Wildlife photographer Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. will sign copies of his newest coffee table book, â€śReturn to the Southern Wild,â€ť from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oktibbeha County Regional Medical Center gift shop today.
Born and raised in Mississippi, Hudspeth Jr. cultivated his love for photography while hunting with his father as a child.
â€śI always carried a Kodak Instamatic and took pictures of the deer and fish,â€ť he said. â€śI just knew this was something I wanted to do.â€ť
That childhood passion turned into a career of photographing Mississippiâ€™s wildlife and resulted in two published books on the subject.
Hudspeth Jr. said he loves being out in the woods as a part of nature and photographing the various animals Mississippi hosts.
â€śA lot of natives arenâ€™t aware of the visitors we have here in Mississippi,â€ť he said. â€śSome of these migratory birds come all the way from South America.â€ť
Hudspeth Jr. said his photography has helped to raise awareness and contribute money toward conservation efforts being made for Mississippiâ€™s wildlife.
â€śMy images have been used on many sportsmanâ€™s licenses and stamps,â€ť he said. â€śA portion of those proceeds go to help with conservation efforts.â€ť
Mary Kathryn Kight, public relations coordinator for OCH, said she is amazed at Hudspeth Jr.â€™s work.
â€śHis photographs looks like paintings,â€ť she said. â€śThey are very detailed and capture the Southern wild at its finest.â€ť
Copies of â€śReturn to the Southern Wildâ€ť will be signed and made available for purchase at the OCH gift shop which is operated by members of the OCH Auxiliary, Kight said.
â€śThe Auxiliary uses events like the book signing to raise money for several special projects throughout the year,â€ť she said.
Kight said volunteers host a free flu clinic each fall, organize a childrenâ€™s project which provides gifts to hospital patients 15 years old and younger and work with the Oktibbeha County Families Resources Centerâ€™s Read to Me program which promotes literacy and early reading.
Hudspeth Jr. said he is excited about coming to OCH to promote his newest book.
â€śIâ€™ve really enjoyed getting around and meeting people,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s nice working with people to help promote both businesses.â€ť
Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. will be at the OCH gift shop to sign copies of â€śReturn to the Southern Wildâ€ť from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today. For more information, call 662-615-3000.