Ellie Seif’s Thoughts About Her Work


My first exposure to film and imaging was as the daughter of a motion picture projectionist in a local movie theater in Brooklyn, New York. I spent many days in my early childhood in the projection booth with my father.  My interest in still photography began with Brownie cameras, which led to many different and more sophisticated camera models, and I then made the transition to digital photography.

In 1972, I began my creative and professional work as a children’s photographer, photographing children in their home environment.   Then, during my years as a teacher and an elementary school principal, I continued to photograph children and families, and began an exploration into other forms of photography. I have honed my skills through photographing many different environments and by participating in photography seminars and workshops.

My current work and creative challenges emanate from my varied interests in people, nature, and diverse environments throughout the world. My nature photography features close-up images and landscapes.  The images capture a specific moment in time, recording nature’s beauty, which often eludes us as we go about our everyday lives. My photographs of people evolve from my desire to understand and communicate cultural similarities and differences with the hope that these understandings will break down barriers to cooperation and peace.

In October, 2005, I had a solo exhibit of my work at International House at the University of Pennsylvania, featuring thirty-four images taken in Vietnam in February, 2004.  The same photographs were exhibited at InFusion Coffee and Tea Gallery in September, 2006. In 2006, my photographs of Awbury Arboretum in Germantown, Philadelphia were exhibited during the annual Cope Award Ceremony.  Between 2007 and 2009, my work was accepted in several juried shows, including the Artists’ Cultural Exchange and the Tyme Gallery.  A solo exhibit, titled Urban Landscapes, was shown at InFusion Gallery in October, 2009, containing 21 photographs taken throughout Philadelphia. High Point Café featured a solo exhibit of my nature photography in the fall of 2010.  In October 2012, my work was again exhibited at Infusion Coffee and Tea Gallery. In the spring of 2013, I participated in an exhibit called Art as Tikkun Olam, which featured Philadelphia artists who use their art for Tikkun Olam  (Healing the World).  In the fall of 2013 I was featured in two exhibits, one at the Kathy Davis Studio in Horsham, and the other a photographic essay of people along the entire stretch of Germantown Ave.  This exhibit was at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts.

As a member of the Northwest Artists’ Collective and Mount Airy Art Garage, my work continues to be shown in various Philadelphia venues.  I currently volunteer as a photographer for several nonprofit organizations, including Habitat For Humanity, the Picasso Project,  and Weaver’s Way Cooperative._DSC0418

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