Professional skills

Software skills

Microsoft office
Adobe Photoshop
Data visualisation and Infographic software (Datawrapper, Canva, Visme, Piktochart)
KoBo Toolbox


I have always felt compelled to give a face to contemporary social and development issues by presenting the perspectives of everyday people impacted by issues such as poverty, the food crisis, infectious animal diseases and environmental degradation among others.

I have interviewed farmers in Afghanistan, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, and Cameroon on a wide range of issues pertinent to their livelihoods. In 2010 I interviewed garbage collectors in the slums of Cairo affected by the culling of their pigs due to swine flu. Photos taken during these interviews and others have been exhibited at a gallery in Cairo in 2010. Recently I interviewed a family of livestock keepers in Afghanistan who used to be nomadic (Kuchi) but due to conflicts over grazing land, widespread insecurity, local militias, and landmines, their access to grazing land is severely limited. This coupled with years of drought and environmental degradation has further deteriorated their access to pasture land forcing them to sedentarize and find other sources of income.

My photography skills were developed through self-study, courses, and workshops but above all by going out there and practicing observation and experimenting with different shutter speeds, aperture and viewpoints.


  • November 2011
Group exhibition ‘Egypt and the revolution‘. The photo exhibition was organized by Studium Generale of the University of Maastricht (Netherlands) and Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht (Netherlands). The Exhibition was part of the Global Culture Festival in Maastricht which took place from 24 – 27 November 2011. Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht, Netherlands.
  • September  2011

Group photo exhibition ‘Everyday life in Egypt’ (‘Leven van alledag’).  The exhibition was organized by Saxion University Deventer and myself at Saxion University Deventer, Netherlands.

  • November 2010

‘Urban Expo’ group exhibition at the Technical University Eindhoven main building on urban photography organized by ‘Dekate Mousa’ photo society of the Technical University Eindhoven,  Netherlands

  • July 2010

Panorama’ a solo exhibition of 28 photos at el Balad gallery for contemporary and visual arts, downtown, el Tahrir, Cairo, Egypt

Publications and features

  • National Geographic

One of my pictures was selected by National Geographic editors for publication in National Geographic’s Daily Dozen on August 20th, 2013.

  • New Agriculturist

Geerling, Ellen (2013) Afghan nomads – changing lives. New Agriculturist, May 2013 WRENmedia

  • New Agriculturist
  • Bikyamasr

‘Egypt photo exhibit looks at farmer and farmed’ a feature on my photo exhibition in Cairo by bikyamasr an Egyptian and regional independent news site.

  • National Geographic

My entry ‘airbag’ was selected by National Geographic editor Susan Welch for publication in National Geographic’s Daily Dozen in December week 4 2009.

  • Thomas Cook

My photos ‘Floating on air’ and ‘Sognedal fjord’ are being used by Thomas Cook to promote travel to Norway. My photos are displayed on their website.

  • Other features

My photos have been used for lesson materials and as cover photos and illustrations for several journals, magazines, books and other publications including for United Nations Organizations.

Fieldwork Afghanistan

a view from my window