Monday, December 30, 2019

15 Year Celebration - 15 of the Site's Most Unique Sets (2004-19)

In 15 years I have been able to shoot some amazing sets. I just recently published the blog, "15 Year Celebration - My 15 All-Time Favorite Sets (2004-19)," but in this blog I want to look at some of the more unique sets to ever appear on Soles of Silk. What constitutes as unique? Well, anything really. Maybe it is a setting, or a theme. Perhaps a model duo or trio that I never thought I'd feature on my site. Or maybe it's just something no other set on the site has done, thus making it unique.

Just like my list of all-time favorites, I had a lot of sets to choose from to make this one. I think this list was a little easier to do, but some sets did just miss the cut. Here are a few honorable mentions to kick things off:


Honorable Mentions: Kayleigh - After School Feet (2012 - Wu's Feet Links Feature), Kayleigh - Amusement Park Rides (January 5, 2011), and Alice - Shark Bites (July 26, 2017)

Now, let's take a look at the 15 sets that I deemed to be the most unique sets on the site and why:


15. Nighty, Night
Model: Sue Lovely
Published Date: September 28, 2005

Outdoor sets at night are not the norm on Soles of Silk. Yet, I managed to shoot one before I even opened the site with Sue Lovely. Our final set of the evening, the only time we ever met up to shoot, had us up on top a parking garage. We didn't take any lighting with us, just the overhead street lamps. After trying to use a flash a couple of times to see how those would look, I just decided to stick with what was overhead. The yellow tint it created only added to the effect, in my opinion.


14. Let's Go Ravens!
Model: Precious
Published Date: September 7, 2005

I've shot outside of a few stadiums over the years, but the only time I shot inside one was with Precious. The set itself was on the smaller size because we were certainly catching some eyes doing this one. It was a pre-season game and we went into the stadium early to try to have as few people as possible walking around. We lucked out and got in 31 photos before the stands started to fill in with fans.

When we were finally walking down to our seats for the game, we had a bit of a scare. The usher asked to see my camera. I was reluctant, thinking they had been watching us. When I balked, he said, "You don't want a photo with the pretty girl?" Precious and I both laughed and stood in front of the field for a couple quick shots that the usher took for us. No, she didn't have her shoes off in those.


13. Funnel Cake Fun
Model: Kellie
Published Date: October 11, 2006

Food sets have always been something that I've had my models shoot over the years. Generally, however, most of those are indoors. A few have been outdoors, but have been in places where prying eyes won't easily see. Then there is Kellie's funnel cake set on the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach, in Delaware. Yup, we shot this one right out in the open and I know people had to see. The sea gulls were paying a lot of attention to us too.


12. Mud Jeans
Model: Marcy
Published Date: June 9, 2010

Speaking of people seeing, Marcy didn't give a crap that she was in a small park, right next to two roads when she plopped herself right into some of the sloppiest mud I've used in a shoot. It was all her idea too!

It decided to rain the day we made plans to shoot this set, so I asked Marcy if she wanted to just do a mud set after the rain began to slow down. She said sure and I went and picked her up. What I expected to do was to have her stick her feet in some mud. What Marcy wanted to do was jump right into the puddle. Who was I to argue?

Towards the end of this shoot we also had a guy in a work van drive by and call us, "Fucking Weirdos," but we've surely been called worse before.


11. World's Oldest Roller Coaster
Model: Mindee
Published Date: June 1, 2016

This set is far from unique in regards to Mindee shooting a set at an amusement park. As a matter of fact, she's done that three times, as have numerous other models on the site have. What makes this particular set unique is that it features the oldest roller coaster in the world and we were able to get right up on the station.

On the day that we went to this park, the coaster happened to be closed for some maintenance. We asked if we could go up on the station and take a few photos. We were told we could and Mindee just so happened to be wearing flip flops which are quite easy to kick off for some photos.


10. Zombie, Zombie, Zomb-ie-ie-ie
Model: Kaycee
Published Date: October 29, 2014

Back in 2014 I decided to try to get creative with a set for Halloween. A friend at work is into cosplay and I asked her to help me out. I wanted something interesting for Kaycee to wear and with the zombie craze going on surrounding The Walking Dead, I decided to go that route.

The friend into cosplay, Felicia, helped make Kaycee's outfit and even came along for the shoot to dress her up. We were all very pleased with the outcome. This set remains the only set I've ever really done this with costume work to this day. And after Felicia came along for this shoot, she decided to model too.


9. Mindee's Second Feature Presentation
Model: Mindee
Published Date: July 2016 (Wu's Feet Links Feature Set)

Again, this set with Mindee isn't rare because it is a Wu's Feet Links feature set. I've had 13 of those over the years - a few of which you're seeing on this list for various reasons. What makes this one unique for Soles of Silk is that it's the only feature set to feature a model on the site who had already done a feature set previously.

Back in 2010, Mindee did her first feature set, "Piggies & Power Girl," and it marked Mindee's fast track into becoming the site's most photographed model. Then, six years later, with a firm grasp on having the most photos on the site of any model, I asked her to do it again. The feature set, "The Ferris-t of Them All," was the result. I felt like she deserved the spotlight again since she's done so much for me and has really made her mark on Soles of Silk.


8. A Double Feature
Model: Kimmie & Kellie
Published Date: February 2007 (Wu's Feet Links Feature Set)

Here is another one of the Wu's Feet Links features you'll see on this list. What makes this set unique is that it was the first time Wu ever featured more than one model in a feature set. So it kind of goes without saying that it was the first time he featured twins in a feature set too. 

Needless to say, he very much welcomed this 2006 feature set titled, "Football Fun." It was a massive hit with his site goers and had people wanting to see more and more of Kimmie and Kellie.


7. A Not So Wintry Wonderland
Model: Mindee
Published Date: February 4, 2005

I said at the very start of this set that I rarely ever shoot outside in the dark. Well, here's another set where that was the case and it was totally Mindee's idea. We got out of work early because of snow and she had the bright idea to to do a set outside. Knowing it was going to be dark soon, I told her I didn't know if it would work with the lighting. I also didn't have my camera as it was out for repairs. 

Mindee was not going to be deterred, however. She told me to come over to her house where we used her mom's digital camera and used my car's headlights to light the scene. She froze her little piggies off, but we did the set nonetheless. She still gives me grief about this set to this very day, but I am always quick to remind her that this was 100 percent her idea.


6. Barely Legal Sweet Feet
Model: Kayleigh
Published Date: October 21, 2009 & October 28, 2009

I have shot a handful of models the day after they turned 18. With Kayleigh, however, we shot the actual day she turned 18. She couldn't wait to shoot and told me she wanted to do it on her birthday. Luckily for the both of us, her 18th birthday fell on a day we were both off from work. 

We shot two candy themed sets with Halloween on it's way. I published the sets in back to back weeks too, making her debut a two week long event. She and her little feet were very popular and made Kayleigh an instant hit. She would go on to shoot for me quite regularly afterward too.


5. Feature Debut
Model: Ryan
Published Date: July 2011 (Wu's Feet Links Feature Set)

The final Wu's Feet Links feature that you will find on this list belongs to Ryan. If you're asking what could be more unique than a feature set featuring twins, or one featuring the only two-time feature model from the site, well, I would perfectly understand. That seems hard to top.

What makes Ryan's feature, "Sexiest Catch," unique is because she actually made her debut with this set. In 2011, I had a few models slated to do the July feature who ultimately fell through. I also had plans on shooting Ryan as her 18th birthday was coming up. That's when I had the idea to see if Wu would want to debut her on his site with a feature. If so, I'd hold off her site debut until after her feature set was published. No other model had ever been featured in a feature set who wasn't known elsewhere first.

When Wu saw the sample shots from the first two sets I had shot with Ryan, he quickly agreed. We came up with the fishing theme and Ryan and I went back out and shot that set for her feature.

In the weeks leading up to the feature's debut, everyone was asking, "Who is Ryan?" Well, they soon found out. This was the first time any model on Wu's Feet Links debuted in their feature set.


4. Fraternal
Model: Felicia & Bridgette
Published Date: December 24, 2014

You wouldn't know it, but Felicia and Bridgette are twins. They're fraternal twins. I had never shot a pair of fraternal twins and jumped at the chance to do so. I wasn't certain that I'd ever get to shoot with Bridgette though.

Felicia debuted first, but Bridgette didn't come along. It wasn't like with Kimmie and Kellie where I shot the both of them together from the start. Bridgette took some coaxing and eventually shot three sets in total. Luckily two of those sets came with her sister and this was the first one to make it onto the site - a Christmas themed set in 2014. It was quickly followed by a New Year's themed set by the same duo the very next week.


3. Identical
Model: Kimmie & Kellie
Published Date: March 30, 2005

Naturally, more twins. This time, the identical twin duo of Kimmie and Kellie. These two were mainstays on Soles of Silk for a good portion of it's early existence. I debuted them together and they shot together numerous times throughout the years. Had the two things below not happened, Kimmie's and Kellie's duo debut would have probably topped this list.


2. Moms Know Best
Model: Mindee & Shelby
Published Date: July 19, 2017

Years ago, Mindee sent me a photo of two feet that looked a lot like hers, but I could tell weren't hers. Hell, they even had the same tattoo. It turned out to be her mom's feet. Mrs. Shelby, Mindee's mom, is someone I've known for years, being such good friends with Mindee. When Mindee told me her mom wanted to shoot with her, I thought she was screwing around. That, or Mindee's mom was just having some fun.

Guess what? She wasn't. Mindee and her mom got together in the summer of 2017 and shot a few sets together. It was such an amazing moment and one that was massively over when Soles of Silk fans when they saw early teaser shots on the site's former Instagram page. 

I never thought I'd shoot something more unique than a mother/daughter combo. That was until 2018...


1. If Mom Doesn't Give You What You Want, Ask Grandmom
Model: Mindee, Shelby, & Dolly
Published Date: May 8, 2019

At the end of 2018 I did something even more unique than shooting a mother/daughter combo. I shot two of them in the same set. It wasn't two different mother/daughter pairings. Nope. This was even more unique than that. This one featured three generations from one family. Mindee and Shelby showed Mrs. Dolly (Shelby's mom/Mindee's grandmom) their photos and she said she'd do one with them too. When Mindee told me this, I really thought they were joking this time. I should have learned my lesson from the last time, however, as I ended up shooting all three of them together later that year. I held the set off until Mother's Day 2019 as it just made sense to publish such a set for that week.

What sets on Soles of Silk do you think are the most unique? What made them unique to you? I'd love to know. Leave a comment on this blog, or head over to the site's Twitter page (@SolesofSilk) and let me know.


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