Image by Shehan Obesekera.

Tashiya de Mel is a photographer, environmental advocate, and communications specialist, who uses visual storytelling to create narratives that drive social change and highlight impacts of the environmental and climate crisis. Tashiya grew up around the urban wetlands of Colombo, Sri Lanka and spent much of her early adulthood exploring the remote corners of this Island. These experiences set in motion an ongoing love affair with the wildness of this world and desire to re-connect people to it.

Tashiya has spent the last eight years working within non-profit and international development organisations, including the United Nations where she specialised in communications, advocacy, visual and social media. She is the founder of Lost in Ceylon, a platform for adventures, storytelling, and activism. Through her work she hopes to create awareness, mobilise support, and inspire action. View her ongoing, long-term project here

Tashiya is currently based in the Hague, Netherlands where she is studying a masters in ‘Photography and Society’ at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK). Tashiya also works as an independent, freelance photographer and is available for short and long-term assignments.

Get in touch:


2023 / ‘Humanity and Earth’ – Group photography exhibition exploring concepts of the environmental and climate crisis, culture, and humanity in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

2022 – 23 / ‘Our Changing Climate: A Visual Chronicle‘, group exhibition at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, USA.

2020 / ‘Humanity and Earth – Group photography exhibition exploring concepts of the environmental and climate crisis, culture, and humanity in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Grants, Workshops & Contests

2023 / Recipient of The Visura Grants for Freelance Visual Journalists

2021 / Angkor Photo, Portfolio Review with Will Baxter, Photo Editor, The New York Times

2021 / Winner: ‘Visualising Climate Change’ collection by Climate Visuals, Climate Outreach and TED Countdown

2021 / ‘Planet on The Brink’, Documenting the Climate Crisis & Global Environmental Change 8-week Course with Michael Snyder

2021 / Making, Funding & Publishing Documentary Photography Workshop with Daniella Zalcman & Natalie Keyssar

2021 / Shortlisted: Pathshala Institute & VII Academy, New Waves of Documentary: Practice as Research

2020 / National Geographic Portfolio Review with Alexa Keefe (Senior Photo Editor), Maura Friedman (Associate Photo Editor), and Gail Fletcher (Photo Production Coordinator)

2020/ Indian Photo Festival, ‘The Art of Visual Narrative’,  Masterclass with Abir Abdullah

2019 / Professional Development Workshop for Visual Artists by Theertha International Artists Collective in Sri Lanka

2019 / Goethe Institut Editing Masterclass with Andy Spyra & Liz Fernando

2018 / Goethe Institut workshop on ‘Long term documentary projects’ with Robert Funke

2018 / Recipient of a seed grant from the Goethe Institut Colombo

2018 / Goethe Institut Documentary Photo Workshop and Residency with Andy Spyra & Liz Fernando 

Press, Publications

2022 Rest of World

2022 Groundviews, Images

2022 Rest of World, Images

2022 Bloomberg, Images

2022 The Telegraph, Images

2022 Al Jazeera, Images

2022 Bloomberg Businessweek, Images

2021 Rest of World, Images

2021 Greenpeace International, Interview

2021 Greenpeace International, Blog

2021 Greenpeace International, Images

2021 The Morning, Interview

2021 Sri Lankan Women Photographers to Follow, Sanora Rodrigo

2020 Sunday Times, Interview

2020 The Morning, Feature