Soles of Silk - 2018's Star Models

At the end of January, and early into February, it looked like 2018 was going to keep pace with 2017 when it came to shoots. Maya made her debut at the end of January and Mindee and Reese were teaming up for some messy shoots only a week later.

As the next few months went by, I added in a few more sets with Maya as well as several existing models. A few newbies made their debuts as well. At this point, it would have been hard to predict who would be vying for the three Star Model spots for 2018. Maya was in the early lead with five within the first few months. By the looks of the pace she was on, and my desire to want to shoot her over and over, I thought she might just top this list as a rookie in 2018. That, however, didn't turn out to be the case at all.

For those of you who are unaware, each year I designate my three most photographed models that year's Star Models. It's strictly the number of photo sets they shot that calendar year, not how many sets were published to the site itself. There are usually always surprise as the years progress, but this year was probably the strangest in the paths that the models took to the finish line.

Now, let's take a look at this year's Star Models and how each one secured their spot at the top of this year's list:

3. Charlee
Debuted: 2009
# of sets posed for in 2018: 7

I seriously doubt I could have ever predicted Charlee's placement on this year's list. It's strange to say that as she's one of Soles of Silk's most photographed models overall. She's already secured a spot in the 2K Club with the number of unpublished photos she has waiting to make it onto the site. So why do I say I couldn't have predicted her placement?

Well, Charlee moved out of state a while back. I didn't even realize just how far she was either until we struck up a conversation on social media one day. Luckily for me, she told me she would soon be coming home to visit. She really wanted to meet up and get in some more photos, if we could. Naturally, I was game! I missed her and those smooth soles of hers. She's always been a pleasure to shoot and a good friend.

The day we met up during her trip home was so dreary. It was raining and cold, so we set up in her hotel room and managed to get in four sets (see blog: "Sunday's Shoot - Charlee"). These sets would turn out wonderfully and I would also get some good news during one of many foot rubs I gave Charlee that day. She would be coming back again in May. No doubt I planned on shooting with her again. I had to make use of that time and shoot more photos of her dreamy feet. (see blog: "Monday's Shoot - Charlee").

After the conclusion of these two amazing days, Charlee jumped ahead of newcomer, Maya for the most sets shot at seven. This is also where she would finish the year, but it was enough to land her third place! If she had came home again, she could have easily topped this list as I'm sure we would have made more plans to shoot.

I can't wait to share Charlee's sets from this year. She has been so vital to this site since her 2009 debut and she did some amazing sets during her two return trips home. I want Charlee to be a part of this site for as long as she wants. I also thank her for the countless hours that she's allowed me to rub those feet for her. I'm pretty sure it's expected that I spend a good amount of time down at them, rubbing away, at this point. I wouldn't have it any other way!

2. Esmerelda
Debuted: 2018
# of sets posed for in 2018: 8

Yeah, there's no way I could have predicted Esmerelda making this list early in 2018. Why? Well, she didn't debut until early August when this Chicago native hit me up to let me know that she would be traveling to a region about an hour and a half away. She was curious to know if I'd like to shoot her for my site. Having seen her on social media, I jumped at the chance and met a great model and made an awesome new friend in the process.

The original plan for shooting Esmerelda was for me to head up and meet her on a Monday. We'd shoot several sets and that would be it. Instead, I met her on Sunday, stayed the night, and shot photos on both Sunday and Monday. We also did some touristy stuff and managed to get the police called on us. If you haven't read the blogs about those first shoots, check them out below:

With Esmerelda coming to visit from Chicago and the Windy City not being in my immediate travel plans in 2018, I figured her set count would be six for the year. I couldn't have imagined that awesome, last minute plans would arrise in early December to let me see her again.

Not really needing any new photos for the rest of the year, I was content to not shoot anymore in 2018. That's when I got a surprise text from Esmerelda. She would be in Northern Virginia and wanted to know if I wanted to meet up. I told her that we could, but I was not really in the need of any more photos at the time. The more I thought about it over the next day or two, however, that's when I said, "Why not?"

I told Esmerelda we could do a couple of sets, but I still wanted to go out and do something too. I had been working a lot of hours, so getting out would have been nice for me. That, however, was when things changed - and I'm glad they did. Esmerelda made mention of Egypt and before I knew it, we changed all the plans to do several shoots with the both of them (see blog: "Sunday's Shoot - Esmerelda & Egypt").

That day turned out to be a long, drawn out tease fest, but by its end, I came away with some awesome new sets. Those sets also jumped Esmerelda's set count to eight, which had her sitting at the top of the list until about two weeks later. That's when Mindee decided that she wasn't coming in second place!

1. Mindee
Debuted: 2004
# of sets posed for in 2018: 10

If you remember, in 2017 Mindee and I went bonkers and shot 40 new sets of her charming size 8 feet. Well, in 2018 Mindee started early, doing two sets with Reese in February (see blog: "Monday's Shoot - Mindee & Reese"), but after that, it was slow and steady. As a matter of fact, Mindee never shot more than three sets at a time this year. There was no crazy 10 sets in a day attempt, or even one that saw us do five. Not this year!

Another thing that was different about 2018 was the long pauses between our shoots. Like I said, Mindee shot in February, getting that early start, but our next shoot wouldn't come until July! That's a five month gap between sets. We only did two sets that day too (see blog: "Friday's Shoot - Mindee").

In late August, Mindee and I made our way out west for a vacation. Our plan was to visit three amusement parks neither of us had been to before. In between all that, do some photos in some unique locations. That's exactly what happened too. Still, we didn't go crazy. We shot three sets immediately after landing, but those would be all we would do on that busy trip. (see blog: "Vacation Shoot - Mindee"). I would have loved to have come away with more during this trip, but I scheduled us to go from place to place without much time to spare to maximize our time at the parks.

As the months went by following our trip, Mindee talked often - like we always do. When I told her in early December about how Esmerelda passed her set count, she was adamant that she would find time to shoot again before the end of the year. A few days later, that's when I got the news that one of my most memorable shoots ever was about to happen. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referring to shooting three generations of women in Mindee's family. Mindee's mom, Shelby, made a return to get in a few sets with Mindee, but so did Shelby's mom, Mindee's grandmom, Dolly (see blog: "Sunday's Shoot - 3 Generations: Mindee, Shelby, & Dolly").

This memorable shoot was one that was teased by Mindee way back in July after our second shoot. It still only had Mindee appear in three sets, with Shelby and Dolly each getting in a solo set of their own that day. Still those three sets put Mindee's set count into double digits at 10 for the year.

Can Mindee be a diva when it comes to this site? Yup. Do I love her tenacity with wanting to shoot all the time and being my most photographed model every year? Sure do! Mindee is awesome and I honestly miss her and those feet of hers right now. I can't wait until next time I get to point my camera at them and, of course, massage them for hours on end! Guess that gives me something to look forward to in 2019, huh?

Star Model Leader Count (as of 2018)

This portion of the Star Models blog was begun this year. In November 2017, I went back to do the Star Models of years past (2004-14). I wanted to see which models made the most appearances throughout the years and who actually shot the most, well, the most? Wanting to know this information, I decided to share the results at the conclusion of these blogs as they progress. I will include this on each and every installment moving forward.

Most Overall Appearances

  • 6 appearances - Mindee (2007, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • 3 appearances - Madison (2004, 2006, 2008), Layla (2005, 2007, 2009), Wendy (2006, 2008, 2012), Cierra (2008, 2009, 2010), Jamie (2010, 2012, 2014)
  • 2 appearances - Kellie (2005, 2006), Molly (2005, 2006), Jordana (2008, 2010), Mileena (2011, 2012), Ryan (2011, 2013), Charlee (2011, 2018), Alice (2015, 2016)
  • 1 appearance - Lauryn (2004), Lisa Tyler (2004), Sue Lovely (2004), Kimmie (2005), Lexi (2005), Abby (2007), Lady Steph (2008), Jaylee Austin (2009), Kayleigh (2011), Aspen (2012), Nikki (2012), Megan Jones (2013), Emerald (2014), Felicia (2014), Lela Beryl (2014)Kaycee (2015), Kelsey (2016), Melani (2017), Alexa (2017), Esmerelda (2018)

Most Overall 1st Place Appearances

  • 5 appearances - Mindee (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • 2 appearances - Kellie (2005, 2006), Jamie (2010, 2014)
  • 1 appearance - Madison (2004), Layla (2005), Wendy (2012), Cierra (2008), Jaylee Austin (2009), Mileena (2011), Ryan (2011), Alice (2016)

Thanks for joining me on this stroll through Soles of Silk's history. I always aim to give my models as much credit as possible. Without them, Soles of Silk wouldn't be what it is. Please be sure to come back again this time next year when we look at 2019's Star Models.

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