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mad sounds

JULY/AUGUST 2016

a publication for the young and daring

the future is female ISSUE NO. 15


mad sounds a publication for the young and daring

Giselle Melendres Editor-in-Chief, Creative Director, & Designer madsoundsmagazine@gmail.com Contributing Writers Zoe Allen, Brindy Francis, Emily Zheng Contributing Photographers Sheridan Dyches, Willow Greene, Arvin Rusanganwa, Aidan Doyle, Rai Utomo, Riley Donahue A Special Thanks To.... Brandon Stanciell, Stefan Trotman, Liz Strupat, and Maddy Welk

ON THE COVER Photography by Stefan Trotman Featuring Tatiana Varchola


stay rad, stay mad @madsoundsmag www.madsoundsmag.com @madsoundsmag


contents contents

photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring TATIANA VARCHOLA


introduction 008 contributors 011 letter from the editor photo journals 010 hang out, fall in love by WILLOW GREENE 026 just the two of us, darling by SHERIDAN DYCHES 044 the flower girl by LIZ STRUPAT 060 give me a break by AIDAN DOYLE 074 yours is the only ocean by RILEY DONAHUE editorials 086 don’t hurt yourself by ZOE ALLEN 088 cross your legs, act like a lady by BRINDY FRANCIS 090 lady love: on strong female friendships by EMILY ZHENG interviews 092 interview with BRANDON STANCIELL 120 interview with MADDY WELK 144 interview with STEFAN TROTMAN


NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

TATIANA VARCHOLA

STEFAN TROTMAN For our fifteenth issue of Mad Sounds, I felt that it was extremely important for our publication to highlight an issue that we hadn’t truly touched on in previous Mad Sounds issues, and that topic is feminism. Although seemingly controversial, I felt that the importance of feminism and its emphasis on gender equality/female empowerment was a message our magazine needed to evoke to our viewers--a message our magazine had the responsibility to thoroughly discuss and highlight within our issues. The idea of “The Future is Female” came to me from a slogan on a t-shirt reading

this exact same message. I instantly realized: why haven’t we dedicated an issue solely to feminism? Why haven’t we talked about the importance for females to have a voice in society, and to resist traditional gender roles? I thought, “We should, and we will.” And now, we finally have. I hope you all enjoy this issue of Mad Sounds, as it discusses a lot of important and extremely prevalent issues in our present society; and I am extremely proud of the content we have produced for our readers with this message. So for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy another issue of Mad Sounds. I can’t wait for you to see it. Giselle Melendres Founding Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director

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photography by WILLOW GREENE featuring ISABEL MOHR styling by KNOT SISTERS makeup/hair by SASHA GOLD

hang out, fall in love


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photography by WILLOW GREENE featuring ISABEL MOHR


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photography by WILLOW GREENE featuring ISABEL MOHR styling by KNOT SISTERS makeup/hair by SASHA GOLD


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just the two of us, darling photography by SHERIDAN DYCHES featuring SILLE STAUNSTRUP make up & hair CHRISTINA VESTERGÃ…RD

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photography by SHERIDAN DYCHES featuring SILLE STAUNSTRUP make up & hair CHRISTINA VESTERGÃ…RD


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photography by SHERIDAN DYCHES featuring SILLE STAUNSTRUP make up & hair CHRISTINA VESTERGÃ…RD


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photography by SHERIDAN DYCHES featuring SILLE STAUNSTRUP make up & hair CHRISTINA VESTERGÃ…RD


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the flower girl photography by LIZ STRUPAT featuring BEAN MCLEAN styling by SUBDUED

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photography by LIZ STRUPAT featuring BEAN MCLEAN styling by SUBDUED


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photography by LIZ STRUPAT featuring BEAN MCLEAN styling by SUBDUED


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give me a break photography by AIDAN DOYLE featuring CHELSEA HOLMES & ALEX MCKINLEY styling by UNIF & SHOP OLD GOLD

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photography by AIDAN DOYLE featuring ALEX MCKINLEY styling by UNIF


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photography by AIDAN DOYLE featuring CHELSEA HOLMES styling by SHOP OLD GOLD


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photography by AIDAN DOYLE featuring CHELSEA HOLMES styling by SHOP OLD GOLD


photography by AIDAN DOYLE featuring CHELSEA HOLMES styling by SHOP OLD GOLD


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yours is the only ocean photography by RILEY DONAHUE featuring SOPHIE SENG

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photography by RILEY DONAHUE featuring SOPHIE SENG


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don’t hurt yourself editorial by ZOE ALLEN

photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring TATIANA VARCHOL


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The common assumption about feminists is There are many boys who truly abhor me simthat we hate men. This is false. Frankly, it piss- ply on the basis of me being a feminist. They es me off how false it is. take a look at my Instagram page, see a video about feminism and a caption describing why My dad and I were in the car talking and he it’s important, and blacklist me. I absolutely referred to someone as a “feminist, but not hate it, I hate that me wanting equality makes the man-hating kind”, and I lost it. It was in- me hated. But, if these people hate me befuriating. Sometimes, I believe that men are cause I’m a feminist, would I even want to be simply frightened of feminists because they friends with them anyways? are scared that we want to treat them as they have treated women throughout history. The answer is no. Those who believe that women’s rights were fully obtained in 1919 when women were granted the right to vote are sorely mistaken. There is no way around the fact that women still face workplace injustice, sexism, objectification, and so much more on a daily basis. There are so many issues that affect women today. One of the first things that pop in my mind is the intense, escalated battle over reproductive rights. I know plenty of women who believe that abortions are wrong (most of themciting religious reasons). My opinion on the matter is this:

As only a teenager in high school, I interact daily with a society that has placed unnecessary taboos around what being a feminist means. Either the word has negative connotations or my peers are uneducated about what being a feminist actually means (because truly, it is a wonderful thing). Feminism is the belief that women are equal to men. The theory that everyone is equal. This is the most basic definition of feminism, yet by far the most important. Equality for everyone. Feminists sometimes forget this important part. Feminism is a movement for every race, creed, sexuality, etc., not just white women. White feminism is pointless and unhelpful. No progress is made via white feminism. Intersectional feminism is the only option for true, important change. We are all female-identifying sisters, who all need our rights. Nothing is accomplished if only one sect of “feminists” obtain their rights. Consider women’s rights obtained when human rights are obtained.

Even if you believe abortions are wrong, why is it your place to tell me that? Why is it a male policymakers place to tell me that I cannot receive an abortion? How is it their place to tell me that I cannot receive help about something that is going on inside my body, not theirs? Why is it their choice to make a decision that will alter the rest of my ife? My body, my choice. When GOP pro-life majority male lawmakers have a uterus, then they can have an opinion. Until then, let me The way I see it, anyone who is in favor of humanage my body in the way that I deem nec- man rights is a feminist. Whether they choose essary. to place that label on themselves and/or wear it with pride is up to them.

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editorial by BRINDY FRANCIS

photography by MADDY WELK featuring CHARLOTTE MCKEE

cross your legs, act like a lady


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What does it really mean to be a, so called, ‘lady?’ I thought the second I was defined as a female, I was one myself. Since the beginning of time, women are treated differently. This shouldn’t be a shock to you, considering you’ve probably read every feminist article since the legalization of gay marriage and the transgender movement, but it is a topic that should still be addressed. Most of the time, women are expected to act in a respectful manner because of their gender. The second your clothing is too tight or your mouth is opened, you lose that title of a lady. Don’t get me wrong, I personally believe that every person should be respectful to the people around them, but the thing is, you have the right to do whatever you please (clothing and manner wise).

pronouns are imperative. They are a very important aspect of the ‘lady’ conversation. How one identifies themselves is how everyone should identify them. It is not one person’s place to group others into titles and stereotypes. The best advice I can give anyone is to respect gender pronouns and identity. Your grandmother is most likely very confused about this feminist movement. She was taught that girls were meant to spend time cooking up a casserole and raising her four children. Your parents could be confused as well. This generation is taking a huge leap in the extinction of social responsibilities. Sure, nobody may understand why you strongly believe that the nipple of a woman shouldn’t be so sexualized, but that is not an excuse to abandon your belief.

I’m sure you’ve seen the “Like a Girl” commercial. From little girls to grown women, they all prove that being told you throw like a girl is not an insult. That is just one example of how women as a whole are placed on the spectrum of humanity. Athletes such as softball player Jennie Finch can most definitely prove your sexist theory wrong.

Women have been told to keep their mouths shut for years. In the 1960’s, female protesters were beaten and called names. In 2016, women are speaking out against social manners and the lady act. What defines a lady?

A lady is anyone who chooses to be identified by it. That leads us to another topic. Gender

A lady is someone who speaks out against the norm. A lady is anyone who she chooses to be.

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A lady is a kick-ass human being who stands with what they believe in.


photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring NATHALIE NOIRE

editorial by EMILY ZHENG

lady love: on strong female friendships


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When I was younger, I loathed women. I viewed them as fragile, narrow-minded bores who were only concerned with looks. Girls were one-dimensional. They didn’t care about anything that was real. Unlike men. Men were intelligent, quick-witted, capable. They didn’t care for petty matters. Men were the tornado to a woman’s breeze. The unfortunate truth is I wanted to be one of the boys. I wanted that level of intellect I thought was only apparent in men. Yet as I became more and more exposed to strong women, I realized that my earlier perception was rooted in fabrication. As men humiliated me, women comforted me. As men called me ugly, women called me beautiful. It’s women who ask me whether I’m okay if my face shows even the slightest of concern, who have impromptu dance parties with me on my driveway, our feet covered in the grit of the concrete, who look me straight in the eye and say, “You are amazing.” It’s women who remind me I don’t have to be a “lady,” that dressing tastefully means wearing what I feel confident in. It’s women who listen to my ideas, no matter how crazy. It’s women who support me through everything.

There is no substitute for the late night walks, the hours spent talking about anything and everything, the unparalleled altruism I have had with my friends. When my heart is broken in a million fragments, my girl friends are always there to help me pick up the pieces, even though the shards prick their skin. They’re there to listen to all of my stories with wide eyes and an open heart. They’re the smell of fresh rain, the taste of berries hitting my tongue, the tree branches that brush against my forehead. They’re the miracles that I don’t deserve but am endlessly thankful for. Women are so often described by “ifs”: if she lost weight, if she didn’t have acne, if she didn’t speak as often, she would be hot. If she just shed a few inches off her waist, she would be suitably fuckable. It’s time to celebrate women for who they already are: works of art, creations of nature, living, breathing beings capable of so many amazing things.

To society, I’m supposed to be docile, intelligent but not too smart, sexy but not a slut. I’m beautiful, with a body only in magazines, but I shove hot dogs down my throat like no tomorrow. I love cheap beer and sexist jokes and football. I’m never angry or needy, my face eternally plastered with a cool, accepting Being a woman and experiencing that type of smile. unbreakable bond is truly magical. This isn’t to say that women don’t lie, cheat, or slut- It was through other women that I realized I shame, because they do. I’ve had women didn’t have to be any of these things. I didn’t shatter my confidence almost beyond repair. need anyone’s permission to raise my voice, I’ve had women tell me that I need to keep to have an opinion, to say no. I am not a petal my mouth shut, that I take up too much space, but the whole damn bouquet and more. I do that I am undeserving of happiness. But in a not just memorize history but I make it. I wear society that preys upon women and pits us heels when I want and will crush your ego against each other, I have received unprece- while I’m at it. I do not exist for someone to dented kindness. save because I am already whole. Despite the fear, the catcalling, the seem- My voice moves mountains and I am not sorry. ingly impossible expectations, strong female friendships make being a woman worth it.

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mad sounds interviews

brandon stanciell photography by BRANDON STANCIELL interview by GISELLE MELENDRES

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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring CHANDLER KING


photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring @adudenamedjosh


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Meet Brandon Stanciell, a Los Angeles based portrait photographer, with an undying affection for all things floral. Commonly known as “The Man Who Loved Flowers”, Brandon truly lives up to his name within his flower-based portraits of modern day youths. Read Brandon’s interview to learn more about his passion for photography and his journey into the world of art and creativity.

HI BRANDON, THANKS FOR SITTING DOWN WITH US HERE AT MAD SOUNDS TODAY. TO BEGIN, DESCRIBE TO US A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BRANDON STANCIELL: The pleasure is mine! Well, I currently work for a photographer and every day is pretty different. From sitting in the office sending emails out all day to being on shoot hustling my ass of making sure things go smooth with the set up and evey thing. Personal shoot days though are quite the same for me. I’ll head to the Los Angeles Flower District in the morning to pick up some flowers then head to this white wall where I take my portraits at and begin going to work on someones hair with flowers haha. YOU’RE CURRENTLY BASED IN LOS ANGELES--HOW DO YOU LIKE THE LIFESTYLE? DO YOU THINK YOU’LL END UP STAYING THERE? I love it out here! I just moved out here officially in September of last year but my family has been out here forever so it feels good to be somewhere that feels like home. Don’t know if i’ll be here forever but LA is definitely my home for sure.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY? Hm, I’d have to say it was when I was in my Freshman Year in High school. Our teacher was teaching us how to develop black and white film and we would always have studio sessions in his classroom. After that I pretty much fell in love with being able to create this concepts and photograph them. YOU’RE TRULY ‘THE MAN WHO LOVED FLOWERS’, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO INCORPORATE FLOWERS INTO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? Haha, well it started kind of by accident. When I had started taking photos again after a break which was about 3 years ago, I took photos of a friend Agne in the Lancaster Poppy Fields. It was a terrible day to shoot to say the least. The flowers weren’t in bloom and it was cloudy and about to rain. After we took photos and I got home, I noticed there were little hints of color in each photograph and it was the poppies. Some had been in bloom and some hadn’t. After that I did a project for American Apparel where I shot their employees and I was working there at the time. I started walking through the neighborhoods and photographing these girls and something that was always present in the

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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring JERROD LA RUE


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“‘Black Jesus’ was my favorite shoot. It’s where I was able to be the most creative with Flowers and the turn out was so amazing. I think people can really relate to that series whether you’re black or not.” photos were the flowers and foliage. After that I kind of started incorporating flowers in my work some way or another. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS? Erick Sidibe (Rest In Paradise), Rog Walker, Annie Leibovitz, Jenny Nguyen, Parker Woods.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? Believe it or not I find a lot of my inspiration going to art galleries and looking at artists like Henri Matisse and Keith Haring and Ellsworth Kelly. Artists whose work is filled with color. I feel their work speaks to me more than say a photographers work. I SAW YOUR FEATURE ON THE URBAN OUTFITTERS WEBSITE NOT TOO LONG AGO; WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? It was really cool! First time doing an interview with my twin brother so it was pretty wild to see each other answer a lot of the questions the same. WE INTERVIEWED YOUR BROTHER JAMES A FEW ISSUES AGO--DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE HAD A PARTICULAR INFLUENCE/ IMPACT UPON EACH OTHER’S CREATIVE WORK? I think since the beginning we’ve kinda pushed each others boundaries and have influenced each others work. Maybe in more of a competitive way though haha. twins are very competitive. Seeing how we’ve progressed though I think we both have separate/unique styles in our work.

WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE SHOOT THAT YOU HAVE DONE THUS FAR? Hands down, “Black Jesus” was my favorite shoot. It’s where I was able to be the most creative with Flowers and the turn out was so amazing. I think people can really relate to that series whether you’re black or not.

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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring ALTON MASON

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“Photography to me, is my passion. It’s something that I see myself doing throughout my entire life, even if I do plan to dabble in other forms of art. I believe photography is forever.”

WHAT DOES PHOTOGRAPHY MEAN TO YOU? Photography to me, is my passion. It’s something that I see myself doing throughout my entire life, even if I do plan to dabble in other forms of art. I believe photography is forever. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES A GOOD PHOTOGRAPH? I think composition is everything. You can have a beautiful subject and beautiful scenery but if the composition isn’t on point then whats the point? DO YOU HAVE ANY LAST ADVICE FOR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND CREATIVES? KEEP CREATING. No matter what anybody tells you, no matter how much negative or positive feedback you receive. Keep creating. Network with other creatives. Be supportive of the arts.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE UPON WHICH SUBJECTS OR MODELS TO FEATURE WITHIN YOUR PHOTOS? I honestly I’ll just come across someone on social media or on the streets and I’ll think to myself “ They would look great with some flowers in their hair” Then I go from there. Try to get in contact with them and set up a shoot. WHAT FEELINGS OR EMOTIONS DO YOU HOPE TO EVOKE TO YOUR VIEWERS THROUGH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? I try to evoke feelings of peacefulness and calmness. All of the colors should help you feel something. Mostly I want people who look at my work and feel liberated ya know.

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KEEP UP WITH BRANDON: Instagram: @themanwholovedflowers heretakethese.us


the man who loved flowers photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring CHANDLER KING


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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring NATHALIE NOIRE


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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring KRISTOPHER YOUNG


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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring STEPHANIE ANGULO


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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring LOGAN DELANEY


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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring KENNADY & KENDALL BOB

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photography by BRANDON STANCIELL featuring BRIANA KING


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maddy welk photography by MADDY WELK interview by GISELLE MELENDRES

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring CHARLOTTE MCKEE


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Meet Maddy Welk, a Los Angeles based fashion photographer with an eye for the youthful and nostalgic. Inspired by photos of the 70s and 90s, Maddy’s effortless vintage & retro style is one-of-akind: a new and improved take on your parents’ old disposables of diners and record stores. Read her interview to learn more about Maddy’s unique style and her passion for fashion photography. HI MADDY, THANKS FOR SITTING DOWN WITH US HERE AT MAD SOUNDS TODAY. TO BEGIN, DESCRIBE TO US A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MADDY WELK:

show my mom and watch her react to the crazy outfits and the hairdos and the locations. It was always fun to laugh about what people thought was trendy back then.

Wake up at 11:30 but stay in bed until 12:30, post a picture, go to work, shoot, post a picture, think about Mad Max: Fury Road, edit, panic about the future, watch tv for like a millennia, drink a box of wine, pass out, and repeat the next day.

I really started to appreciate those photos when I got older, and the styles within them. Nostalgia is such a trend nowadays, and people really enjoy the recreations of those old photos. I certainly do, there’s such a weird feeling I get when I stare at one of my grandma’s old polaroids and try to transfer the feeling into a shot I’ve taken on a digital camera. It’s rugged and badass, but soft and beautiful all at the same time.

HOW DID YOU START PHOTOGRAPHY? I dropped out of college in North Carolina and came home to Los Angeles super depressed. I got into taking fancy photos on my iPhone and started getting better at editing. My dad is the type of dad who buys gadgets for himself then forgets about them like five days later, so I hijacked his Canon 60D that he’d never used, and the rest is history. WHAT INSPIRES YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION? I’ve always been obsessed with just looking at pictures. My grandma has boxes upon boxes of old family photos, some dating back to the 1920s. As a kid I would get so excited to find some good ones between the 70s and 90s and

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS? @frorojas, @jaquory_lunsford, @carlydame, @ claymossphoto, and @filthymouthcreative. WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU CURRENTLY USE? Canon 60D with a Sigma 35mm art lens and occasionally disposable cameras. I’ve been interested in upgrading lately though, I’m thinking about trying out the Nikon game.

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring HALEY PERMENTER


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“Everybody I meet, everybody I shoot is somebody I’ve met through Instagram. It’s amazing, because I’ve always been told not to meet up with people I’ve met on the internet, but I do it pretty much every day.” HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH SUBJECTS AND MODELS TO UTILIZE WITHIN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? Instagram. Everybody I meet, everybody I shoot is somebody I’ve met through Instagram. It’s amazing, because I’ve always been told not to meet up with people I’ve met on the internet, but I do it pretty much every day. WHAT PHOTO COLLAB HAVE YOU BEEN MOST PROUD OF? I recently did a shoot with @haleypermenter that I was so stoked about because we managed to shoot four different vibes in like an hour, all without leaving her house. I had a moment when I was editing where I really started to feel like a photographer, a versatile one too. I’m usually really hard on myself about my work, I feel like I don’t have the skill set that most peo-

BE HONEST: DIGITAL OR FILM? I love digital because I hate waiting for film to develop. I’m an impatient person, so I like having the ability to immediately see my photos and do some troubleshooting. I’m kind of numbers dyslexic (if that’s even a thing), so I get the settings on my camera mixed up a lot. With that being said, I appreciate the vibe of film so much. That’s why I try so hard to emulate it in my photos. There’s something about a good grainy photo that really gets me going. WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOSHOOT THUS FAR? The shoot I did with @martathemartian really set my heart on fire. She’s just such a genuinely nice person, and I think that it really reflects in the photos when you’re having a good time with a person that you like. YOU’RE CURRENTLY BASED IN LOS ANGELES; WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE LOCATIONS TO SHOOT WITHIN THE AREA? Anywhere with a wicked desert vibe. I recently went to Vasquez Rocks near Santa Clarita and got what I believe are some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. I’m a super huge fan of front light and the desert is so perfect for that vibe. I love Palm Springs, that’s definitely my spirit climate. WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC? Roller skates, cigarettes, short shorts, sun damaged skin, Led Zeppelin, and Cameros. But sometimes I’m feeling jelly shoes, Amanda Bynes in her heyday, the choreography in the “Hit Me Baby One More Time” music video, Neopets, and denim on denim. I have a lot of vibes that clash violently together.

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring SOFIA LUNDSTROM


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“The beauty of photography is that there isn’t really a definition of good and bad. No matter what you make, somebody is going to like it.” WHAT DOES PHOTOGRAPHY MEAN TO YOU?

Photography is just a good time. I like the fact that it’s the one thing in my life that I’m able to completely control.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE STARTING OUT IN THE CREATIVE/PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY? Immerse yourself in the community. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and to reach out. Be bold and write literally 20 emails a day. Write them to models, agencies, magazines, small clothing brands, big clothing brands, etc. You never know what’s going to stick, but something is bound to. Shoot every day and always be open to trying new things. I hate it when people try to stay within a specific type of style just because they feel it’s the box they’ve been put into and it’s what garners the most feedback from people. Fuck that. Do what you want. Start fires where there shouldn’t be fires. Don’t limit your creativity. IN FIVE YEARS, WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING? Hopefully braiding Gigi Hadid’s hair and watching Twilight in my awesome apartment in Echo Park, having one last sleepover before I fly to some cool location where somebody is paying me to do something I like. But that’s an unrealistic fantasy, I’ll probably be spooning my dog in my parents house until I die, to be completely honest.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES A ‘GOOD’ PHOTOGRAPH? The beauty of photography is that there isn’t really a definition of good and bad. No matter what you make, somebody is going to like it. I guess my definition would be something that catches your eye, something that makes you stop as you quickly scroll through your instagram feed, something that makes you want to comment on the photo. If you want specifics though, I’m very fond of photos inspired by/ taken on film.

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KEEP UP WITH MADDY: Instagram: @maddywelk maddywelk.com


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how’s it going to end? photography by MADDY WELK featuring HOLLY HICKS

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring KHRYSTYNA CHOLAN


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featuring MARINA LASWICK

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring TESS FLORIO


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featuring MARTA NOH

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring LILLIAN SOPHIE


featuring MARINA LASWICK


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photography by MADDY WELK featuring CARLY JOHNSON

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring ANDREA BUSH

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photography by MADDY WELK featuring TESS FLORIO


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photography by MADDY WELK featuring ZOE ELENA


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photography by MADDY WELK featuring MARTA NOH


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featuring ALISIA JIMENEZ

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mad sounds interviews

stefan trotman photography by STEFAN TROTMAN interview by GISELLE MELENDRES

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring JADA SABRINA


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Meet Stefan Trotman, a New York based portrait photographer and the creative talent behind this issue’s cover. I initially found Stefan’s work through his photoshoot with Tatiana, and instantly fell in love with the series (and his photography as a whole.) I loved the ease of the shoot; the effortless yet polished atmosphere, the authenticity of emotion that I felt solely from her face, from her expression. I knew in this moment that Mad Sounds had to feature Stefan’s work, and I’m extremely grateful to have been able to sit down with him to talk about his photos. Read Stefan’s interview to learn more about his journey into the world of photography and his advice on finding your own creative inspiration. HI STEFAN, THANKS FOR SITTING DOWN WITH US HERE AT MAD SOUNDS TODAY. TO START OFF, TELL US ABOUT A DAY IN THE LIFE OF STEFAN TROTMAN As of late, my life’s been mostly editing and working through the immense backlog of images I’ve taken over the last few months. I’ve actually slowed my shooting schedule to accommodate that so I’m shooting about twice a week which is enough to break the monotony of looking at thousands, and editing hundreds of images in a single sitting at time. I’m also looking to join a local football league so I’ve been in the gym on and off trying to tap back into that explosive high school version of myself in efforts to be competitive. YOU’RE CURRENTLY BASED IN NEW YORK; WHAT IS THE N.Y. LIFESTYLE LIKE? New York is hell, but it’s the most functional hell you’ll come across. It’s messy, it’s loud, it’s largely unforgiving, but it’s booming with opportunity. Connections make or break you here, and without them, it’s a struggle to get by, let alone live a decent life being an artist. Because of that, I’ve began to shift my focus from working reaching out to and working with individuals and I’ll be trying to create relationships with magazines and brands. As much as I’ve grown from reaching out to and working with people,

often times I find myself drawing the short stick and having my time taken for granted, whether it be the other person falling through on communication or flat out standing me up for the shoot. HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY? My freshman year of college, I took some pictures for a friend of mine who was a member of the yearbook team and couldn’t attend and event. The pictures turned out pretty solid so I hung on to the camera for a couple more weeks and messed around with it. Maybe two years later, I invested in my first personal camera, a Canon 7D, and increasingly devoted more time to shooting and learning the craft as well as the camera itself. I’ve always believed that to really capture what I’m after, I need to have solid understanding of my camera’s capabilities. I was on and off for many years, working on a couple larger projects here and there and actually took a couple years away from my camera. Since March of 2015 up until now is when most of the work I show off today was done, it’s the longest time I’ve been consistent to my craft and surely the most dedicated.

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring IMAN


NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

“There’s no criteria when it comes to shooting with me. I’ve been chastised numerous times about shooting with ‘certain’ types of people and that’s simply not the case.” WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR CREATIVE INSPIRATION?

I’ve been asked this a few times and I still can’t find a solid answer. I guess if I really took a step back, the inspiration comes from the people I work with. Everyone I’ve photographed gives me a different impression, and what I’ve also found is that I edit images largely based on the experience I had shooting that person. My creativity isn’t a single source mechanism, but rather a constantly adapting device feeding off of what and whomever I encounter.

most guarantee results, I enjoy having to adapt to a new location, I love facing challenges and making something out of nothing. It’s why I often suggest to people who aren’t sure of a location they’d like, that we just meet up somewhere, walk around and just see what we can scope out. THE SUBJECTS YOU SHOOT ARE SO UNIQUE AND CAPTIVATING, HOW DO YOU SELECT THE MODELS FOR YOUR PHOTOS? The one characteristic that all of the people I’ve worked with have is that they didn’t take my time for granted. Beyond them having a strong visual appeal, they all voiced their ideas and gave input in a timely fashion. There’s no criteria when it comes to shooting with me. I’ve been chastised numerous times about shooting with “certain” types of people and that’s simply not the case. If there is one trait they all share that is tangible, it’s that they all didn’t need to be glamoured and dolled up in order to get in front of the camera. For what it’s worth, I like having a very barebones approach to shooting, I try to avoid needing a make up or hair specialist around, and in terms of wardrobes, people wear clothing they already own or already intended to purchase, prior to me contacting them.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE LOCATION TO SHOOT? I don’t have one, actually, and I’d like to keep it that one. Having a favorite location may become my “safe space,” and while I understand the appeal of having a goto spot where I can al-

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring SAMIA @samiahamps


NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

“I’ve done shoots in conditions I doubted myself in, I’ve done shoots where I was convinced I was biting off more than I could chew but I refuse to turn down c h a l l e n g e s .”

WE LOVE YOUR MOST RECENT PHOTO JOURNAL WITH TATIANA VARCHOLA, WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THAT PARTICULAR SHOOT? With Tatiana’s shoot, I wanted to have her be the center of the images. Now, as far as portrait photography goes, that’s the typical goal, but in certain environments, the subject can easily be lost or outmatched by the setting. Shooting indoors, with very little in the background to distract the eye, I was able to use what natural light was available and almost paint the light on her and only her. For her outfits, we wanted to go for something simple, intimate, relaxed, and true to form. I wanted her to wear things she’s actually worn around the house on a lazy day, and I think we executed pretty well.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SHOOT THAT YOU’VE DONE THUS FAR? By far the toughest question I’ve been asked, and I can’t help but to give the same answer; many of my shoots hold a special place in memory, some of them being pivotal and proving to incremental in my growth. I’ve done shoots with very dear friends, I’ve done shoots in conditions I doubted myself in, I’ve done shoots where I was convinced I was biting off more than I could chew but I refuse to turn down challenges. Yes, if someone asked for my top ten pictures, there are a handful of shoots that I immediately think to reference, but like I said, these are all for different reasons. IF YOU COULD SHOOT FOR ANY COMPANY IN THE WORLD, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE? I’ve actually got my eye on a few of them as of now, and I’m hesitant to name them just in case things don’t pan out but I’d love to cover work for new contemporary magazines as well as urban oriented clothing manufacturers. *crosses fingers* WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS? Not entirely sure how this will be received but I don’t know of many notable or famous photographers. Annie Leibovitz comes to mind but most people that have picked up a magazine in recent history will recognize her name. Van Styles also comes to mind, while I do like his work, I’m more so a fan of his calm demeanor and drive to branch out into other photography related fields like branding.

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring TEDDY MILLS


NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

“ I always encourage people to be patient while learning. Shoot as much as you can, in as many different settings, or using as many subjects as possible, it’ll aid in the photography finding their niche and style.” ARE THERE ANY NEW PROJECTS OUR READERS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOK-OUT FOR?

As of now, nothing out of the ordinary, but this slow down of sorts that I mentioned early is expected to culminate in some new work, hopefully with some well known outlets. Again, hesitant to name anything, I’d suggest readers either check me out on Tumblr or Instagram for updates as far as my next projects and those channels see more activity than my main site when I try to dedicate to showcasing my work as final polished sets.

ly create, hand, to brush, to canvas. Photographers have the added challenge of using a camera, and while consistent in many cases, like all technology, can pose a struggle to understand fully so I always encourage people to be patient while learning. Shoot as much as you can, in as many different settings, or using as many subjects as possible, it’ll aid in the photography finding their niche and style. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES A GOOD PHOTOGRAPH? I’m a sucker for natural lighting, everything I’ve done in the last year and a half has been natural or available light so that always resonates with me. I enjoy grain, it adds some texture and almost some tangibility to images. I guess there’s no formula to a good photograph, and that term in itself is purely opinionated, but I like unforced photography as a whole. Images where people don’t look like they’re posing, semi candid, and very relaxed. The impression the image gives is almost as meaningful as it’s presentation. WHAT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DOING FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? Waking up to a bunch of emails from a few magazines and companies with shoots that need to be done. Not being in the same place for too long. I’d just like to get to the point where I can fully dedicate my time to refining my craft and allowing other people, brands, platforms, to share it to their audience. Everything else is background noise.

IF YOU COULD GIVE AN ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHER ANY PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Patience; art, while innate to some people, shouldn’t be rushed, especially when it’s not a direct form. Painting allows the artist to direct-

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KEEP UP WITH STEFAN: Instagram: @mrcheyl Tumblr: mrcheyl.tumblr.com www.mrcheyl.xyz


the future is female photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring TATIANA VARCHOLA


photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring HALE @easy.socks


photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring PARKER MCKENNA POSEY


mad sounds interviews

photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring JUNO @dumjun

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NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring GRACE @ezralastingarms

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring CIRA HENARE


mad sounds interviews

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring SAMIA @samiahamps


photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring JADA SABRINA


NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

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photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring MADISON OLIVIA


photography by STEFAN TROTMAN featuring LORELEI BLACK


NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

featuring LAURA CORONADO

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NO. 15 — THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

STAY TUNED there’s more mad sounds on the way! DO YOU WANT TO BE FEATURED? email madsoundsmagazine@gmail.com with a cover letter & link to your online portfolio not all submissions will be featured for publication

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mad sounds

Mad Sounds Magazine - The Future is Female  

Issue No. 15 of Mad Sounds Magazine featuring interviews with Maddy Welk, Stefan Trotman, and Brandon Stanciell

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