Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraïdari was born to a Greek family in Aidini, near Smyrna (now İzmir), Turkey. As a professional, she took the pseudonym Nelly's. She went to Germany to study photography in Germany in 1920-1921. Following the expulsion of the ethnic Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turks, she went to live and work in Greece, where she was appointed the official photographer of the newly-established Greek Ministry of Tourism. She photographed ancient Greek temples against sea and sky backgrounds, helping to produce an ideal view of the country and its people, for internal as well as tourism purposes. In 1936, she photographed the Olympic Games in Berlin, where she met Leni Riefenstahl, whom she accompanied to Olympia for the filming of Triumph of the Will, the Nazi party film. In 1939, she was commissioned to design the interior of the Greek pavilion at the New York's World Fair, which she did with gigantic collages. At the outbreak of World War II, she decided to remain in the USA and became a commercial and portrait photographer for many years. In 1966, she returned to Greece and retired.