Every year I have to make hard decisions. Ones that often get changed around so many times that I just have to finally say, "This is how it is and that is how it is going to be." These decisions involve my annual selection of my 10 Favorite Sets of the year. Well, with 2021 now in the books, I had to make a whole new round of tough choices.
It's time to see which models' sets made my Top 10 from 2021. Are some of your favorites in here? How about ones that aren't Let me know what some of your favorite Soles of Silk sets were from the year that was 2021.
10. Cutie Pie, Pumpkin Pie
Published Date: November 24, 2021
We go messy for the Number 10 set for 201 with Allie. For over a year, Allie wanted to smash her tiny size 5's into a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. With only a few weeks left before Turkey Day 2021, we finally made it happen. And boy, oh boy, what a mess those little feet made! It just goes to show you, even small feet can be quite mighty. Oh, and teasing too!
Shooting this set turned into so much fun. Allie and I were laughing the majority of the set. Whether she was squishing the soft pumpkin pie between her plump toes, or squirting strings of whipped cream across those same toes' tips, we were both cracking loving every minute. I'm sure this set has led to her desire to shoot more messy food sets in the future. That tends to be trend when my models shoot their first one. From there, they begin asking me if I've shot this, that, or the other thing. I can't wait to see those size 5's do it again.
9. Bubblegum Brat
Published Date: February 10, 2021
I've always had a fondness for bratty girls. When Juliet debuted just one day after turning 18, we began discussing all kinds of ideas for future sets. When I mentioned my love for brats, she told me she can be bratty and would love to do it in one of her sets. I was sold. I the "Brat" shirt online written in the Babie font and she loved it. Adding in those neon pink thigh high socks and bubble gum made it that much better.
Once the set got underway, I let Juliet be, well, a brat! She teased the camera, and the photographer behind it, with her sock covered feet. She flipped the middle finger, gave the loser gesture, and quite frankly, looked like she was ready to slap me. I loved it.
By the end of the set Juliet had bared her 18 year old soles, stuck some gum between her toes (which I chewed on when finished), and let us all know just how much of a brat she truly is. It earned this set the Number 9 spot in the process.
8. Sudsy Soles
Published Date: December 1, 2021
Mindee and I have this knack for just coming up with a set off the top of our heads. Well, on the day that this set was shot, I was also shooting her mom, Shelby, and her grandmother, Dolly. Shelby had shot before, but Dolly was doing her first shoot. Wanting her to see what we do, I asked Mindee to shoot a set first, followed by Shelby. Then Dolly could do a solo set before the three of them jumped in for one together. One problem, while I had plans for both Shelby's and Dolly's set, Mindee and I had nothing.
That was until she began handwashing some dishes while I was setting up my photo lights. Yup. It was that easy. I told Mindee to save some dishes because we were going to do her set right there in her kitchen. And just like with so many of her sets, this one came out phenomenal and even worthy of landing itself on the Top 10 listing of 2021 at the Number 8 spot.
7. Barefoot by the Bike Rack
Published Date: May 5, 2021
Speaking of last minute, unplanned sets worthy of landing on this year's 10 favorites, here is another. Allie's set in front of a bike rack is a second example of things just working out on a whim. After shooting a set prior to this one, our location grew a little too crowded for our liking. We jumped in our cars and began looking for somewhere else to shoot. A few miles down the road, I spotted a bright blue bike rack and bench in front of a school. Since it was the summertime, we decided to use it.
Naturally, it wasn't this location that made it a memorable set. Nope. What earned it the Number 7 spot was it being a sneaker set with no socks. Allie looked adorable as can be kicking off those shoes and you can tell how soft and warm her feet are as they come off. Combined with the splash of blue I saw from the road (I love bright colors) and this set just melted my heart. I wonder if that was also caused by all that heat coming off her warm, sweaty feet?
Published Date: June 2, 2021
Not too long after Melani began shooting, she confessed how much of a brat she can be and said that being bitchy is so much fun when it comes to boys. Well, in this set she wanted to focus on the boys who just don't measure up. And like Juliet, Melani pointed that mean girl attitude my way, earning this set the Number 6 spot.
Melani was totally in her element with this one, just like she was in her Bratty Schoolgirl set that took the Number 5 spot in 2019. Check out "My Favorite Sets of 2019," if you're wanna see another example of this bratty babe.
Like I said, much of Melani's meanness was directed right toward me. She stuck her feet out my way, just inches from the camera, letting me know that's where I belonged. I even rubbed her feet every few photos while she teasingly called me her foot bitch and foot boi. Wonder if she was just getting into the element or she meant it. I'm thinking she meant it. I know that plush inchworm spent a lot of time between her feet and used as some kind of symbolism. I wonder what it could have meant? Any ideas?
5. Ball Buster
Published Date: January 13, 2021
There are brats and then there are ballbusting brats. Kaycee had never really showcased her meaner side on the site prior to this set. When I showed her my idea and asked her if she'd want to do it, she didn't hesitate to say to say yes. You have no idea how happy that made me. FemDom Kaycee sounded like someone I wanted to meet, even if it was all in good natured fun.
Earning the Number 5 spot, this set just blew me away. Kaycee didn't care that people kept going by us in boats along the river, even with the bold white text on her deep blue shirt reading, "Ball Buster." There's no way no one else saw this set being shot out in public. We didn't care. As Kaycee would say, "Fuck'em!" She was having a blast squishing some big soft blue balls under her feet and I was having every bit of shooting the set. I knew I had a hit on my hands only a few photos in on this one.
4. Oh So Warm
Published Date: June 16, 2021
The sets earning spots 1-4 were the ones I had the most difficulty placing. After so much swapping and over-thinking, I busted my own balls and finalized their final ranks. Taking the Number 4 spot is Ava. So many of you know this set and know it is one I freaking adore. Heck, the same exact photo above adorns the site's header bar in the site's guest section.
One thing Ava has come to learn these last couple of years is my fondness for her big feet in sneakers. She knows I'll love them even more if she's not wearing sneakers too, so she's always teasing me with the idea of shooting a set in a different pair of her many shoes. When the weather is warm, she even uses that to her advantage knowing I won't turn down the opportunity to be in front of her sweaty, warm feet. She's turned me into a fanboy of those sweaty size 9's. No shame in admitting my love for them.
This particular set ranks right up there among some of the best sneaker sets I've ever done. Not only did Ava look gorgeous, but her feet were indeed sweaty. Add in the bright colors between her outfit, hair, toenails, and the setting, and this set just popped! Now I feel the need to get in front of Ava's sweaty sneaker-clad feet again...
3. Ode to Elmer Batters
Published Date: August 11, 2021
In the Number 3 spot we have Mindee again, but not for the final time either. This infamous shoot is the one which entered her into the 9K Club (9,000 photos) back in August.
Like with Ava's sneaker photo above, this particular shot is also featured predominately to visitors, with this one being on the welcome page. As a matter of fact, Mindee has been found in the site's welcome graphic for more than a decade at this point. When it came time to freshen things up for 2021, one thing I knew was that she was going to keep that well-earned spot.
When this set was published, in an ode to Elmer Batters, whose book can be seen in the set, I published both a color and black and white version. The idea came to me as I was sitting down to prepare the update. When I asked Mindee what she thought of the idea, she said she loved it.
I said above that Mindee and I nail it whenever we go into a set without any planning, or even without the slightest idea of what we want to do. A set like this shows you that we also nail the ones that we do plan out. Speaking of which...
Published Date: March 10, 2021
The Number 2 spot also goes to Mindee. Over the last few years, instead of just going back through every set at the end of the year, I've been ranking them as I go with each update. Well, this set had been sitting in the Number 1 spot ever since it's March 10, 2021 publish date. That was until December 22, 2021. More on that in a bit.
Whenever I combine other things I enjoy into my shots, it tends to make them that much better. I've done a few sets with video game themes in the past, but none come close to this one. Seeing Mindee with my old Nintendo, some games, controllers, a zapper, and those warm grey socks, still has me arguing with myself on whether or not this set should be Number 1. I don't think I've debated the Top 2 as much as I have here in 2021.
1. Naughty or Nice?
Published Date: December 22, 2021
On December 22, 2021 I published the set that ultimately takes the Number 1 spot on this year's list. Like Mindee's set above, there were a ton of props tossed into this one. And while I do like the Nintendo props more, these props in Ava's 2021 Christmas set created so many fun poses throughout. I told Ava while working on this update that I loved how front and center her wrinkly soles were in each and every photo. If you like big feet and bare soles, I know you probably felt the same way.
Ava's candy cane striped socks were what ultimately inspired this set, with the soles of those socks reading "Naughty" and "Nice." I teased Ava that there was no doubt that naughty was more appropriate in her case. She laughed and then proceeded to bring some of that same teasing energy she brought in her ball busting set shown in the Honorable Mentions above. See, I was right! Naughty...
Over the years I have done quite a few Christmas sets and most of them have been very memorable. There is just something about this set, however, that makes it not only my all-time favorite Christmas set, but my overall favorite set of 2021.
Congratulations to all the models above and thank you for all your time and efforts that went into making these memorable sets happen. I'm sure you'll be seeing these models competing for spots on next year's list as well. Will Ava be able to claim the Number 1 spot in 2022? She's already got a handful of sets waiting to be published this year. I can't wait to see.