Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Favorite Photo Sets of 2017

It's the end of 2017 and it's time to once again list my 10 favorite sets of the year. These blogs are always fun, but challenge me beyond belief! Trying to compile a year's worth of content into just 10 favorites and then take those 10 and rank them in order... Yeah, it's hard!

This year I tried a new approach. I began compiling my list in June in draft form. Every few updates I'd return and add in new sets and bump out others. It seemed to be working a little better for me doing it that way, but the hardest part still remained. What order to put the 10 favorites into? Well, I think I finally got it - even though I changed a set here last minute before publishing. Ugh... I loved so many of them!

Before I get into this year's list, I want to remind everyone that they will not see Alice's 2017 Wu's Feet Links feature set, "The SK8R Gal Who Wears Size 11 Skates." I never include my feature sets on these lists because they are already something I consider to be the best of the best when it comes to Soles of Silk. I prefer to let them shine on their own and feature them as such.

Now, onto my favorite photo sets of 2017:


10. 6 Soles or 6 Shooters?
Model(s): Mindee, Reese, & Rein
Published Date: June 21, 2017

Until 2017, I had only shot one three model set in the site's history. That came at the end of 2008 when Kimmie and Kellie got their friend Keira in on a set with them. When Mindee got her friends Reese (center) and Rein (right) to shoot for me in 2016, I saw the opportunity to do one again and jumped on it. Since I like to establish my models in their own solo sets first, however, this team up was held onto and not published until 2017.


I knew that people were going to love seeing this set once it was published. It's often hard for me to sit on something that I know people will love. It's even worse since I preview all of my sets in shoot blogs, here on the Soles of Silk Blog. People asked when this would be published and they finally got to see it in June. I held onto it until the weather warmed up too, just prolonging that tease. From all of your responses, you seemed to love it just as much as I did.



9. Lick Leah!
Model(s)Leah
Published Date: September 27, 2017

One thing I realized right away when shooting Leah in her debut with our mutual friend, Alice, was that she was very energetic, fun, and loved having attention paid to her feet. I liked her and couldn't wait to shoot her solo. Well, that chance came shortly after that debut and we got in a few fun sets to go along with that personality of hers.


As I have done in the past, on the day of the shoot above, Leah and I walked through the store and looked for some props that we might want to use in a set. We saw the emoji shirt, hat, and shorts and I got the idea to pair them up with a pair of rainbow striped thigh high socks. Just like Alice had worn in her 2017 feature set, Leah could wear a pair in this one. Since the two of them were friends, I thought it would be the perfect way to tie the sets into each other in a loose manner.

Needless to say, Leah had a blast with this set. She pulled those socks from her feet every which way possible. They ended up in her teeth, pulled up over her head, and then stretched out around those tiny feet of hers once she had them off. Add in the fact that those little feet were all nice and warm coming out of those socks and I was already in love before I got to review the set on my camera. Once we did review them, it only confirmed what I had already thought - that this set was adorable!



8. Oh So Slick Soles
Model(s)Emerald
Published Date: August 23, 2017

It had been three years since I last shot Emerald before the summer of this year. When we finally got together, I made the most of it getting in four sets before doing a fifth with Mindee to end the day. While shooting her solo, however, we did some great sets - which only the set above has been published thus far.


Now, I've done baby oil in sets countless times with numerous models. It's always a good fall back for a simple, quick set without much planning. For some reason, I often have really good results when one of my models gets their feet all slippery and shiny. Emerald's efforts resulted in one of those sets and one that I even think is better than many of those I've loved from previous years. I got great poses and caught the shine just right in these shots. If you're a fan of baby oil on feet, I'm sure this one was a favorite of yours as well. 



7. Plump & Plush Piggies
Model(s)Kelsey & Jasey Rae
Published Date: May 3, 2017

This was a team up I had been wanting since Jasey Rae debuted in October of 2013. She loves her plump toes just as much as I do. I have expressed how much I love chubby toes to her more times than I can count, so I always wanted to see her's paired up with Kelsey's pudgy piggies. And oh yeah, why not add some plush piggies to the mix?


Overall, there wasn't much to this set other than the three of us going to a tennis court in front of a colorful mural. Where this set lacks in theme, however, it sure does make up for in poses. Watching these two stack their feet, put them side-by-side, and press their toes together was a wish come true for me. I really hope that this was not a one-off and I am able to make this happen again one day. I wouldn't be surprised if any newer sets also find their way onto future installments of 10 favorite photo sets of the year blogs.



6. Neon Socks
Model(s)Mindee & Kelsey
Published Date: January 25, 2017

Speaking of team ups that I had always wanted to make happen, Mindee and Kelsey was always high on that list. These two are two of my longest term models, as well as most photographed. Add in the fact that they've been friends for years and it's a mystery to me as to how I never got this to happen before 2016.


As they say, good things do come to those who wait, though. As you can see by the early publish date of this set, I shot this one in 2016 and held onto it for a few months before publishing. It was hard. It really was. I ultimately loved this set so much that I also made it the front page graphic of Soles of Silk.

Everything about this shoot from the day we shot it to the results is something I'll never forget. I love these two ladies and consider them some of my best friends. I'm going to make sure that this pairing happens again, especially if it's going to turn out anywhere as good as this one did.



5. 18 y/o Celebrates 2018
Model(s)Melani
Published Date: December 27, 2017

A late addition to this list, coming in the site's final update of the year, Melani brings in 2018 with her 18 year old feet. The color in this set alone made things memorable to me, but it was Melani herself who had me in awe.


Truth be told, I think Melani is gorgeous. When I saw her in her rainbow attire and her Happy New Year crown, waiting for me to turn on my camera and start the set, I already knew this one was going to be good. Sometimes you just know and Melani and I were already in a great flow, getting some awesome results from previous sets that day. In this one she had so much fun using the props and coming up with expressions that made many of the photos even better - like the one shown above. 

I couldn't think of a better person to help me bring in 2018 than someone who was so integral to 2017. Melani is one of the site's Star Models of 2017, shooting 21 total sets (see blog: "2017's Star Models"). Of those 21 sets, this isn't the only one you're going to see on this list either. Keep on reading to see what other ones (yes, that's plural) I found to be favorites of 2017 as well.




4. Fourth of July Wiener Fest
Model(s)Alice
Published Date: June 28, 2017

The day that Alice and I went to the beach to shoot her Wu's Feet Links feature set we also did three other sets. At one point in time, during the ongoing weeks of me updating this list, all three of the sets were among my top 10 here. Ultimately, however, I swapped things in and out and this was the one set that remained.


With her big size 11 feet, Alice has no problem telling everyone how much "size matters." So when I got the idea in my head to play off that saying with some hot dogs for the Fourth of July, I asked Alice what she thought. She loved the idea, so we decided to do that at the beach as well.

I can't say enough about how Alice is truly the one who made this set click! Sure, the idea was mine, but she had the greatest expressions, going from laughing, to disappointment, to glee! She let you know those bite-sized dogs sure didn't cut it... Well, that was before she cut them up, that is!



3. Home Team Teen Feet
Model(s)Melani
Published Date: April 12, 2017

At the end of March I reached out to Melani, a friend and former coworker, to see if she would be interested in shooting for me. She had recently turned 18 and was now finally able to bare those tiny feet of hers for me. It was something she wanted to do before she was old enough as she learned of my site through Camille, as the two of them are good friends. Luckily for me, Melani was still very much interested.


Shooting so early in the year I decided to go ahead and theme a set to baseball since Spring Training was wrapping up and the regular season was just getting underway. I asked Melani if she wanted to do a set themed to our home team and she was totally down.

We kept things simple on her first day, but seeing Melani in her over the knee socks and bright orange shirt made my realize that I had a star in the making. As I shot the set, it all but confirmed it. She looked so damn adorable. I knew people were going to love this set. I turned out to be 100 percent right on my assessment too and I even made the photo above into the site's header bar inside the members section. Still, Melani managed to do a set that I loved even more than this one!




2. Mommy & Daughter Day at the Pool
Model(s)Mindee & Shelby
Published Date: July 19, 2017

I've shot close to 100 models for Soles of Silk. Until 2017, however, I had never shot one of my model's mothers, or one of their daughters, let alone a mom/daughter team up. That changed in July.


I still remember Mindee sending me a text telling me that she has a surprise that I'm going to love. Somehow I sensed that she had talked her mom into shooting, but I quite honestly didn't think Mrs. Shelby was going to go through with it. She did.

I managed to get in two sets of Mindee and Shelby together the only time I've gotten to shoot them together thus far. The set above is the only I've published at the time of this blog, but it's the one I knew was going to be money! Seeing both of their feet in the kiddie pool, all wet and even pruning up by the end of the shoot, was amazing. I loved how they got matching polish and that they have matching tattoos on their feet. Heck, they even wore matching shirts. This set was just too damn cute!



1. Watermelon!
Model(s)Melani
Published Date: August 2, 2017

Now typically, pulling off a mom/daughter combo would land at the top spot on achievement alone. Melani, however, did a set that I consider to be one of my all-time favorites. This is that set.

The idea for this one came from me walking through the store and seeing a pair of watermelon flip flops. From there, I looked over and saw a watermelon towel. Then I looked up and saw a watermelon boogie board. That's how the set was born. I grabbed all those items as well as the watermelon bag and pillow and checked out. Once I was out in my car I took a photo and sent it to Melani and said I had an idea for her and to guess what it is. Obviously she knew it was watermelon, but then I added that I also wanted her smashing some under her little feet and doing it at the beach. She loved it!

With so many props and planning going into a shoot, sometimes that's when things don't go exactly as planned. Our day at the beach, the day this was shot, was one full of hurdles, but for some reason, everything about this set came out better than I ever could have hoped.

Melani looked simply stunning in her bikini. It only took us about two hours to find a pink one at the beach (strange, huh?), but we did and it was nice and bright! Add in all the other bright pinks and greens and the soft blue sky and the colors were on point. 

Once Melani stuck her feet into the watermelon, however, it all came together. Her little feet got all wet and juicy and shined in the hot summer sun. She said it felt good smashing between her toes too. You could tell she was having a blast while shooting this and it showed throughout all the photos.

Like I said above, it truly takes a set like this one to beat out a mother/daughter combo set. Melani's watermelon set is one of my all-time favorites. It truly ranks right up there with Alice's 2017 feature set.

Honorable Mentions (9)
: Eat Me Wet - Alice, Shark Bites - Alice, Selfie-Stick, Alice, Stocking Swap - Mindee & Cierra, Melting Popsicles - Felicia, Water Balloon Bust - Felicia, Marsh Bench - Kelsey, Pipe Bridge - Mindee, Transportation Walk Fountain - Mindee, Chalky Soles - Mindee, Rilynn, & Noelle.

I'm certain that some of your favorite sets made it onto this list too. Which ones of these did you also enjoy? How about sets I didn't pick? Any sets from 2017 that I missed out on that you'd put on your top 10 listing? Let me know.


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