From August 10 to September 23, First Federal is hosting its second Proudly PNW Community Photo Contest. The contest invites participants to share Western Washington landscape photography for cash prizes and potential spots in First Federal’s 2021 desk calendar.

“K-9 Hyde (from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office) Taking a Break in a Bellingham Hay Field” by Kendra C. was a finalist in the 2019 Proudly PNW contest. Photo courtesy: First Federal

“Last year was the first year we did it, but it was really fun,” says First Federal Creative Campaign Manager Abby Sill. “We had a huge response and everybody seemed to have fun doing it, so we’re excited to do it again.”

The 2019 contest garnered over 1,000 submissions. It expanded upon an employee photo contest that First Federal and its customers had enjoyed for several years. Since 2019, community members “would be featured in the desk calendars, and then the employee photos would be featured in wall calendars,” Sill says. “And that was really popular last year, so we decided to do it again this year.”

First Federal has served as a community bank since 1923. “We love to show up in our communities in any way we can, not just as a bank—we love to volunteer,” says Sill. Branches span from Bellingham to Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Silverdale, Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks. First Federal Community Foundation benefits many community organizations.

“Beautiful Mount Rainier” by Albert S. was a finalist in the 2019 Proudly PNW contest. Photo courtesy: First Federal

“During a pandemic, it’s made things interesting, but we love to show up for things that the community needs and just love and support as much as we can,” Sill says, adding, “It’s just some needed levity this year. So we’re excited to be a part of that.”

Contest photos must be taken between September 24, 2010 and September 23, 2020, up from the last contest’s one-year range. “It’s a contest to just serve all the community, to see what photos they’ve taken over the years and put them into a calendar,” says Sill. Additionally, entrants must be Washington residents and 18+ years of age.

“The grand prize is $250, but there are 12 secondary prizes of $50 and a ‘Fan Choice Award,’ who will receive a Proudly PNW gift basket valued at 100 dollars,” says Sill.

“Sun Dog Over Queets River – Goodyear Bridge – Near Forks” by Aleana C. was a finalist in the 2019 Proudly PNW contest. Photo courtesy: First Federal

Submissions should avoid using images of people, but First Federal encourages wildlife photography. All photography equipment is welcome, from drones and digital cameras to cellphones.

Pictures can come from anywhere in Western Washington, showcasing natural landscapes like Hoh Rainforest, Ruby Beach, Mount Baker, or Whatcom Falls Park, or manmade landscapes like Pike Place Market.

“Whatever you find absolutely stunning, we would love to see it,” Sill says.

First Federal encourages all photographers to enter, professional and amateur alike. The contest celebrates the Pacific Northwest beauty we all enjoy as photographers, hikers, paddlers, mountaineers, and everyday members of our proud communities.

“Definitely everybody should think about submitting,” says Sill. “So yeah, get your photos in. It’ll be super fun.”

You can submit photos through First Federal’s contest link. Follow #ProudlyPNW and #ProudlyYourCommunityBank on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news about First Federal’s contest and other community outreach.

“Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park” by Christine H. was a finalist in the 2019 Proudly PNW contest. Photo courtesy: First Federal

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