Interview with Swedish Jeppe Wikström, Book publisher and Photographer
Swedish book publishing company Max Ström specializes in high quality photographic books, and was founded in 1994 by Marika Stolpe and Jeppe Wikström. They publish about 20 titles a year, and one of their most high-profile titles is "A Day in the World" featuring photographers around the globe depicting the day of May 15, 2012 from their perspective.
Max Ström is a publishing company, which successfully publishes photo books. Tell us a little more about what got you started in publishing.
"Both Marika Stolpe and I, who founded the publishing house, are photographers. We discovered that a publisher with a focus on photo books, but that also has a wide appeal was missing on the market. Our first book ever about the Swedish archipelago, was printed in 10 000 copies and sold out in five weeks' time. That's when we understood we had come up with something great."
What ingredients should a really good photo book have, in your opinion?

"A photo book is actually a bit like a piece of music. There must be a cohesive tone. It may be a small sonnet or a powerful symphony - but it must be joined together. Obviously, it's the pictures and the story that carries the book, but the design is extremely important - as well as the technical issues regarding repro and print."

What do you think is a photo book's USP, i.e. unique selling-point?

"Photo books reach people regardless of age, culture, sex or language - that is the real strength of the photo book. I believe that in a time of low-resolution images and printed screenshots there is a great desire for high quality images, both in terms of expression and technique. Photo books also make great gifts - they are something really delightful!"

How do you see the photo book's role in society, why do we talk so little about photography books in cultural discussions and why are so few books reviewed?

"Many cultural writers are still very hung up on the written word. There seems to be more poetry collections being reviewed than photo books. That does not mean that I think too much poetry gets reviewed, but I do think that photo books should be stepping up a bit more in the media. One problem is that there are not enough qualified reviewers."
Tips for photo books
We've gathered some photo book tips from interesting people who know what they're talking about. Happy reading, I hope you will find several books of interest.
We ♥ photography books:
More Than Human - Tim Flach
Tim Flach at this point is a classic and always a go to. Quality and texture of the paper is a huge plus in addition to the great animal images.

// Tasha Hanna, Art Buyer, Havas Worldwide NYC, USA

Anders Petersen - Anders Petersen
I would like to recommend the book about the Swedish master photographer Anders Petersen. A fantastic compilation that portrays people, meetings, and life with presence, warmth and curiosity.

// Evelina Honyak, purchasing manager shop, Fotografiska, Sweden's largest art gallery for photography

Street Photography Now - Sophie Howarth & Stephen McLaren
Capturing a perfect image for commercial photography has its challenges but as a street photographer you have to capture the moment without checking the light, the environment or the people. Therefore, this book is one of my favorites. Packed with inspiring photographs that provide an occasional laugh as well.

// Anna Roström, photographer, Stockholm, Sweden

Pongezi - Anja Ligtenberg
My book recommendation is a beautiful book about an important subject that I worked on as photo editor. "Pongezi" by photographer Anja Ligtenberg. Pongezi means congratulations in Swahili. Congratulations to the Maasai girls in Kenya who become women without circumcision, and to a community that had the courage to break with a century old tradition. Pongezi offers a colorful, distinctive insight to the new ritual, how it came about and the joy it brings to the girls.

// Anna Herbst, Picture Editor, Johnér i NYC, USA

The Stanley Kubrick Archive - Alison Castle
The book is big and thick and the most comprehensive study of Stanley Kubrick out there. It also includes a DVD with an interview and in the first edition, you also get a film strip from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The book is divided into two parts - the first part contains completely un-commented images from Kubrick's absolutely amazing films in chronological order. The second part is about the creative process and contains a large amount of material from the director's archives - photographs, sketches, props and more. When I want to look - not read - from this book, I usually put it on the kitchen table and slowly start to leaf through it. I never get beyond the first part - the one with the pictures from the movies - and am caught every time by the quite exceptional visual experience. When I get to 2001: A Space Odyssey I lose perception of time and space and disappear into Kubrick's world. Somewhere after The Shining, I usually slowly return to my own reality.

// Mattias Josefsson, works with leadership development and is a picture editor in Stockholm, Sweden

Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography - William A Ewing
The recently published book "Landmark" looks at landscape photography in a broader perspective. This includes environmental photography, collage, digital landscape, etc. It's a great overview of a current genre in its most explosive stage. Highly Recommended.

// Helene Boström, Owner, Konst/ig Books, www.konstigbooks.com

she dances on Jackson - Vannessa Winship
In "she dances on Jackson", Vanessa Winship travels in the United States. In the book, she blends portrait with landscape images that reflect the United States a little differently than one might expect. The black and white large format portraits breathe peace and pride and the landscape pictures depict environments that are easily passed by without taking notice of them. It is the type of book which I leaf through very slowly, as each image makes me stop and lose myself.

// Magnus Westerborn, photographer and Chairman of Fotoförfattarna, Sweden

On the front page of our website is a link in the upper right called "New images". Click on the link to see our latest images. Perfect for when you do not really know what you're looking for and need inspiration. Here is a selection of our recent pictures:
Happy, scary Halloween!
Boy and pumpkin
Photo by: Fancy
Image #: FAN2018386
Halloween party
Photo by: Lena Granefelt
Image #: IMA64792
Pumpkin in garden
Photo by: Hans Berggren
Image #: IMA92396