Dan Doyle is an experienced studio and event photographer based in Queens, New York. Over the past twenty years, he has explored many different facets of his craft, from landscape and architecture photography to headshots and portraits. His studio in Jackson Heights, Queens is a gathering place for artists and creatives.

Dan Doyle Queens resident attended Ohio State University where he majored in art with a concentration in photography. He credits his college professors for his professional career. After graduation, he traveled through Europe, taking photos along the way. His photoblog became popular when he returned from Europe, and it gained him several professional assignments.

Doyle photographs portraits, events, musicians, and headshots. He has also begun to offer photography courses out of his studio. His contributions to the art scene in Queens have brought him a good reputation in the local community.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is hiking. I started hiking when I was in Europe after college graduation. I really enjoyed exploring the countryside around Switzerland and Austria, and I decided to take some trips when I returned to the United States.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I love the solitude and the connection with nature. Since I am a photographer, I am a very visual person. I love seeing the different views of nature and of nearby cities and towns. Hiking is also an excellent form of exercise which helps me keep in shape.

I love to get up in the mountains and see where the plants and trees begin to change. Getting up to the top of a mountain is such a satisfying accomplishment. I relax and eat my lunch at the summit and then take the long way down the mountain. It’s an amazing way to get in touch with nature.

Tell us what you love about it.

I tend to hike by myself, though I occasionally bring friends with me. I don’t participate in any local clubs or activities related to hiking. My job in photography requires a lot of close contact with people, and I often find that I need to unwind and get away from the crowds when I hike.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I have invested in quite a lot of equipment over the past several years. I have a brand new pair of hiking poles which have really helped me on some recent trips to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I have a new hiking pack, boots, and a backpacking stove for when I want to eat a hot meal on the trail.

I also recently bought a food dehydrator so that I can make my own backpacking meals to take with me. That has saved me a lot of money and has also enabled me to bring healthier food with me. Commercial backpacking meals are loaded with salt. I try to eat healthy at all times.

The one thing that I buy almost every time I go shopping is wool socks. I am always looking for the best wool socks and I have dozens of pairs in different weights.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I get most of my supplies at REI. It’s a great store with a huge variety of outdoor equipment. I also order some things on Amazon, but I like to try things on before I buy them. I also like to talk with the people at REI to decide what I should buy.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

My favorite hiking book for beginners is Backpacking by Emerson Woods. It has a great breakdown of all the tools and equipment you need to safely make trips in the outdoors, and it also offers suggestions on how to train for longer trips and bigger climbs. I recommend this book to all of my friends who want to try hiking.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Hiking has brought me a sense of peace. My life in New York is fast-paced, and it is great to have a way to get away from it all. Before I started hiking, I was a little bit overweight, but now that I go out each weekend, I have noticed that I am stronger and more fit. Climbing is great exercise. I have also found that my outdoor photography is better because I have so many chances to practice when I am out on the trail.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

The first piece of advice that I would give is that you absolutely must have a well-fitted, high-quality pair of hiking boots. You also need to wear wool socks — there are many technical materials out there now which aren’t itchy and sweaty — and you need to carry plenty of water. Carry more water than you think you will need, because hiking is thirsty work. Also, you should carry emergency supplies in case you are stranded on the trail overnight for reasons that are out of your control.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to cook for my family and friends.