Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Soles of Silk Year in Review

Now that 2018 is here, it is time to take a look back at the year that was 2017 on Soles of Silk. A lot of sets were shot this year, with a handful of models really making the most of multiple appearances. A handful of blog series saw a lot of user views here on the blog. Then you had so many great sets published to the site itself that people just loved. Do you see some of your favorite memories from 2017 here?

In January 2017 I added the set with Mindee & Kelsey to the site - one of my favorites of the year.

As is customary with the start of any new year on Soles of Silk, I began the year with a "2016 Year in Review," the annual Soles of Silk Trivia Contest for 2016, as well as my "2017 Soles of Silk Wish List." I always enjoy taking a look back at the previous year and talking about things that I would like to happen for the brand new year. That is why you're reading this very blog!

At the start of 2017, Soles of Silk reach 18,000 followers on the site's Instagram account (@SolesofSilk). It really feels like that social media platform has taken off, especially since by the end of 2017, it cracked 28,000.

When it comes to photo sets published to Soles of Silk at the start of 2017, the most notable one came when the set above, featuring Mindee and Kelsey, was published. It was one I shot in 2016, but was waiting to add to the site. I knew it was going to be a hit. Both ladies are good friends of mine and I was finally able to get them together. I loved this set so much, you can currently find a photo from it serving as the site's splash page graphic - which I also placed onto the site the same week as this set.

Alice's second set of the young year was published on February 15, 2017.

Things were still a little slow in February. The biggest event of the month was the conclusion of the 2016 Trivia Contest (see blog: "Results - The Annual Soles of Silk Trivia Contest - 2016"). There were some phenomenal scores from those who entered, and although entries poured in right off the bat, they tailed off the closer the contest's deadline drew near.

As for other notable happenings in February, Alice has her second set of the year published to the site. Why is this significant? Well, it set a pace for her that saw her with 11 total sets published during 2017 - the most of any model. She beat out Mindee by a single set. I don't know how it happens, but the number 11 has just become so synonymous with Alice. Obviously, her feet are a size 11. In her first two years shooting for Soles of Silk (2015 and 2016), she shot 11 sets each year. She didn't do that this year, but she in turn, had 11 sets published to the site itself. So crazy! I swear it's not planned!

For two years in a row now, Jasey Rae has been the first model to shoot for me.

For the second time in two years, Jasey Rae was the first model to shoot new sets for Soles of Silk. I have to give it to her, it wasn't the warmest outside when we did these early sets, but she was amazing nonetheless. I even got to see how awesome those plump toes and buttery soft soles looked dripping with oil. "See" being the key word. Never got to feel them! Jasey has got to be the most dedicated person I've ever shot when it comes to denying me foot rubs. I don't know how she does it because she knows from my one lucky time getting an extended foot rub in, how good I am at them. She said as much while those little feet were in my hands. Plus, she's had other models attest to that skill. Ugh! So frustrating, but strangely, fun at the same time!

It was during March that had a photo texted to me of Alice with two of her friends - both of who were set to model for me in 2017. Only one of them did (so far), but she was none other than Leah. That early preview showed me just how fun getting her and Alice together in the coming months would be.

Charlee and I talked for the first time for a while in March. We both agreed that it had been way too long since our last shoot and decided that 2017 was going to be the end of that drought. It very much was, as you'll see when you read on.

How fitting was it to have Melani debut with a baseball themed set and be my rookie of the year?

April was the month when Melani shot her first ever sets and made her massively popular debut. Barely 18 at the time, Melani was still in high school when she shot her first two sets - the second of which, was the baseball themed set above. She had a great time and said that she loved shooting. I told her that I'd love to shoot her again soon and she didn't wait to do so either.

One week later, Melani and I made a trip to Delaware and did a few more sets. We had plans to shoot several more, but some horrible traffic saw us get up there almost two hours late!

Also in April, another small footed model made her debut in Leah. What made Leah's size 6's look so much smaller, however, was that they were paired with Alice's size 11's in both sets. She's one Alice's friends who appeared in the teaser photo sent to me back in March. Their very first set shot was used for an Easter update and the other has yet to be published at the time of writing.

Loving to see feedback from her shoots, Alice decided to go and create an Instagram account (@Alice__Elevens) after this shoot and Leah did the same (@LoveLeah.x). Although not terribly active, both do check the accounts from time to time.

It was during the month of April that I also started the "Dream Duos" blog series. The first named duo? None other than Mindee and newcomer Melani. Little did I know, two months later, that duo would become a reality.

Mindee said I had a "shit eating grin" on my face when I was down in front of her and Alice's feet.

May was a month where my camera worked overtime! The biggest battery drain culprit came when Mindee shot 16 sets in two days during the "Suite Feet Saga." She was only supposed to shoot the one day, when we tried for 15 sets from one shoot. We fell short, but she returned the second day, along with an appearance from Alice, to shoot some more. I had other models planned that day, but both couldn't make it. I was so thankful for Mindee and Alice saving my ass.

Speaking of Alice, that was actually the second time we shot that month. She and I met up a week earlier and shot two sets where her feet got covered with stuff. The first set was some candy gel from a squirt tube. The second, some of the gooiest mud I've ever seen. A messy, but awesome day.

May followed up April with another new model as well. At the start of the month, Jasey Rae's friend, Alexa, bared her super soft feet for the first time. She had a blast doing three sets that day. She has a massive shoe collection, so she brought some along. We also got crazy and she stepped in a Mexican Pizza from Taco Bell for the final set. It's always so fun to see a model do a food set for the first time, let alone the first ever shoot. Alexa loved it and couldn't wait to shoot again, which she did several more times this year.

After two sets with Leah and Alice last month, I was finally able to secure Leah solo for a handful of sets. There was some great stuff done on that day as we came away with four sets. Could have probably done more, but Leah sure does love having her feet rubbed!

On the site itself, a milestone was reached during May. Mindee reached 60 total sets being published. This wasn't the only milestones she'd reach this year either. More on that in the coming months.

I was beyond excited, and happy, to have Charlee and her feet back in front of the camera.

I was born in June. It was only fitting that so many great things happened on the site during my birth month. The list is awesome and I had a hard time picking the perfect teaser image for June. Ultimately though, I went with a model who has meant so much to Soles of Silk over the years. That model is Charlee.

For the first time in three years, Charlee and I got to shoot some new photos. We didn't miss a beat either. We just work well together and Charlee always has a blast showing off her flawless feet. We got in four sets that day, and some much needed foot rub time, but it sure wasn't going to be the last time we shot in 2017. Nope. I missed her and those feet and we had lost time to make up for.

Alice is used to coming up big with her size 11 feet, but the month of June was massive for her. She had two sets go up in June, resulting in her joining the 1K Club (1,000 photos). Alice was the first model to reach the 1K mark since Jamie did so in 2014. I'm pretty certain that Alice is the fastest model in Soles of Silk's history to reach this mark. She also shot a couple of new sets during the month as well.

Charlee and Alice weren't the only models to get in some camera time in June though. Alexa shot again, only one month after her debut. Melani did several more sets, even teaming up with Mindee for two. Jasey Rae also snuck around an amusement park with me to do a shoot with her pretty feet in front of some roller coasters - something both of us love. One model, however, I was super excited to see and also managed to spare some of her very limited time for me in June.

Camille moved to the west coast not too long after her debut on Soles of Silk. I have been wanting to shoot new photos with her for some time and I got my first chance in June. She came home for about a week and she made sure to find me a day that we could go out and shoot. We managed four sets and I'm already hoping to see her again - maybe even by visiting her and getting in some awesome backgrounds from the opposite coast.

One last notable item happened in June 2017. For the first time since May 27, 2009, a three model set was published to the site. Mindee, Reese, and Rein had their squirt guns set posted and it even found itself on the blog, "My Favorite Sets of 2017."

This set of Alice is my most favorite set that I've ever shot for the site.

There was no way I wasn't featuring Alice for July's teaser. Alice's July 2017 Wu's Feet Links feature set, "The SK8R Gal Who Wears Size 11 Skates" is my favorite set that I've ever shot. It has so much going for it in things that I like. Alice is beautiful and so fun loving. It has skates, which was something I had always wanted to use in a set, but never had. There was the thigh high socks with the rainbow stripes, and of course, those sweaty size 11 feet trapped inside. Add in all those things and the great poses, and awesome color pops we captured, and it makes the set tops for me!

During Shark Week on television, I went ahead and published the final set of the four Alice and I did at the beach. That meant that all four sets we shot had made it onto the site over the last two months. Every one of those sets were amazing and are some of the best work I've had from any model to date.

Alice still wasn't done, however. During July, Alice took part in a 2017 Wu's Feet Links Feature interview. In the interview it covered her thoughts about being selected to represent Soles of Silk a year prior and even how we teased the set on a week-by-week basis leading up to its unveiling.

Oh yeah, Alice shot a few sets for me in July too. Yes, she was this active both in front of the camera, and off. She owned July!

Then there was blogs. I published a "Wu's Feature History - Alice (2017)" retrospective, and an "11 Fun Facts - All About Alice" piece. As you can see, she was everywhere this month.

In a month so focused on Alice, a major event took place. Mindee got her mom, Shelby, to shoot for the site. Naturally, I got the two together in a couple of sets. I never thought I'd get to shoot a mom/daughter combination, but sometimes amazing things come out of nowhere to surprise you. Thus far, we've only gotten together the one time, but I want to make sure we do so again in 2018.

Another model also debuted in July when Allie did her first ever sets. She was so shy, but was interested in shooting. I was so eager to have her and those little size 5's too. She came to me through Kaycee and Reagan. She had seen what they had done over the years and thought it might be fun. We made plans and got in a couple of sets in the only time we shot in 2017. I'm going to have to make sure I get her back in front of the camera again in 2018 as well.

Melani made sure to make her photo count rise during July as well. We got together twice, once in Washington, D.C. and then at Rehobeth Beach, Del. We had plans to shoot one other date that same week, but things fell through. It's okay though, she more than made up for it at the end of the year.

Reese also found some time for me in July, shooting for the first time in a year. Sadly, it would be the only time we found to shoot in 2017. She's got such pretty feet. I'm going to make sure she finds time for me in 2018.

Emerald's flawless feet were a welcome sight for me after not shooting with her for three years.

Charlee wasn't the only model who returned after a three year hiatus! Nope! Emerald and I finally found some time to shoot again in August. I really missed her and her adorable, super smooth feet. We made up for lost time, shooting four solo sets and then one with Mindee after those.

On the site itself, Allie made her debut after shooting her first sets at the conclusion of July. My favorite set of the entire year, Melani's watermelon set from Rehobeth Beach, was also published. I truly loved everything about that set!

Alexa was so eager to shoot each time we managed to in 2017.

September was a month where I tried to get in a bunch of shoots before the cold weather moved in. Alexa shot for the third time in her debut year. Jasey Rae did a set, although we planned on more. The weather was just too hot! Mindee shot for me two days in a row. Felicia got just one set again, for the second time of the year. Just like with Jasey, we planned more, but it was just too hot. And like I said above, Charlee found some more time and we got in four more sets.

On the site, I kept with the motions publishing some of the sets I had shot in this and prior years. Sets from Rilynn, Alexa, Alice, and Leah highlighted what members got to see.

We got a few looks shooting this set, but we didn't care.

No new sets were shot during October. I figured it was time to sit back and use up all the content I was sitting on for the rest of the year. Little did I know, that wouldn't be how it would go when December came. More on that later.

In October sets of Melani, Camille, Charlee, and Mindee made their way onto the site. Not having shot anything for Halloween, I decided to go with Camille's sour gummy worms set above. I loved that set so much. Those worms were so moist and squishy since she walked around with them inside her shoes, of course, without socks on. And yes, I was sure to grab a few of them to satisfy my sweet tooth during the set. Hey! I hadn't eaten for hours and was getting hungry! Don't judge.

No, not a new set at all! This photo represents the retroactive blogs that I wrote in November.

In November I began a retroactive blog series looking back at the site's early Star Models. The Star Model concept was born in 2015, when I named the three models who shot the most photos during the calendar year. While prepping for the 2017 installment, my curiosity got the best of me. I began going back and seeing who some of the site's Star Models would have been prior to 2015. I started seeing a lot of surprises and wrote up a small blog that encompassed 2004-14. Then I decided to trash that and give each year and the models who shot the most, an entire blog to shine.

If you didn't have the chance to check out these little blast from the past blogs, you can do so by going to the November 2017 tab on the right. It sure is a fun look at lots of great sets with lots of amazing models.

It is only right that Mindee & Melani capped off 2017 with a bunch of new sets.

The plan for December was to lay low and use some the countless photo sets I had in my possession. It wasn't to shoot 17 more sets, but that's what ultimately happened.

At the start of the month, Mindee and I decided to plan one last shoot to get her to the 30 mark. She asked if Rein could join us for a couple sets and I said sure. I hadn't got to shoot her all year, so that was good to be able to get in some photos of her too. By the end of the day, Mindee had gotten herself to 35 sets for 2017 - a number she was so happy with. If you want to see all the amazing sets we did that day, check out the "More Suite Feet" blogs, Part 1 and Part 2.

About a week later, Melani and I had made plans for more photos. She had a Monday off and I couldn't pass up more photos of my star, rookie model. What I hadn't planned on, however, was for Mindee to be able to swing by and get in on another set with her. We did that set first, which you can see above, and then Melani and I finished up the day with some more amazing solo sets. You'll want to read the "Suite Teen Feet" blogs, Part 1 and Part 2 to see all the samples from that memorable day.

Those two days were ones I'm so glad we squeezed in, especially after having all the sets turned out to be ones you'll probably see on future favorites blogs. The thing is, though, Mindee and I weren't done.

Sitting at 36 sets, after her team up with Melani, I told Mindee if she had the time before the holidays, I'd shoot four more with her to get her to 40. I honestly didn't think she had the time, especially since she was slated to go out of town for the holidays. Her response, however, was, "What are you doing Sunday?" 

I'll tell you what we did Sunday. We shot four more photo sets at Mindee's place and got her to that 40 mark (see blog: "Sunday's Shoot - Mindee & Her Quest for 40"). December's shoots also help her establish so many records, both for 2017 and her Soles of Silk career thus far. If you like looking at numbers, check out the blog, "Shooting Mindee in 2017 - Like a Broken Record."

And that is how I wrapped up December and an awesome year of great photos. Two of the site's three Star Models started the year strong, but ended it even stronger (see blog: "2017's Star Models"). I owe a lot to these two and can't wait to keep shooting with them here in 2018.

Looking Ahead
As you have read above, there is no way for me to predict the future for Soles of Silk. When I plan to lay low, I have a month like December. When November looks to be slow, I come up with a 10 part retroactive blog installment. Sometimes things just happen that way.

Hopefully Soles of Silk will see lots of new amazing sets and models in 2018. There is already a plethora of great sets shot and waiting to be published from all that happened in 2017. You won't want to miss out on that.

Join Soles of Silk today to see this and over 10 years of foot fetish content!

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