Grand prize winner Jaidyn Backus was drawn to take the photo when she saw the rock stack at Salt Creek. “I loved seeing how they made the rocks balance so flawlessly.”

Grand prize winner Jaidyn Backus was drawn to take the photo when she saw the rock stack at Salt Creek. “I loved seeing how they made the rocks balance so flawlessly.”

Local Talent Featured in Proudly PNW Calendar from First Fed

Each year, First Fed holds a photo contest to select stunning images for our next year’s calendar. The contest is open to anyone who loves taking photos, from amateur to professional.

Whether or not they submit a photo, community members can participate by voting on their favorite entries. The photo with the most votes at the close of the contest automatically becomes our “fan favorite” winner.

Proudly PNW

First Fed is proudly Pacific Northwest, just like the customers and communities we serve. Our annual calendar celebrates life in the PNW, from the incredible landscapes to classic landmarks. This year’s new contest photo categories, like animals, boats, and road trips, all still fall under the larger theme of showcasing the region.

In addition to the highlighting the natural elements of the PNW, the calendar also creates an opportunity to celebrate local artists.

“The PNW inspires me, and I feel a sense of awe and gratitude when I’m in nature,” said Hayley Powell, whose winning photo will represent the month of February in the calendar. “I love that on any given day I can be at the ocean, on a mountain, or deep in the forest. There are endless places to explore.”

Photo credit: Hayley Powell

Photo credit: Hayley Powell

Creating a Winning Photograph

“We were amazed by the quality and variety of images this year,” said Karen Lewis, Marketing Director. “It was extremely difficult to choose just 14 out of over 1,200 entries.”

Sometimes capturing the perfect photo comes down to lucky timing, while other times photographers plan out their shots ahead of time in great detail. In either case, it takes an artistic eye to get the exposure and framing just right to elevate the moment.

Powell, a photo hobbyist from Port Angeles, was loading up a van on Hurricane Ridge when the beauty of the sunset overwhelmed her.

“I was in total awe,” recalled Powell. “Luckily I had my good camera with me that day!”

For Isaac Gautschi, a professional photographer from Sequim, his winning photo for the month of December was a combination of planning and fortunate weather. Spontaneously taking advantage of a clear night, Isaac hiked up a mountain with his friend to capture his stunning shot.

“I had my friend hold very still during a 15-second exposure in order to capture the dramatic Milky Way lights behind her,” said Gautschi. “The PNW is such a unique and beautiful place to photograph any time of day.”

Photo credit: Isaac Gautschi,

Photo credit: Isaac Gautschi,

Get Your Calendar

The calendars are offered for free, as they are a celebration of our natural environment and the talent in our community.

“The images bring people together,” said Lewis. “No matter what’s happening in the world, we can appreciate and celebrate the beauty and nature around us.”

The calendar will be available for pick up in First Fed branches and community locations starting on Monday, November 22, 2021. Until then, you can preview all the winning photographs online here.

First Fed is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. In 2021, First Fed was recognized as a Best Bank by Forbes magazine and a Best Workplace by Puget Sound Business Journal. Learn more about entry level roles and mid-career opportunities at

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