HI Travel Tales wins five awards in NATJA Travel Media Awards
For the third year in a row, HI Travel Tales has won multiple awards in the North American Travel Journalists Association national contest, the NATJA Travel Media Awards. For 2020, Therese Iknoian and Michael Hodgson took home five awards, all honoring outstanding travel photography.
The distinguished travel writing and travel photography awards for work published between September 2019 and September 2020 included hundreds of entries from independent blogs as well as major publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, American Way, Air Canada enRoute and The New York Times.
“We pride ourselves on solid imagery to accompany our stories, and this only proves that our photos can’t be beat,” said Michael Hodgson, noting this is the third year in a row they have taken home several awards. “This again inspires us to keep working harder to help travelers connect people with place and discover an immersive travel experience with HI Travel Tales.”
In the annual NATJA Travel Media Awards competition now in its 29th year, awards went to both print and online publications, journalists and photographers, as well as destination marketing organizations. This year, due to the pandemic, award categories did not separate print from online entries, helping to raise the bar on the quality higher than ever seen, according to association CEO Helen Hernandez.
Iknoian won a coveted gold medal for her travel photo in the category “Sports, Recreation and Adventure” for a sunset silhouette of a young camel driver and his camel from HI Travel Tales journey in Morocco in 2019. The same photo won third place in the Washington Post Travel photo contest in September 2020.
Hodgson took home a silver for his photo, “Into the night at Berlin Christmas Garden” in the category of “Cultural.”
Iknoian also won a silver for a night photo of the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine (category, landscape/seascape) , a bronze for her night photo of the abandoned Ferris wheel in Chernobyl (category, cover photo), and an honorable mention for her photo essay called, “What Chernobyl looks like today: the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in photos.”
Iknoian and Hodgson, based in Northern California, have run HI Travel Tales for about six years, during which time they have traveled to, photographed, and written about Germany, Morocco, Ukraine, Argentina, Antarctica and of course the United States, thrilling their hosts everywhere they go. Together, they have been to all seven continents, 46 countries, and all 50 states, focusing on immersive travel that connects readers with the culture, food, history, people, and natural wonders of a destination. With the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been back in California targeting deeper experiences in their own backyard, home state of California, and the Western region, while dreaming about future travel.
Founded in 1991, the North American Travel Journalists Association is an industry leader in travel journalism that fosters high-quality journalism by supporting professional development and honoring excellence in journalism globally. See the entire NATJA list of winners here.
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