` Travel Stock Photography by Buddy Mays

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Buddy Mays

A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, photographer/travel writer, and author Buddy Mays has visited, photographed, and written about more than sixty countries during the past 30 years. Taken on six continents, his images have appeared in hundreds of major publications throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. He is a former contract photographer for The National Geographic Society, and field editor and writer for Outdoor Life Magazine. He has written and photographed eight non-fiction books and more than 500 newspaper and magazine articles. Hard to Have Heroes, published in 2012, is his first novel. His newest book Santa Fe, was published in 2014.


Buddy began his photography career while still an undergraduate studying vertebrate zoology at New Mexico State University, working 40 hours a week for the Las Cruces Sun News. After college, he joined the photography staff of the Albuquerque Tribune and remained in Albuquerque until 1972 when he returned to Santa Fe to begin freelancing full-time for TIME, Newsweek, and United Press International. In 1978, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature photography for a series of photographs of American cowboys and was among the five finalists. That same year, the Smithsonian Institution requested several of his black-and-white prints of American Indians for their permanent collection in Washington, DC. Betwen 1980 and 2000, he was the recipient of dozens of national and international photography awards, and in 2008, he was selected as one of the world’s top wildlife photographers by Digital Photographer Magazine.


From the late 1970s until the mid 1990s, Buddy spent at least half of each year traveling in the United States and overseas, shooting photographs and writing articles for a variety of companies, including the National Geographic Society, Chevrolet, Northwest Airlines, Abercrombie & Kent, Sobek Travel and other clients. He also wrote and photographed eight books including Wildwaters, A Pilgrim's Notebook, Ancient Cities of the Southwest, and A Traveler's Guide to Costa Rica. Buddy is a four-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard. He was stationed aboard the square-rigged sailing ship Eagle at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and the USCG cutter Rockaway in New York, and was among the first group of SEAL-trained Rescue Swimmers in the Coast Guard. He has lived in Bend, Oregon with his wife and daughter since 1996.