Wiles driven by love for photography
In the biography on her website, Holly Wiles describes herself as a “One Woman Show”, an accurate portrayal of this wife, mother and entrepreneur.
Wiles, who runs Holly Danielle Photography, has a love of photography that led her to work behind the scenes on the reality show “Toddlers and Tiaras” to start her own business, she said.
“I’ve always loved nature and when I was a kid I had a disposable camera and would walk around my backyard taking pictures,” Wiles said.
Wiles describes herself as having grown up in Northwest Arkansas because she lived across the region, she said.
However, Wiles spent a lot of time in her youth in Siloam Springs and then graduated from Siloam Springs High School with honors, she said.
As a regular attendee of the Dogwood Festival, Wiles and her mother shopped at the various vendor stalls at the festival, she said. During Thanksgiving, Wiles was visiting his aunt and uncle in Siloam Springs, she said.
“Siloam has always had a special place in my heart,” said Wiles.
In high school, Wiles was a cheerleader and worked for the school newspaper, where she continued to nurture her love of photography, Wiles said. She also attended a modeling school, where Wiles modeled, she said.
“I remember going to the Dogwood Festival and seeing my face there,” Wiles said. “I didn’t make any money, but neither did they.”
Wiles learned a lot from modeling school. She learned to pose and walk as well as to understand photography better, 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 at college and while doing three jobs, Wiles started her family, she said. Meanwhile, Wiles took her first break from broadcast journalism while working at ESPN, she said.
Wiles started out as an intern but eventually managed to get paid for her time, she said. She also worked for the Center for Business and Economic Research which managed 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 at Authentic Entertainment as a production assistant and served as a cameraman and assistant.
“It was interesting,” Wiles said. “I was working more than 16 hours a day. When there were competitions, you came early and it was nonstop.”
Finding out that her son had had seizures shortly after turning two, Wiles decided to put his career on hold and focus on his family, she said.
In 2014, Wiles had a daughter who was also born with special needs, she said.
“It’s very traumatic to see your child on the verge of (die) or to know that any virus could send him to the hospital,” Wiles said.
Wiles spent several years looking after her family and helping her husband Todd Wiles grow her business, Best Tools Inc., she said.
Holly Wiles helped Todd Wiles start an online store and manage Best Tools’ social media and photography needs, she said.
Todd Wiles has traveled about four months a year, traveling the country for trade shows, so she said Holly Wiles took on most of the housework and parenting duties.
Between parenthood, Wiles spent time reading articles and watching YouTube videos about photography and gaining a lot of practice time, she said.
Start with the dream
Wiles bought her first camera in 2017 and took photos of nature, she said. These photos grew in popularity and she began to focus on photography and her children, Wiles said.
Wiles said his photos have been featured in 417 Magazine, Cityscapes, Finding NWA and Only in Arkansas. Her work has also been featured on various blogs and on television, Wiles said.
Wiles took lots of photos in City Lake Park and downtown, she said. Sometimes the town of Siloam Springs would purchase a record of these photos, Wiles said.
“I had a lot of photos recognized and printed, but I never won anything in money or in prize,” Wiles said.
Wiles is currently trying to set up a site to sell his prints, she said. She is currently selling her work on Fine Art America under the name Holly Wiles Art, Wiles said.
In the spring of 2017, Wiles launched Holly Danielle Photography but didn’t start getting clients until late 2018, she said. She thanks Best Tools for helping Wiles with his business, said Wiles.
“If my husband didn’t have his business… I wouldn’t have my business,” Wiles said.
Leisure and volunteering
When Wiles isn’t working on her photography and raising her children, she enjoys gardening, she said. Wiles said she wanted to grow sunflowers, heirlooms and ancient vegetables such as Cherokee heirloom tomatoes, red horned okra, and herbs like basil and sage.
Another passion for Wiles is visiting state and national parks, she said. As a child, his father took Wiles to various state parks in Arkansas, from the Crater of Diamonds in Murfreesboro to the Buffalo National River outside of Harrison.
“His love for nature and gardening comes from being a constant active parent and enjoying the outdoors,” Wiles said.
Wiles also volunteered for Healing Gardens of Northwest Arkansas in Rogers by offering free headshots at various events, she said.
For the past year and a half, Wiles has worked with Beautiful Lives Boutique, where she took photos for their Christmas and Halloween events, she said. Wiles said she enjoys helping people and doing good.
“I understand what it’s like to have very little and go through a tough time,” said Wiles.
Wiles is currently looking forward to Christmas due to the photoshoots coming up on December 11, she said.
Wiles plans to do photoshoots with Santa Claus, as well as Christmas pajama photos and Christmas portrait shoots, she said.
The shoot with Santa Claus will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the other shoots will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wiles said.
Wiles said she asked Siloam Springs resident Kevin Williams to play Santa Claus and rented a studio in Siloam Springs to do the filming.
Long-term goals include planning to become a mainstay in the photography industry, Wiles said. Asked about the growing number of photographers in the city, Wiles said she was not worried about the competition.
“There have been several photographers who have opened studios,” Wiles said. “A lot of people think they’re going to make the money. A year later, they’re out of it.”
Photo submitted. The lookout and one of the springs gushing from Twin Springs Park in the fall taken by Holly Wiles.
Photo submitted Twin Springs Park in the fall. Holly Wiles said she enjoyed taking photos in the fall and took the time to snap a few photos at Twin Springs Park.
Submitted Photo While in City Lake Park, Holly Wiles took a selfie of herself as she took photos of nature.