The Story of Vantage Magazine

jermaine ilao vantage magazine calgary tower mag riley kearl jay art yyc artists photo photographer

A “brand new” project is officially launching at the end of Feb (update: issue one has been printed!). The magazine has actually been in the works for a long time, many hours of preparation. My good friend Jermaine and I are launching a print magazine funded by…YOU! So far we have raised over $2,000 to cover the costs of printing. Our goal is to create a community magazine to showcase the work of local artists. Some of the work will be our own (especially in issue 1). Moving forward we want to further promote art in the Calgary community and beyond. We both have been hard at work taking photos for many years, our interest in photography allowed us to meet in the first place (a story for another day). We had an instant connection in regards to photography and the way we looked at things.

This initial connection brought us together to brainstorm and show each other our own works. The beginning of an amazing professional relationship. Personally, I felt like many of photos would never see the light of day. But I also felt like it was a “waste” just to post on Instagram or Facebook. We both felt like our photography work deserved something more. Back in 2010, I had one of my photos printed in the back of a university print magazine, I was so proud! My photo was chosen and I was able to show other people that my work was appreciated, and it was PRINTED! Looking back to that time I realized how important that moment was. Jermaine and I wanted to give that feeling to others, that’s one of the reasons for launching Vantage Magazine. With 6 issues planned for 2017, we are going to give that feeling of accomplishment to many others.

Both amateur photographers and pros alike can apply to contribute to our publication. So where did this all really begin? To be honest, an idea was born out of the apparent necessity to bullshit…for me anyways.

Jermaine and I did one of our first photo shoots on Canada Day of 2016. Our goal was to take photos of the interior and exterior of the National Music Centre. After walking around Eau Claire and other festivities across Calgary we made it to the Music Centre. On that day it was free entry and the first day the Centre was actually open. We arrived and found out the wait to get in was over 3 hours. We were very disappointed! Our goal was to take pictures and waiting in line for that long would put us way behind schedule. We were determined to get in and so at the risk of being an ass…I went to the front of the line and asked a volunteer where the media entrance was located. I was referred to another lady who then referred me to another person. She turned out to be the marketing manager. We began to chat and she asked me a little about what we were there to do. I made up a story to get access, “Jermaine and I are here with Vantage Magazine” I said confidently. She asked a little more about us and I told her that my main business is Digital Marketing and this was a side project. I mean, it wasn’t complete bullshit because we were planning to use the photos for some sort of project. But at that exact moment, we had no concrete plans any type of magazine.

An idea was born.

We were able to skip the entire line and had a really good shoot that day. One of the best I’ve ever done! In addition, I got a few photo challenges from Jermaine who teaches photography classes (ask me about his perspective challenge, in this case, it was taking pictures of screws). We wouldn’t have been able to get all the shots we did if we waited in line. AND soon after that, we decided we would actually pursue this dream of getting a magazine in print. We stuck with the name “Vantage”, considered changing it a few times…but ended up keeping it in the end. Partly because we grew to like it so much and the possibility of special issues with name variations (more to come). We also kept the name because of the origin story which seemed important enough to blog about it 😉

So that’s the story of how Vantage Magazine came to be! Take a picture from the best vantage point possible, high angle or low. If you do you may even get your picture in print. #VantageYYC

As I mentioned before you can apply to contribute to Vantage Magazine. We have an application form for both photographers and other artists (painters etc). Find them here:

Apply to contribute to Vantage: Photographers

Apply to contribute to Vantage: Artisans


After shooting the inside of the Music Centre and believing we could actually produce a magazine, we decided to go for it. I believe that anything you put your mind to is achievable. YOU are in charge of everything that happens in your life, you can’t change the past. You can’t predict what the future will hold. All you can do is focus on right now, what are you doing now to ensure your life turns out right and without regrets.

Currently, we are just about to print our first issue (update: Jermaine Ilao picked up our prints yesterday)! Issue number two is close to being designed, with a BIG SHIFT included in how we think about the mag. We decided to include any artist, painter, sketcher or other creative. Teaming up with a local canvas painter we went to this amazing couple’s house…and what did we do? Took creative photos of her art hanging in her home. We have decided to feature any kind of artist and that includes photographers. So stay tuned for issue #2!

Take a vantage point and shoot your camera shutter, who knows what you can create.

So make sure to connect with us!

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

Visit our GoFundMe campaign page and share! If you are able to donate we will love you forever, but a social share works too 😉

Thanks for your interest in Vantage Magazine! As always reach out if you have any questions, ideas, comments or anything at all. You can reach me via the form on my home page. Alternatively, you can head outside wherever you are and start yelling my name. Who knows it might work?


Categories: Blog Media My life Photography Posts by Riley Print

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