(Victorville)–HD Living Magazine is a publication that showcases the “people, places and things here in the High Desert”. It is a beautiful publication; something you would expect was produced and published in the grand towers of New York or the Fashion District of LA. But it was born and raised right here in the High Desert.
Now in its fourth year of publication, owner and publisher Frank Castillo talked about how it all started, “I really saw it as a need for our area. We’ve got newsprint and we’ve got coupon books, and all of these avenues to spotlight what’s going on here in our desert. But we’ve never had anything in this particular format, never had a high gloss, high end type of a lifestyle magazine in the High Desert.”
Castillo describes it as a lifestyle magazine for people in the area. It is published every other month and is full of amazing features, including an “upcoming section” where they talk about events that are going on; the local spotlight, where they talk about local businesses and local people; a popular section called “wine trends” where they feature local wine shops; and the restaurant spotlight that can be found in every issue along with the dining guide.
I asked Castillo what some of his favorite editions have been over the years. “We’ve done so many…we’ve had everything from our green issue where we talk about energy conservation, to the burger issue, which is one of my favorites. One that really stands out to me was our back to school issue. It was our 2nd issue, the Mall of Victor Valley allowed us to do a photo shoot there, the boys featured in the photos are my sons.”
Castillo did not start out as a publisher. He explained that his background is in sales. He has a staff of 6 writers, a copy editor, 2 ad designers, layout designers, and 2 photographers. “I think the key to my success has been getting the right people in place as far as my writers and my editor, photographers, layout designer. Everything works in my mind, but they are the ones that really help bring it together.”
“What we try to do is change people’s perception of the High Desert. Whether it is a friend of yours that you are able to hand them the magazine and say, ‘Hey, check out what we have to do in the High Desert’. Or a local real estate agent gives the magazine to their client; we want them to see this area for the many things it has to offer.”
A new feature that they have started is posting behind the scenes photos and videos to Facebook and YouTube. “You’ll see a lot of shots of my photographer taking photos. I’ll take it a photo with my camera phone and post it to Facebook and say, ‘Hey were here behind the scenes, were working on our upcoming issue’ to connect. That’s why I started doing videos too.”
When you see the photos, you really won’t believe they were taken here in the High Desert. The cover of the new edition, which you can see on their Facebook page, was taken at Silverwood Lake.
There is another photo that was taken at the Hesperia Airport for their Spring/Summer Fashion Hot List that you would never guess was done right here in our own backyard. Castillo says they work with local businesses and local talent for their photo shoots. For the Spring/Summer Fashion Hot List shoot they worked with Nicole Stewart from indulgence Boutique in Apple Valley.
“Right now we’re marketing ourselves as the original lifestyle magazine in the High Desert. As we broaden our reach and try to get in more homes, we are letting people know we’ve been around for a while,” Castillo said. “We’ve grown pretty well, we were at 40 pages for a couple of years, then we went to 56, and our newest edition is 64 pages.”
The current issue is on the HD Living Magazine website, under IN PRINT. Castillo said, “It’s just like reading the magazine. You can click through it, and see what we’re about.” Go to www.hdlivingmagazine.com .
Like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/hdlivingmagazine to get the behind the scenes photos and link to their YouTube account.