Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday's Shoot - Melani (New Model)

I've been lucky enough to shoot so many of my friends for Soles of Silk since its debut in late 2004. Well, here in 2017 it is the case once more as the site's newest sole mate, Melani, makes her debut.

Melani and I used to work together not too long ago. She was friends with Camille, whose older sister, Kayleigh, shot for me on a regular basis. Neither Camille, nor Melani, were old enough to shoot at the time. That didn't stop either one of them from telling me they were going to do it once they turned 18, however. 

As you all know, Camille shot her first sets back in August 2015, once she turned 18 (see blog: "Monday's Shoot - Alice & Camille"). Melani, however, still had to wait a little longer. Sadly, during this time she would go on to find another job and we would lose touch for a number of months.

A little over a week ago I noticed that Melani had accepted a friend request that I had sent her all those months ago. She said she doesn't use that account much, but I'm so glad that she happened to do so on that day. After accepting my friend request we began talking and catching up with one another. She had turned 18 a few months back, so I decided to go ahead and see if she was still interested in shooting. Luckily for me, she was!

I have always found Melani to be just the cutest. She's always smiling, she has very pretty eyes, and she is a tiny little thing. Above all that, however, has a fun loving personality. I don't know if I've ever seen her mad. Knowing that, I always assumed she'd be a natural in front of the camera - cracking adorable smiles, and having lots of fun while doing it. That's what I thought it would be like and it totally was!

Melani and I met up around 1 p.m. today after she got done with classes. She had to be at work by 5 p.m., so we decided to go ahead and try to squeeze in a couple of sets during that span. We had talked about trying to schedule something during the prior week. That's when we noticed we would possibly match up on Monday. She just had to wait to get her work schedule to let me know. Luckily for us, our schedules matched up and we made plans to shoot much earlier than I had anticipated. Melani was very excited to give this a try too, so we went for it. 

The first set for Melani was a simple one with flip flops. I tend to start off all my new models with something that doesn't overwhelm them right away. I keep all the complicated theming, props, or poses for future sets, even though those don't really tend to be that hard either, honestly.

I was loving the shots I got when Melani kicked her heels up onto the railing.

I had Melani start off with a few full body shots. We were in a small covered structure that looks out over a marshy area at a nearby park. Before long, I had her pull her feet up onto the benches and that's when her toes caught my attention. The night before she had painted her toes orange and white to fit the theme of the second set we had planned for the day. More on that in a bit, though.

As the set progressed, Melani pulled off each one of her flip flops to bare her cute little soles for the first time. Just like her toes, they were adorable. I dropped to a low angle pretty quickly to get those soles and her smiling face all in the shot together. And as time went on, I had her stick her feet up onto the railings for other similar shots - just like the one you see above. I got in a lot of great shots while her feet were perched up there.

During this first set something adorable happened. In all my sets you know that I will regularly have models spread and curl their toes throughout their poses. Well, the first few times I asked Melani to spread her toes, she struggled. And struggled hard. We were both laughing, watching as her toes barely budged.

"This is hard," she claimed while laughing.

"Yeah, your struggles are real," I replied. "You have it so bad!"

"I do!" she insisted.

After some more playful banter those little piggies finally began to wake up. I noticed some more space forming between those toes each and every time I asked her to do it. It really was cute watching her try and teasing her all the while.

Once I shot enough photos it was onto film Melani's first ever video clip. She threw her flip flops back on and then pulled them off once more during the course of the clip. And with that, her first ever set was in the books.

As we collected our stuff for our journey back to my car, Melani commented on how fun and easy that was. I assured her prior to shooting that she would find that to be the case. Even so, I was glad to hear her say that. Oftentimes when my models enjoy shooting, they'll come to me with ideas and ask me when we can shoot again. I have a feeling Melani will be doing just that - hopefully on a regular basis.

Now it was time to get ready for the second set - the one that had her paint her toes orange and white, which you may have seen teased Sunday night on the Soles of Silk Instagram account (@SolesofSilk). I stood outside my car while she changed into an outfit I picked up a few hours prior to posting that teaser image. When she emerged, I was awestruck. She looked so adorable. As you can see below.

Melani in her Orioles shirt, shorts, and over the knee socks had me simply in awe.

The theme for this second set was baseball. It is Opening Day today and we had our home team, the Baltimore Orioles, in mind. My plan was to shoot her on some bleachers, so we made the short walk to the back of the park and got things underway.

Melani's bright orange shirt stood out, but seeing her legs and feet in her over the knee socks made me all but realize just how much of a hit this set was going to be. Well, unless you're a Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, or Rays fan. It's ok, no one is perfect. I'm sure you'll still be in awe of Melani and her little bare feet, just as I was, by the end of the set.

Melani began this set showing off her little feet still clad in socks. Before long, however, she started tugging them down her legs. She left them balled up around her heels, however, at my request. From there, she stuck her legs straight out at me and pulled on the toe portion of each sock. This allowed a slow reveal of her soft soles before they came up and over her tiny toes. I got a bunch of good photos during this stretch of the set.

Once Melani had her socks removed we did a few barefoot shots with a baseball and then moved onto another prop I had brought with me - peanuts. Adding these to the set was a last minute idea yesterday evening. Being the set was in bleachers, I thought smashing up a few of them and sticking them between her toes would be perfect. That's just what she did too.

With our photos now done for this second set, Melani pulled her socks back on and we repeated the process on video. Watching it the first time was a treat, but getting to see it a second time pretty much makes me feel spoiled. We're already talking about doing some thigh high socks down the road. I know she'll look great in them too!

I have to say, Melani took to everything she did today naturally. I enjoyed both sets, but the second one was a home run, pun intended. You'll get to see that when this set, and video clip, are featured on the site April 12. Until then you'll be able to see two more preview shots when they're published in the coming soon section with the April 5 update this week.

Before I wrap things up, I want to take a minute and thank Melani for meeting up on short notice today. You did an amazing job. Your natural beauty and fun loving nature came through just as I had hoped. Getting to hang out with you so much fun. I hope to do so again one day soon. I also hope that you become one of my regular models moving forward. I can only imagine how much cuteness you'll add to and future shoots.

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