Born in 1995, Nelly El Sharkawy trained as a ballet dancer in 2000, and is currently studying architecture at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology. She began to pursue photography in 2011, and eventually joined the Cairo Camera Club. She began shooting conceptual self-portraits in 2012, then fell in love with Black and White photography. She is also fond of shooting street photography and documentary photography.
El Sharkawy's photographs have been exhibited around Egypt, including 3 shows at Mashrou' Hagar in 2011, in addition to three exhibitions at El Sakia Culturewheel, one exhibition at Sodic's Westown Hub collaboration with Photopia, two collective exhibition at ArtsMart, took part in the 25th and 27th Youth Salon in the Cairo Operra House, another exhibition at Photopia and other exhibitions all around Egypt.
She was nominated in the Architectural Top Ten photos in the Sharjah Photography Competition, and twice won the best innovative photograph award at the Cairo Camera Club, in addition to the CIB prize. El Sharkawy is a designer and co-founder of the Cairo-based initiative Mashrou' El Saada, which aims is to psychologically support people living in Egypt's neglected slums through the use of colors and creative designs.