Joel & Darla met at Summer Camp and the rest is history! Joel’s family has an evangelistic ministry called “The Wylers on Wheels” that has them travelling around the United States almost year round. They even just came out with a new music CD. So for the past couple of years it just so happens that, Darla has gone to Camp Tohiglo for a week to be a camp counselor, the very same week that the Wyler family is scheduled to be there. It wasn’t love at first site although Darla admits to thinking he was a “really nice guy.”
They started dating a year ago and have been able to get together about 5 or 6 times since then whether it’s Joel coming to PA, or Darla travelling to wherever his family might be ministering. Darla visited Joel in Florida at Thanksgiving and they took a walk on Disney’s beach and that is where they found a heart drawn in the sand and where Joel got down on one knee and asked Darla to spend forever with him. She of course said “YES!”
FIRST J & D STUDIO BLOG!!! Wow!!! This has been 16 years in the making! When I started this business back in 2000, I had no idea how far this pathway would lead!
If you enjoy reading ‘the whole story,’ then go for it! Otherwise, just scan our archived photos! Enjoy!
Growing up in a large, close-knit family, I enjoyed ‘setting up’ my siblings for photo-shoots in front of my bedroom curtains or mirror or anywhere else I could find ‘great’ backgrounds. My Mom must have brought countless rolls of 110 and 35 mm film to be processed for me (thanks Mom!) .
When I was close to 18 years old, through my parents wisdom and God’s leading, I began working at a portrait studio. I loved working with children and getting them to smile. There was so much joy that came from capturing that child’s ‘perfect smile’ for Mom’s who had never had someone take the time to ‘really try’ in the past. I had an incredible manager there that taught me everything she knew and really gave me the ‘eye’ for good cropping and posing.
The rules at that studio were that we were not allowed to work for competition, and since the studio did not offer outdoor photos, I was able to start taking outdoor senior and family photos on the side. This continued as I became assistant manager at the studio and increased my skills, as well as my love for portraiture and preserving family memories.
After leaving the studio, I was asked to photograph my first wedding.
It was a request by a really sweet lady that had always brought her children to me at the studio for their yearly photos. I had always wanted to photograph a wedding and this seemed like a great opportunity. However, I was very apprehensive because Wedding’s are a once in a lifetime thing and I wanted to be sure that I could give them the best photos possible (I had heard too many horror stories of other weddings- “I thought they could take good pictures…”). So I apprenticed under a professional wedding photographer and he let me photograph by his side at a couple of weddings. His skills, humor and very relaxed manner were vital to my beginning years of wedding photography. (Thanks Tim McGowan!)