There’s something to say about a man who loves and has good taste in music and that’s what I first noticed when I met Robert in this space.
His posts not only give you a glimpse of the beautiful soul of the man behind the blog, they are equally rich in knowledge and the way he spins his posts around selected soundtracks is just awesome. He simply doesn’t spin just any vibes, but the post always reaches in and grasps me and leaves me better for it.
I’ve enjoyed following Robert since we connected over a year ago. Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to answer my intruding questions. I appreciate your friendship and support.
A Bit About Robert
My name is Robert Doyle, and I live in New York City along with my wife Jennifer, and our two cats. I grew up in and around the NY area and had a normal life with my parents and two older sisters. In college, my major was Foreign Affairs, which explained why after college I worked for 14 years in a Garden Center and Plant Nursery! In terms of likes, I love photography, baseball, and hanging out with good friends. In terms of dislikes, I dislike how difficult it is to find a meaningful and good paying job these days. I have dreams…but it’s tough. My general outlook on life is to always find something to smile or laugh about. There is always something silly or funny (even in the darkest moments) on the surface, and it helps to remember that.
Soundtrack Of A Photograph and it’s purpose
My blog is called Soundtrack Of A Photograph, and it explores the connection between my own photography and the music I love.When I started it almost three years ago I was having a bit of a personal crisis. I wasn’t happy with a lot of things, and I saw a video on Vimeo about some guys who made a documentary about a remote island. I read their story and thought…why didn’t I push myself to do those sorts of things. I had scrapped an earlier attempt at a blog a few months before, because after writing it, I realized there was no hook to it. So I took a day off from work, got out of my apartment, and sat in a coffee shop doing some research and writing things down. I decided to write my passions down on paper to help guide me. At the top of the list were music and photography, my true passions. A few moments later I had defined it as ‘soundtrack’ and ‘photograph’ and the blog was born!
I had no set goals in mind when I started, other than hoping that people would like it and that my concept made sense and would draw people in. The long form description of my blog is- Have you ever looked at a still photograph you have taken and had a song pop up in your head? Something that fits the mood of the photo, the season, or maybe even the weather? Just like with a movie soundtrack, I think music can really fit nicely with a still photo.
As to the blogging phenomenon itself, the reason I think it still is vibrant and growing is because unlike other social media, you really interact in a more meaningful way with a blog. So much goes into a blog, be it a travel, cooking, photography, or lifestyle blog that you tend to take your time when reading it. Blogs are a way to slow down this fast paced, short attention spanned World, and it is a big reason why I continue to do it.
My Blogging Experience
It has been wonderful, interacting with fellow bloggers from all over the world in a big shared community. Stats are great of course, but I’m more tickled by the fact that my posts have been read by people in over 80 countries now. It’s the coolest thing to know that someone in Guyana liked something I wrote. Or Norway, or Argentina. It doesn’t matter. The meaningful conversations I have not only on my own posts, but by so many others is perhaps the best thing. Its hard to pick a favorite post..I think of them all as ‘my babies’ but here are a few-
The Soundtrack of A Photograph – My First One
Motivating Myself To Keep The Blog Going
This is a tough one. Because of the dual nature of my blog; music and photography, I get stuck sometimes. I might have some great photos I want to show, but I can’t find the right musical match for it. Or I have an artist I really want to feature, but don’t know how to accomplish that with my photos. What has helped is to continue to take photos. All the time. Even of the most simple things because I found I never know where the inspiration will come! That is the big reason why I always keep my camera with me if I can now.
My Challenging Moment So Far
I think this was probably when I wrote a 4 part autobiographical series called My Four Seasons. It was a massive amount of work, and I wrote it while we were in the process of moving. I had spent the previous year photographing trees using a new technique. I realized I had these shots in all four seasons, and decided to use them as ‘markers’ to describe my seasons of life-spring for birth, summer for growth, fall for change, winter for a decline. Aside from the writing and layout work, the actual emotion behind the writing, about my youth, the worst period of my life, and then the happiness of meeting my wife was an emotional and exhausting journey. But it was still worth it!
My Typical Day
Oh! A typical day for me starts with an early morning run, which depending on if it’s a work day or not might be anywhere from 3-6 miles at the moment, though I want to get back up to 10. Then a cup of that magical elixir coffee, before I hop on the subway to go to work, where I typically read the newspaper, and then whatever book I’m reading while listening to music. After work, or on the weekends, I like to meet my wife for dinner and a drink or to sit out on our little balcony and watch the world go by. In between any of these moments, I may spend time thinking, or actually writing a new blog.
I am currently planning on a few options which are all directly related to my blog posts. One is that I have been urged by several people to produce my own photo book. I have massive self-doubt about my work, yet I know people do enjoy my work, so I do plan to have this happen some day.
I also am thinking of using the My Four Seasons idea and combining some of my other posts to become My Musical Autobiography. Key moments of my life, defined by the music that means the most to me. In some cases, I will expand my existing posts, or trim them back, but writing a book has been probably my number one bucket list item, and after three years of writing over 100 posts and thousands of words, I think I have a good head start!
A Word To Others
I absolutely encourage others to blog. If you have passion, you should blog. Be it music, cooking, poetry, travel, crafting…whatever. If you are passionate, you should blog!
Thank you so much, Jacqueline. I feel deeply honored to have been selected by you for this.