Wiles driven by love for photography – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

In the biography on her website, Holly Wiles describes herself as a “One woman show,” an accurate portrait of this wife, mother and entrepreneur.
Wiles, who runs Holly Danielle Photography, has a love of photography that has taken her from working behind the scenes on the reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” to starting her own business, she said.
“I’ve always loved nature and when I was a kid, I had a disposable camera and I would walk around my garden snapping photos,” Wiles said.
Growing up
Wiles describes herself as having grown up in Northwest Arkansas because she lived all over the region, she said.
However, Wiles spent a lot of time in her youth in Siloam Springs and later graduated from Siloam Springs High School with honors, she said.
As a regular attendee of the Dogwood Festival, Wiles and her mother would shop at the different vendor booths at the festival, she said. During Thanksgiving, Wiles would visit her aunt and uncle in Siloam Springs, she said.
“Siloam has always had a special place in my heart,” Wiles said.
During high school, Wiles was a cheerleader and worked on the school newspaper, where she continued to nurture her love of photography, Wiles said. She also attended modeling school, where Wiles did runway modeling, she said.
“I remember going to the Dogwood Festival and seeing my face there,” Wiles said. “I didn’t make money, but neither did they.”
Wiles got a lot out of modeling school. She learned how to pose and walk as well as gaining more insight into photography, she said.
College, work and family
After high school, Wiles attended Northwest Arkansas Community College and then the University of Arkansas, where she graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, Wiles said.
During her final year in college and while working three jobs, Wiles started her family, she said. During that time, Wiles got her first break in broadcast journalism by working at ESPN, she said.
Wiles started as an intern but eventually managed to secure payment for her time, she said. She also worked for the Center for Business and Economic Research running the Skyline-Report, Wiles said
The Skyline-Report provides timely statistical analysis of the Northwest Arkansas residential real estate market, according to nwacouncil.org.
In 2011, Wiles got a job with Authentic Entertainment as a production assistant and served as a camera operator and assistant.
“It was interesting,” Wiles said. “I worked 16+ hour days. When they had the pageants, you got there early and it was nonstop.”
Discovering her son had seizures not long after turning two, Wiles decided to put her career on hold and focus on her family, she said.
In 2014 Wiles had a daughter who was also born with special needs, she said.
“It’s very traumatic seeing your child about (to) die or knowing that any virus could send them to the hospital,” Wiles said.
Wiles spent several years just taking care of her family and helping her husband Todd Wiles develop his business, Best Tools Inc., she said.
Holly Wiles helped Todd Wiles set up an online store and handle Best Tools social media and photography needs, she said.
Todd Wiles traveled about four months out of the year, going across the country for trade shows, so she said that Holly Wiles assumed most of the household and parenting duties.
In between parenting, Wiles spent time reading articles and watching YouTube videos on photography and gaining a lot of practice time, she said.
Starting on the dream
Wiles bought her first camera in 2017 and took nature photos, she said. Those photos gained popularity and she began focusing on doing photography and her kids, Wiles said.
Wiles said her photos were featured in 417 Magazine, Cityscapes, Finding NWA and Only in Arkansas. She has also had her work featured on different blogs and television, Wiles said.
Wiles took a lot of photos at City Lake Park and downtown, she said. Occasionally the city of Siloam Springs would buy a folder of those photos, Wiles said.
“I’ve had a lot of photos recognized and printed, but I’ve never won anything monetary or prizes,” Wiles said.
Wiles is presently trying to set up a site to sell her prints, she said. She currently sells her work on Fine Art America as Holly Wiles Art, Wiles said.
In the spring of 2017, Wiles started Holly Danielle Photography but didn’t start getting clients until the end of 2018, she said. She credits Best Tools for helping Wiles with her business, Wiles said.
“If my husband didn’t have his business … I wouldn’t have my business,” Wiles said.
Hobbies and volunteering
When Wiles is not working on her photography and raising her children, she enjoys gardening, she said. Wiles said she wants growing sunflowers, heirlooms and vintage vegetables such as heirloom Cherokee tomatoes, red horned okra and herbs like basil and sage.
Another passion of Wiles is visiting state and national parks, she said. As a child, her father took Wiles to different Arkansas state parks from Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro to the Buffalo National River outside of Harrison.
“The love of nature and gardening came from him constantly being an active parent and love for the outdoors,” Wiles said.
Wiles also volunteered for Healing Gardens of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers by offering free headshots at different events, she said.
In the last year and a half, Wiles worked with Beautiful Lives Boutique, where she took photos for their Christmas and Halloween events, she said. Wiles said she likes helping people and doing good.
“I understand what it’s like to have very little and going through a hard time,” Wiles said.
The Future
Wiles is presently looking forward to Christmas because of upcoming photoshoots on Dec. 11, she said.
Wiles plans to do shoots with Santa, as well as Christmas pajama photos and Christmas portrait sessions, she said.
The shoot with Santa will be from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and the other shoots will be from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., Wiles said.
Wiles said she asked Siloam Springs resident Kevin Williams to play Santa and rented a studio in Siloam Springs to do the shoot.
Long-term goals include planning to be a mainstay in the photography business, Wiles said. When asked about the growing number of photographers in the city, Wiles said she is not worried about the competition.
“There have been multiple photographers opening up studios,” Wiles said. “A lot think they are going to make money. A year later, they are out of it.”
Print Headline: Wiles driven by love for photography
Copyright © 2021, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. (NWA Media)
All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. Please read our Terms of Use or contact us.
Material from the Associated Press is Copyright © 2021, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. All rights reserved.