The North American Travel Journalists Association presented the second Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism to David Noyes for his outstanding work as a journalist and photographer and his commitment to changing the world through the organization he founded, Innocent Eyes Project. The Keith Bellows Award was established to honor his work as the long time Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler, as an advocate for the importance of travel and its power to transform and teach about the world, cultures, people, and economies.
“Through his professionalism, creative talent and his devotion to ensuring that children in the developing world receive an education, David symbolizes what Keith Bellows stood for with his love of travel and humanitarian spirit,” stated Helen Hernandez, NATJA CEO.
The award was presented at the 2018 NATJA Conference, held in Branson, Missouri. The physical award was sponsored by Silver Dollar City, whose artisans crafted the beautiful award, inspired by Chihuly glass.
A graduate of R.I.T. and Harvard University, David Noyes began his career as a corporate and advertising photographer and owner of a small advertising agency. In 2002, David launched the award winning Experience Outdoors magazine as the founding editor and co-owner of Experience Media Corporation. This began the second phase of his career in custom publishing and travel journalism, where he worked as the managing editor of AAA Going Places Magazine, and helped AAA Western and Central NY develop a custom publishing capability as the founding editor/publisher of a new multi-channel magazine brand, Member Connection.
As a travel writer and photographer, David has been fortunate to visit some of the world’s great places and has been touched by both the beauty and tragedy of the human condition. He has received numerous awards for his photography and travel writing including the North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA) Grand Prize for Photography four times, and four prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism. His first book, The Photographing Tourist: A Storyteller’s Guide to Travel and Photography, has won 18 national and international book awards including the NATJA Gold Award for Best Travel Book.
In 2005, David was invited to be one of 50 international photographers to join 50 Chinese photographers for a photography event called “Tibet through the eyes of 100 photographers.” The following year, David was invited to join a dozen photographers from around the world to contribute to a project called “Xinjiang in Seasons.” David returned to China in 2008 as the subject of a two-part documentary photographing Beijing that aired during the Beijing Olympics.
In 2013, David launched Innocent Eyes Project, Inc., to financially assist grassroots child education programs in developing countries by raising and allocating funds for projects where small amounts of money can make the largest impact on the education of poor, rural, and/or underserved children. Since its foundation, Innocent Eyes Project has made more than $60,000 in grants to organizations doing great work in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.