Haily, Gin and Ginger at Cedar Flats

June 11, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

In a recent blog post, I described my scouting for a photo shoot with Haily, Gin and Ginger, and promised to tell you how that went. Then I got really busy (it’s that time of year for me) and failed to follow up on that promise. Sorry to keep you in suspense, but I guarantee that the story is worth the wait!

First, and very importantly: this is an erotic photo shoot. If that topic makes you uncomfortable, you might want to skip this one. I won’t be sharing the more explicit photos in this post, but I will be describing and linking to them. The photos are here, and they include both traditional figurative images and images that are explicitly sexual. I have written previously about my thoughts regarding photographing sex, and if you’re interested, you can go back and read all about it. But tl;dr, I believe strongly that a photographer’s job is to document and/or make art out of every aspect of human life, and I don’t believe in drawing lines around certain things and saying they’re “off limits.” Sex and sexuality are important parts of the human experience, and powerful subjects of artistic commentary. And, at least if you’re a grown-ass adult, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t enjoy as art, for god’s sake.

So with that said, the password for the erotic images is “eros”.

I met Haily, Gin and Ginger in Enumclaw, and we decided to all pile into Haily's car together to drive into the park. We discussed the various places I'd explored, and came to a consensus about where we all wanted to go, which was, first, to Silver Falls, which no one had seen before, and then to Cedar Flats and the Grove of the Patriarchs. The Falls were roaring, and there were people all over the place, not a surprise for Memorial Day and opening weekend of the Ohanapecosh Campground. The light was poor for photographs, so Ginger posed for a few quick nude shots in the forest and we moved on.

We parked at Cedar Flats, and everyone trotted across the log bridge I'd found over that part of the river, into the grove of ancient trees. Everyone was absolutely awestruck, as I knew they would be! Everyone was ripping their clothes off and wandering among the trees. Haily was climbing them, and I was photographing furiously, after confirming with everyone that they didn't mind my doing so.

And it was, in fact, a glorious day. The temperature was perfect, and we only saw a few mosquitoes the whole day. We spent a long while there, with members of the group posing for photos. Right off the bat, as I was getting ready, I looked over and through the gap between two trees that came together like a "V" I could see Haily and Ginger, kneeling among the vanilla leaf, making out furiously. It was erotic and beautiful at the same time, and I got some absolutely amazing images, some of my favorites of the entire day.

And that was how it went all day long. Haily and Gin and Ginger are obviously passionate lovers in every combination, so by the time we left Cedar Flats I had photos of each of them on their own, every possible couple, and all three of them doing things to each other that would make Ron Desantis's head explode. And all of it with a freedom and joy and abandon that was truly inspiring! The light was sometimes perfect, sometimes contrasty and challenging, but there are some amazing images among them.

All told, throughout the day, I took more than 2,200 photos, plus some videos. And it has, since, been a long (but enjoyable) process narrowing them down and editing them! I'm never sure about the audience for such photos -- I certainly can't post them on Instagram, and all of the usual channels for professional photography reject such images outright as pornography, even when they're artistic. So they will probably make their most public appearances on FetLife, literally the only social community I know where such images are welcomed and appreciated.

After exhausting the photographic opportunities at Cedar Flats, the group was keen to see the Grove of the Patriarchs, so we set off through the woods to get there, wading across the stream in two places. No one bothered to get dressed, just threw the clothes in the packs and wandered off through the woods in boots alone, taking even those off to wade through the stream. Finally we arrived at the back end of the boardwalk loop, where the group was awed anew by the even older and more massive trees visible there. Ginger climbed up on the railing of the boardwalk next to the oldest of the trees and just leaned into it, overcome by the power of it all, and I got some really beautiful candid photos of that.

We wandered for a bit, and then Gin said, "I think I'd like to fuck under these big trees over here." He laid out a blanket, and the three lovers sat together discussing their plans, negotiating what they wanted to do and in what order. Ginger and Haily took first shift, scissoring each other to great pleasure, and then Gin stepped in to receive the attentions of them both. At one point, Ginger was riding him reverse-cowboy while Haily rode his face, and the sounds of their pleasure were echoing loudly through the trees. I was glad that there was a noisy river between us and the public trail! Then Haily took a turn being railed from behind by Gin.

Afterward, we continued down the boardwalk, climbing on trees and massive downed logs. There's one place where the massive roots of a tree form a sort of cave, and the group spent a lot of time climbing among the roots, hanging from them upside down, and climbing into the hollow of the tree. They talked about coming back at some point and doing rope suspension here.

Fi nally we all headed back -- back to the end of the boardwalk, back through the forest and twice across the streams, back to Cedar Flats. Here Gin and Ginger got dressed again, but Haily said she'd wait till we were back at the final stream crossing to rinse her feet off. As we were approaching the log bridge, we noticed a man bathing in the river a bit upstream from us. Haily called out a cheery "hello" and he scrambled to hide himself, since he was naked, but Haily said "don't worry, we're naked too!" He did a double-take and said, well, then I guess it's all right then! We all gathered back near the car, and he came across and joined us shortly after. He introduced himself as Sam, from the Ketchikan area of Alaska, but very rural, where he had an isolated property half a mile from the nearest neighbor. He had been here in the lower 48 for the winter making some money to take home and use to install solar panels at his place, to replace the generator. Very much a kindred spirit with our ragtag group, and he smoked with Haily before swapping phone numbers with everyone for future reference.

We were a very contented bunch on the ride back to Enumclaw. It really was a perfect day, and it filled me with such joy to be part of such an amazing group of like-minded people!

The photos, as I said, are a combination of figurative and erotic. I honestly don’t make a distinction, either when I make the photos to begin with, or when I sort and edit them. It’s only when I consider how and where to share the photos with others that the constraints of social convention come into play. So that leads to photos that are hard to categorize. Are they erotic, or figurative? Where’s the line between the two, and what side of the line does each image fall?

And does it really matter? They’re beautiful images that convey powerful emotional messages, of love and freedom and joy and acceptance and harmony with nature, and yes, sensuality and sexuality, all wrapped up together. They are vital and alive, like their subjects. And I am honored to get to document and create art with them.


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