" across the breast area. Underneath, however, were two different playful slogans pointing at the other's way. When I photographed the shirts and sent it to the girls, they both loved it and wanted to use them in one of their sets together.

With the pink and black shirts, I decided to grab some pink and black knee high socks to go along with this set. It made for a good addition for the simple fact that these two playfully grabbed at the other's socks and pulled them off each other's feet. A few sniffs before a handful of size comparison shots made this a favorite of many, including myself.

 

3. Candy Cousins
Model(s): Marcy & Mindee
Published Date: February 17, 2016

Another two girl set, and the second to feature Mindee. This time I finally got to publish a set that I've talked about for ages, even to many of you. This set would feature M&M's.

Now why have I been wanting to a set with M&M's so badly, you ask? Well, I had the cheesy idea some time ago that it would be awesome to have to models whose names begin with the letter "M" to be included in this set. That's when the idea blossomed into something even better when I realized I could pair up Mindee with either her cousin Marcy, or Mariah, or even both. With Mariah very busy and hard to get in touch with, it ended up being Mindee with Marcy, but these two girls nailed it yet again! That makes them three for three with amazing sets together.

I went all out with some M&M's themed shirts and toe socks, which is only the second time I've ever shot them for the site. Of course the set wouldn't have been complete with some big bowls full of M&M's to be used between the two girls' toes! I wanted as much color as possible, which by now, you can see is something I truly value in my sets.

As far as this set goes, this set turned out to be one of the largest to ever be featured on Soles of Silk. At 137 photos, I just couldn't stop snapping photo after photo of these two. Add in all the time I spent reaching out to pull M&M's from between their toes for a quick snack, and for some foot rubs, and this set was one that just kept going. I wish it was still going, in all honesty!

 

2. Rainbow Dodgeball
Model(s): Amelia
Published Date: May 11, 2016

Back in 2005 I did a four model dodgeball themed set featuring Kellie, Kimmie, Carmen, and Cheri. I've always been a fan of the game, so I knew I'd visit the theme again at some point. Well, in 2016 I published another dodgeball set, this time with just one model, but one makes every set she's in memorable. That model is none other than Amelia.

Once again, color played a huge roll in why I loved this set. I found two rainbow playground balls one day while I was shopping and then remembered that I had some equally colorful socks in my possession that I had yet to use. I bought the balls and then ran the idea by Amelia. I told her we were going to make this one as colorful as possible and boy was that ever the case. We even went and picked up a tie dye T-shirt and neon colored sports bottle to kick it up just one more notch. And finally we went with mismatching socks from the same pack just to add in even more color.

Amelia nailed it here with some amazing poses and some emotion that showed how much fun she was having. Her smile is infectious and she had one the entire time while she stuck those pretty feet of hers out to my camera. I knew I had something special shooting this one.

 

1. Swirl Lollipops
Model(s): Mindee
Published Date: March 23, 2016

When I set out to make this list this set was the first one that popped into my mind. I jotted it down on paper, along with the sets above, and the dozen honorable mentions listed below. No matter how much I tried to find reasons why I liked one set just a little more than the others, this set remained the one I couldn't put any over for numerous reasons. I had a feeling from the start it would be number one, and that's where it ended up falling.

Yet again, color played a factor in this set. The stocking you see encased around Mindee's left leg and foot was one I bought on sale online some time ago. I showed Mindee the stockings and she said she was wearing them in a set - no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It did take us a while to find just when and where we'd use them, however.

When Mindee and I decided to embark on a mini-vacation to Cedar Point, I checked out one of the hotels at the park. Upon seeing the beds inside the rooms the stockings popped into my head. The colorful stripes of the bedspreads and the colorful strips of netted stockings would make for a good combination. It also didn't hurt that there was amusement park rides featured on the headboards that added in even more color. Still, my mind kept thinking and that's when it hit me - swirl lollipops! You can't get much more colorful than swirl lollipops, so I bought a few dozen online in all different sizes. Hey, if a little bit of size teasing happened in this set too, so be it!

Needless to say, with all the things going, this set turned out to be one I loved. However, I really thought Mindee looked extra stunning in this set - even more so than normal. I can't really say why that is because I don't know. I just felt that way looking at her on the bed shooting this and it was captured perfectly in the photos as well.

Honorable Mentions (12)
: Abby - See Thru Flip Flops, Alice - Old Fireplace, Alice - Bettie Page Book, Amelia - Bug Catcher, Cierra - Sweaty Flats, Felicia - Pokemon, Jamie - Teal Everything, Jasey Rae - Deflated Footballs, Mindee - Old Rollercoasters, Reese - Denim Flats, Rilynn - Big Comic Heels, & Wendy - Train Station

So what photo sets were your favorites from this year? I can only imagine what will be on next year's list with so many great sets just waiting to be published, plus any new ones done in 2017.

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