Wildlife photographer Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. will sign copies of his newest coffee table book, “Return to the Southern Wild,” 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.
“I always carried a Kodak Instamatic and took pictures of the deer and fish,” he said. “I just knew this was something I wanted to do.”
That childhood passion turned into a career of photographing Mississippi’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.
“A lot of natives aren’t aware of the visitors we have here in Mississippi,” he said. “Some of these migratory birds come all the way from South America.”
Hudspeth Jr. said his photography has helped to raise awareness and contribute money toward conservation efforts being made for Mississippi’s wildlife.
“My images have been used on many sportsman’s licenses and stamps,” he said. “A portion of those proceeds go to help with conservation efforts.”
Mary Kathryn Kight, public relations coordinator for OCH, said she is amazed at Hudspeth Jr.’s work.
“His photographs looks like paintings,” she said. “They are very detailed and capture the Southern wild at its finest.”
Copies of “Return to the Southern Wild” will be signed and made available for purchase at the OCH gift shop which is operated by members of the OCH Auxiliary, Kight said.
“The Auxiliary uses events like the book signing to raise money for several special projects throughout the year,” she said.
Kight said volunteers host a free flu clinic each fall, organize a children’s project which provides gifts to hospital patients 15 years old and younger and work with the Oktibbeha County Families Resources Center’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.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting around and meeting people,” he said. “It’s nice working with people to help promote both businesses.”
Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. will be at the OCH gift shop to sign copies of “Return to the Southern Wild” from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today. For more information, call 662-615-3000.