Friday, December 5, 2014

Soles of Silk 10 Year Anniversary - 2013

I was so happy to have Ashlyn join the site's roster.

2013: At a Glance

Debuting Models: (5) Ashlyn, Jasey Rae, Mandy, Rachel DD, and Shae Spreadz

Wu's Feetlinks Feature Gallery: Aspen - Star Spangled Beauty

Aspen shot the site's largest Wu's Feet Links feature gallery in Soles of Silk's history.

2013: The Year in Review

I'd have to say 2013 was a year of change for Soles of Silk as a whole. While only five new models joined the site's roster, a lot of focus was put onto things like expanding social media outreach, site redesign, and this blog itself. But before I get into those items, let me start off by talking about who was new in 2013 - as I've done with the blog entries of this series so far.

The year itself began with a new model in Alaynah, however, her debut technically happened in 2012 as the New Year 2013 set (Sample 01 / Sample 02) was published on December 29, 2012. So the first new model of 2013 was actually Shae Spreadz, who I shot with in February.

I met Shae Spreadz on Twitter (@akaShaeSpreadz) in 2012 and had been talking with her about one day shooting sets for Soles of Silk should our paths cross. Well I lucked out as she was headed to the Washington, D.C. region for another shoot and wanted to work with me as well. Shae was nothing but amazing to be around and I got three awesome sets of her size 10 ebony feet. I only wish I had gotten more!

On July 24 I debuted Mandy, a fun loving blonde with whom I've worked with for several years. She had given me a hard time for not having asked her in the past to be a part of the site, so we decided to make it happen. That whole time I thought she wasn't keen on showing off her feet, so I never asked. Yes, even I screw up every so often!

The very next week, July 31, the site saw it's third model debut. It was none other than Rachel DD, who I was also in touch with on Twitter since 2012 (@GoddessRachelle). I knew that she was a local model, but since I prefer outdoor shoots, we never worked together until the summer of 2013. It was a good thing I contacted her when I did too as she was set to move to Florida the following week.

A month later the site's fourth new model debuted. Her name is Ashlyn and I was so excited to get her in front of my camera. She is the older sister of a coworker of mine and I always thought she was cute and had a style about her not really found on the site. She agreed to pose and we went down to a botanical garden and did a few sets - even though it was raining when we arrived. She was so nervous, but when I showed her all the great feedback, it sure did make her realize what a good job she did.

The final new addition to the site came on October 30 when Jasey Rae showed off her 18 year old feet for the first time. She had always wanted to pose, but her boyfriend wasn't keen on the idea. When they broke up for a short period of time, she decided to show off her soft soles and pudgy little toes before the weather got too cold.

When it came to the site's existing model roster, quite a few of them had regular updates and really solidified the year. Aspen and Mindee led the way with five sets each. With four sets, Charlee and Mileena were a close second. And seven different models had three sets each, including: Abby, Emerald, Nikki, Olivia, Ryan, and Wendy.

Two models would join the 1K Club (1,000 photo mark) on Soles of Silk in 2013 as well. Charlee broke the mark in July and Abby did so in September.

One of the biggest sets of the year, literally and figuratively came on my birthday in June. Aspen was set to be the June feature model for Wu's Feet Links, but Wu wasn't publishing the set until the end of the month. With the timing I thought a Fourth of July set would be a good idea. After facing all kinds of adversity with finding a location and finalizing our theme, we shot one of the most artistic sets I've ever done in one of the most beautiful spots I've had a model pose. For a detailed look at this feature set, check out the blog, "The Epic Adventure of Shooting Aspen's Feature Set."

The most surprising shoots to happen in 2013 involved the return of two models I didn't think would pose for the site again in Marcy and Mariah. Both cousins of Mindee, she was able to get in touch with the both of them and get them back in front of my camera. It was so great seeing both pose again.

Looking at the site and not focusing on the models, quite a few things took place of note in 2013. As always, the year began with the annual Soles of Silk Trivia Contest. The turn out wasn't as good as I expected it to be, but several people did really well earning 99 points out of 100 and three month memberships.

On March 6 the site discontinued the Columns section of the site in favor of this blog. I had made regular updates to the Columns section over the years, but felt a blog could better suit the site. I could also reach non-members as well the members with a blog. And when I created this blog, I also added the all new social media sashes to the site to be able to find the site on Twitter (@SolesofSilk), Wu's Feet Links, Instagram (@SolesofSilk), and YouTube (SolesofSilkProd) as well.

In November I was finally able to institute several major design changes to the site. Updated graphics, layout, navigation, page width, and an overhaul of the model galleries all took place before the end of the year. All these things were something I had been wanting to do for some time and when I dove in, I ended up deciding on a few other face lifts as well. It was a very productive end of the year for the site in that regard.

The month of December also saw the final sets from my old camera published to the site. I had shot so much content with that camera and had been shooting new content with my new, Canon Rebel T3i since August of 2012. Before the end of 2013 I made sure every single last set done in 2012 had been published.

And with that we wrap up the second to last year of the site's first 10 years online. Up next will be this year, 2014, and as always, we'll look at who was new, who showed off their feet the most, and also take a look at any other important happenings on the site. Check back soon.

I instantly feel in love with Shae Spreadz and her large feet.

2013: Tidbits & Facts

- Shae Spreadz and her size 10 feet were only the third model to debut on the site with a shoe size in the double digits. Molly and her size 11 feet debuted in 2005 and another model named Shae, an Asian model who has since been removed due to personal reasons, debuted in 2010 and also wore a size 10 shoe.

- When Rachel DD posed for Soles of Silk she cut her leg shaving and it wouldn't stop bleeding. We joked that it would have been perfect to have her leg cut and bleeding in her zombie pajama set found below.

- Ryan got yelled at by an amusement park employee for having her shoes off in the park in her roller coaster set (Sample 01 / Sample 02). If that employee had only seen all the photos on my camera at the time she would have known her shoes had been off most of the time we had been in the part up to that point.

- Although none of the photo sets from the day were published to the site in 2013, Olivia and I finally got to do our long awaited day trip to Cape May, NJ before fall set in.

- Mindee, Marcy, and Mariah had all planned to get together for a set together in 2013, but it never came to be. I still would like for it to happen, but I'm not sure if it will now that Mindee has moved out of state. It would have been only the second three girl set on the site to date and the first time three relatives had posed together.

- When trying to shoot Mandy's debut set (Sample 01 / Sample 02) a mother and child showed up and the child ran around in circles for literally 20 minutes while we paused the shoot. On such a hot day, it only prolonged the shoot and we didn't shoot the original second set as we had intended.

- Most of Aspen's sets published to the site in 2013 were actually from our Seaside Heights, NJ beach trip done on Labor Day in 2012. Having shot so many photos right off the bat, it took some time to get them all onto the site.

I met up with Rachel DD just before she moved out of state for a few sets in 2013.

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