Ryan's Big Feature Debut

Welcome Ryan, Soles of Silk's newest model and Wu's Feet Links feature.

The blog below was originally published in Soles of Silk's Column section. It was archived and then republished here in 2016.

Okay, I'm excited... Really, really excited. Usually when I shoot a new model I rush to get her added to the site. What I have always done is jumped new models ahead of all other shot content so that they may debut as soon as possible. But there was an exception made recently. And this exception's name is Ryan.

At the end of 2010 I was talking to Wu of Wu's Feet Links. For the past several years I have been lucky enough to have a model featured in his site's Feature Model section. Wu has always picked the models, but this year I asked him if I could go with one of my site's newer girls. All the models who appeared in the feature sets in years past are some of the most established models on the site. That list includes: Mindee, Cierra, Madison, Kimmie, Kellie, and Carmen. Wu agreed to my request and then is was time to determine just who we should go with.

My immediate idea was to ask the site's then newest model, Aliza, to be that girl. I thought having an Asian model would also be a nice touch as well. Needless to say, however, that plan fell through with Aliza's removal from the site. I hadn't even mentioned it to her yet, so it was back to the drawing board.

The girl who ended up being named for this year's feature set, and whose name actually appeared on his upcoming list, was Ginger. Wu thought she would make for a great feature model, as did I. She fit the plan as Ginger made her debut in 2010 as well.

Long story short, for months on end Ginger was impossible to get in touch with to discuss the shoot. She had agreed to do it, but I began fearing that she would be too busy and I'd be left scrambling for a last minute replacement. I gave her one last phone call and then went back to that same old drawing board.

Next up was Marcy. She was yet another model who made a debut in 2010. And if I remember correctly, Marcy and Ginger made back-to-back debuts. I also thought it would be neat for Marcy to follow up her cousin, Mindee, who was the 2010 feature model. Anyhow, Marcy agreed to take Ginger's place and I was finally starting to feel good about this year's feature set. And then it came crashing down AGAIN!

Marcy could not keep plans for a shoot minutes before we were set to meet. This wasn't the first time this had happened, so it irritated me quite a bit. I told her to never mind and really began pulling my hair out over what to do with this set.

I still had four models that debuted in 2010 if I was going to stick with this new model idea. Carlin, Jamie, Katie, and Nikki all also made their debuts last year, but then I had a moment of brilliance. As much as I like these four girls, I had a plan. A plan that I would surely have to run by Wu first, but one I just had to try.

Moments later I found myself at the keyboard typing Wu an email. In it I told him that I had been experiencing all kinds of set backs with this feature set. Even so, I still really wanted the site to be represented by one of my newer models - one so new, in fact, that she hadn't even posed for me yet. Why, you ask? Well, because at the time, she wasn't old enough.

Enter Ryan. Ryan and I have worked together for a couple of years. Knowing I dabbed in photography and having an interest in modeling, Ryan has always expressed a desire for me to take some artistic photos with her. My site was no secret to her either as she knows many of the girls who also model for me. I told her I would try and help her any way I could, but preferred to wait until she was 18 (not for the site stuff, just in general). Well, a couple of months before her May birthday, Ryan told me that she really wants to pose for this site too. She told me she has a friend who likes her feet and doesn't think it is weird. I told her that she could most certainly pose, but she HAD to wait to be 18 for that. She understood and I counted down the days.

Back to the email to Wu. I went online and stole a few of Ryan's Facebook photos. You all know the kind - girl in mirror holding a camera. Yeah, well, Ryan make them look like art. I attached a couple of them and told Wu that she had about a week or so left before turning legal. When Wu replied, he told me I had a total green light and that I sure know how to pick them. Funny thing is, this one picked me first (not that I wouldn't had she not).

Fast forward a couple of weeks and Ryan's birthday comes and goes. We set a date about a week after her birthday and wouldn't you know it, the weather looks lousy at best. We exchanged some text messages and pushed the date back to the weekend. Over the next few days, the weather cleared up and things were looking great... until the morning of our rescheduled shoot.

This set will be used for Ryan's debut on Soles of Silk itself.

Rain was in the forecast, but both Ryan and I really wanted to get some camera time. Ryan ran out and got a really cute pinkish-orange pedicure and we made haste to a spot that I had always wanted to shoot - a small pond over by a popular shopping center that features a water fountain and dozens of ducks and geese. This set was never intended to be her feature set, but when I began looking through the results, I was about to say, "why not?" We did over 100 photos in the set. She was amazing in all of her photos. I just didn't want to stop. It was only once the camera read, "card full," did we stop.

After the set I treated Ryan to lunch and we made plans to meet the following weekend for more photos. This time we were going to try to get in our feature set idea. And then it happened. We were throwing out ideas for other future shoots and we came up with an idea we liked even better than our original plan for the feature set, which was a BMX bike set on dirt trails.

Our new idea was a fishing set. So many people love to go fishing and since I secured the month of June (my birth month) for the feature, I thought it was perfect to bring in summer. I didn't recall that theme being used in any of Wu's features, nor had I used it before on Soles of Silk. Ryan liked it and said she had some equipment. She enjoys fishing, as well as bikes from the original idea (which we still plan on doing one day).

A week pasted and when I woke up the first thing I did was look out the window. Sunny! I was feeling good. Then Ryan texts me that it's scorching hot outside. We still met up and did our shoot, but man was it a sweaty set. Ryan was once again amazing and we decided to do another set. With it being so hot, I suggested that she do something with a garden hose so she could keep cool. She liked the idea and we were off doing her third set within a week's time.

Later that night, after also doing two sets that same day with Charlee, I was sitting at my computer admiring Ryan's pictures. I honestly loved all three sets and was wondering which one should actually be the feature. After some back and forth debating within my head, I decided to keep with the fishing idea. And I am sure you will agree with me that Ryan sure was one hell of a catch!

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