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Women’s History Month: Photographer and Owner of mnstrmmedia, Rickie McCanna

Running a magazine is never an easy job, but to Rickie McCanna it is a job that she absolutely loves. Rickie is the owner of mnstrmmedia, a music magazine that releases full publications highlighting music, artists, and people within the industry. Not only does she run a magazine, she does concert photography, weddings, portraits, and has recently found a style that fits her passion. She took a hiatus from the magazine when covid hit but is ready to come back full force.

After working for a previous magazine that was going through a rebrand, Rickie decided to take matters into her own hands with the help of a friend.

How did you guys come up with the idea of making a music magazine?

I was talking to my friend Courtney on the phone and said “let’s just start our own!” I was like 18 or 19 at the time, had no clue what I was doing. I was like yeah lets starts our own music magazine. So, I just went home and did it. I kind of just used what I learned previously, and I literally just Googled how to do it. It’s funny when we started, the issues were around 30 pages and then one of our issues was like 300 pages one summer. Our magazine is very photo based so we have full page photos and it's more based on the artistic side. It's more for someone to publish their work on.

I know you do more than concerts, you also do wedding and portraits. How did you get into other styles of photography?

I think it kind of just goes along with it. I don’t know many music photographers that don’t also do weddings to pay your bills because I think we all know how difficult it is to make a living off of music photography. My main passion has always been music photography. Ever since I knew it was a thing, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I do really like styling portraits. Especially this past year, that’s what I’ve been working on. It’s weird having that much control. I’m not used to having that kind of control. I usually just wing it but now I’m like wait I can actually set up and style a shot. It’s crazy how much I’ve changed this year.

You previously told me that you have done your own articles for women’s history month, can you tell me why it’s important to you?

I think it's really important to highlight feminism in the industry. Feminism, especially in women’s history month, is more about highlighting women in the music industry because they don’t get highlighted any other time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been the only female photographer in the pit. Or I’ve been the only female or female identifying on a Weekender tour. It's something that infuriates me that people can deny that it's an issue. I don’t hate men I just like women more. I’d much rather work with women. I’d much rather be around women that understand the difficulties and sacrifices that we go through. I think something that’s f*cked up is that my name is Rickie and I believe I’ve gotten into more concerts because they think I'm a male photographer. I cant tell you how many times I’ve shown up to a gig and met the tour manager and they had no idea who I was because they thought I was a guy. I absolutely stand for the girls, for the gays, the theys and that’s it. We definitely need more female identifying people in the music industry.

Can you name a woman either within the music industry or just in general that inspires you?

I think the main person that inspires me, mainly when it comes to feminism, is my girl Ruth Bader. I’ve always really looked up to her and admired how far she made it. Just her life in general. There’s plenty of female artists that I love and appreciate too. But I can’t let the conversation about her stop. She led so many women’s rights initiatives years before she was even supreme court justice. She laid the groundwork for a lot of things that we’re doing. I definitely consider myself a feminist. I hope one day I can be like her.

Another person I really look up to in the industry is Autumn Lavis who is a big part of the movement to hold bands accountable for their actions. She’s incredible. From what I believe she really started accountability culture for people in the music industry. I’ve always really looked up to her.

She’s the person I call when I’ve gotten into some shit and I really need to talk to someone. We did a run together on Warped Tour a couple years ago and she’s a big part of a nonprofit called Safer Scenes. Basically, we talked to fans at warped tour about your scenes safer. If you see something say something. We talked about sexual assault prevention and she spent the entire summer doing this basically unpaid.

Her and Ruth are my main girls. I really applaud Autumn for doing so many emotional sacrifices for the betterment of our music industry.

Thank you to Rickie for reaching out to be a part of this incredible series. Don’t forget to check out her magazine and give her a follow on her social media platforms listed below.

Rickie’s Website | Magazine | Rickie’s Instagram

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