I'm Eli! That's me in the above photo, which I made in one of my favorite patches of woods in Montana. I'm an Algerian-American visual journalist from the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. My mom is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family in New York and my dad is from a Muslim Kabyle family in northeastern Algeria. This background, probably on the more unconventional side, has shaped me -- my experiences, my perspectives, my work and more. I often get nostalgic about the suburbs or think about my identity as a multiethnic person.
I've freelanced for the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian and CityLab, among others. My work has been featured on MSN.com and The Atlantic's Facebook page. I've also interned for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and have bylines in various publications in the West and Montana, such as The Denver Post and The Salt Lake Tribune. I worked as a multimedia journalist for my school's independent student paper, the Montana Kaimin, and am now heading to intern at the Austin American-Statesman. Recently, I won the SPJ Mark of Excellence in Region 10 for feature photography and was a finalist for breaking news photography. In addition to visual journalism, I've done some audio storytelling and recently placed sixth at the 2019 Hearst Journalism Awards for radio.
I just finished my senior year at the University of Montana in Missoula, where I studied Journalism. I stumbled upon photojournalism after my freshman year of school, depressed and confused about my direction when I realized I didn't want to be an ecologist. After watching online talks by photojournalists and living in Costa Rica alone for three months, I fell in love with it. That was two-and-a-half years ago, and I've worked hard to learn, improve and make meaningful images since. I believe deeply in the power of a photograph to connect people; to illustrate the human experience, inform the public, expose the truth, hold power to account, influence legislation, evoke empathy and curiosity -- to change the world. This may seem preachy, but I'm really into it.
Available for assignments