Wiles driven in business, life by love for photography – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Holly Wiles describes herself on her website 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 says.
“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 says.
Growing up
Wiles says she grew up in Northwest Arkansas because she lived all over the region, she says. She spent a lot of time in her youth in Siloam Springs and later graduated from Siloam Springs High School with honors, she says.
Wiles and her mother would shop at the different vendor booths at the Dogwood Festival, she remembers. She also would visit her aunt and uncle in Siloam Springs during Thanksgiving, she says.
“Siloam has always had a special place in my heart,” Wiles says.
She was a cheerleader during high school and worked on the school newspaper, where she continued to nurture her love of photography, Wiles says. She also attended modeling school, where Wiles did runway modeling, she says, and got a lot out of modeling school. She learned how to pose and walk as well as gaining more insight into photography, she says.
College, work and family
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, she says.
Wiles started her family during her final year in college and did it while working three jobs, she says. She got her first break in broadcast journalism by working at ESPN, where she started as an unpaid intern, but eventually received payment for her time. She also worked for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas running the Skyline report, Wiles says. The Skyline report provides timely statistical analysis of the Northwest Arkansas real estate market, according to nwacouncil.org.
She got a job with Authentic Entertainment in 2011 as a production assistant and served as a camera operator and assistant.
“It was interesting,” Wiles says. “I worked 16 plus hour days. When they had the pageants, you got there early, and it was nonstop.”
Wiles decided to put her career on hold and focus on her family after her son began having seizures not long after turning 2, she says. Wiles had a daughter in 2014 who was also born with special needs, she adds.
“It’s very traumatic seeing your child about (to) die or knowing that any virus could send them to the hospital,” Wiles says.
She spent several years taking care of her family and helping her husband, Todd Wiles, develop his business, Best Tools Inc. She helped Todd set up an online store and handle Best Tools social media and photography needs, she says.
In between parenting, Wiles spent time reading articles and watching YouTube videos on photography and gaining a lot of practice time, she says.
Starting on the dream
Wiles bought her first camera in 2017 and took nature photos, she says. Those photos gained popularity, and she began focusing on doing photography and her kids, Wiles says.
Her photos were featured in 417 Magazine, Cityscapes, Finding NWA and Only in Arkansas. She has also had her work on different blogs and television, Wiles says.
Wiles took a lot of photos at City Lake Park and downtown, she says. The city of Siloam Springs occasionally would buy a folder of those photos, she says.
“I’ve had a lot of photos recognized and printed, but I’ve never won anything monetary or prizes,” she says.
Wiles is trying to set up a site to sell her prints, she says. She currently sells her work on Fine Art America as Holly Wiles Art, Wiles says.
In the spring of 2017, Wiles started Holly Danielle Photography, but didn’t start getting clients until the end of 2018, she says. She credits Best Tools for helping.
“If my husband didn’t have his business,” she wouldn’t have her business, Wiles says.
Hobbies and volunteering
Wiles also enjoys gardening, she says. She grows sunflowers, heirlooms and vintage vegetables such as heirloom Cherokee tomatoes, red horned okra and herbs like basil and sage.
Another passion is visiting state and national parks, she says. As a child, her father took her to different Arkansas state parks from Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro to the Buffalo National River.
“The love of nature and gardening came from him constantly being an active parent and love for the outdoors,” Wiles says.
She volunteered for Healing Gardens of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers by offering free headshots at different events, she says. Wiles worked with Beautiful Lives Boutique in the last year and a half where she took photos for its Christmas and Halloween events, she says.
“I understand what it’s like to have very little and going through a hard time,” Wiles says.
Her long-term goals include becoming a mainstay in the photography business, Wiles says. Shes’s not worried about the competition.
“There have been multiple photographers opening up studios,” Wiles says. “A lot think they are going to make money. A year later, they are out of it.”

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