Elina Mellov

Artist, Designer, Director

Elina Mellov

Artist, Designer, Director

Short Bio

Short Bio

My journey into photography began in 2007 when I was a professional ballet dancer. After several traumas, my professional dance career ended, and I started looking for another speciality. I studied for 8 years at Tallinn University: Spanish language and culture, later Sound design, I didn’t feel that it was my true calling. There was something else.

After the first baby was born and graduating in 2018, I decided to take the path of an artist. It was my old dream from childhood: to be a multi-talented artist.

I started my own business in February 2021. Now I am officially Elimel Art OÜ.

How to describe who I am? I’m from visual artist to visionary, and everything in between. Doing whatever it takes me to do – as an entrepreneur, singer-songwriter, writer, educator, wife, mother, fashion designer, spiritual photographer, director, model, and actress.

Long Bio

Long bio

Hello! My name is Elina Mellov and I am 30 years old. You may also know me by the surname Lait or Koptjaeva. Why so many different surnames? In the past, my surname has changed because I decided that I no longer want to share the same name with my father, and today I am married to my dear partner, from whom I have taken the name Mellov.

First seven years of my life I lived in Tartu with my mother, brother and grandmother. I spent most of my time with my grandmother and brother, as my mother studied medicine at the university. I had minimal contact with my dad who was working a lot on a cargo ship at sea.

As a child, I started gymnastics at the age of 4 and got invited to Vanemuise Children’s Theater to learn ballet under the guidance of Alla Lilleorg. My artistic journey began in 1996. I dedicated 12 years of my life to dancing.

One evening, at the age of 5, I wrote two wishes on a small piece of paper, believing that if I put this piece of paper deep between the stones in the wall of Vanemuise Street, my wishes would come true. The first wish was related to whom I wanted to become – I wanted to be like Leonardo da Vinci (multifunctional and talented in many areas). Second wish: “Art will save the world”.

Education has been very important to me, even until today. I like to constantly learn new things and develop myself further because it makes me happy. I have been trying to find a place for myself in this life for a long time.

Since 2002 (I was 10), I lived without a mother with other boys and girls in boarding school. It was the time when I studied at Tallinn Ballet School (2002-2008) and lived in Narva. During the holidays from Ballet School, I went to music school where I studied piano, music history, theory & singing.

At the age of 16-17 (2008), I also lived alone in Saint-Petersburg, because of studying in Academic Jacobson Ballet Theater. We were travelling a lot with a dancing company and had a lot of hard work and after one year and a half, I couldn’t dance anymore, cause of pain and pressure. My ballerina career was over in 2010. I decided to change my speciality.

So I returned to Estonia and graduated from Narva Estonian Gymnasium and Kreenholm Music School at the same time in 2011. After high school, I still dreamed of dancing and teaching. I wanted to be a choreographer, but my body didn’t agree with that, or maybe I didn’t want it that much. I wanted to have a break from endless studying, depression, traumas and just to rest and travel.

My mother insisted I go to University, so I tried to Viljandi Culture Academy for a dancing teacher/ choreographer, but I didn’t make it, so I went to learn the Spanish language and culture. Didn’t finish my studies after an Erasmus stay in Zaragoza and changed the subject to Sound Design. Finally, I graduated in June 2018.

After that, I studied Spanish language and culture for a total of 3 years. My Spanish language studies took me to the University of Zaragoza in Spain with the Erasmus program, but I decided not to continue my studies as I found out that I was more interested in music at the time. After Spain and sometime later, I decided to finish my BA in Sound Design in 2018 with a little baby by my side.

That’s probably why I’ve changed schools 13 times, studying in Tartu, Narva, Narva-Jõesuu, St. Petersburg, Zaragoza (Spain) as well as in Tallinn.

I became interested in photography when I was 13 years old. I got a film camera that I took with me on a theater tour to Sweden and that’s how it started. Initially, I learned through trial and error. Since 2015 I had the opportunity to take various trainings, but the Internet and self-study helped a lot in my professional development.

In 2018, after the birth of my first child, I had a very difficult recovery. I was gynecologically sick and also got blood poisoning and I almost died during the first month after giving birth. This put me and my baby back in the hospital on antibiotics.

After I stopped breastfeeding, the disease showed itself again and I had to go back to the hospital three times, undergoing operations with anaesthesia and receiving a course of antibiotics.

Winter’s arrival brought depression. A lot of things emerged – post-pregnancy depression, anxiety disorders, stress, bullying at school, bad relations with parents, deteriorating health of closest people, financial problems, etc. It was all too much to bear. I felt very angry about all of this and I realized I needed help.

I went to a psychiatrist/psychotherapist for help. I used antidepressants for 2.5 months, but listened to my intuition and stopped using them. I tried to find other alternatives and also maintained my vitamin D levels in order. Fortunately, summer came and brought a lot of sun across. I got better and had more time to take care of myself. I found that Lions Mane and other mushrooms worked for me because they kept my brain and hormones in a better balance.

During the depression, I started reading more business and self-development books. It also helped me get out of this “hole” and stop behaving unpleasantly towards family.

While reading books, I felt like I wanted to know more about the business world. From there, the road took me further to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, where I got a chance to go to business training. After successfully completing the training and receiving financial support from the Unemployment Insurance Fund – EVAT, I started my own business in February 2021 ElimelArt OÜ (Eli-Elina, Mel-Mellov, Art/Artist). I have been doing photography for about 15 years now (2024).

In February 2022 I created my own studio „Stationyx“, but the business failed and I needed to close it in November 2022, I learned a lot about communication, social media, time management, building, planning, interior design and myself.

I am currently at home with my second child. (Born on Dec. 2022). I am happy and grateful for what I have been through. Everything we go through is our own unique experience.

This time the child’s birth and recovery was easier, although I still had to deal twice with inflammation, but it has all been much easier.

Mother’s death shocked me and I decided to start a new project called “Duality”.

Since May 2024 life has led me towards dance and photography has become my hobby.

Artist Statement

Artist Statement



03-04 of June 2023, Autorifotode Biennaal, Narva, Group Exhibition

20.09-14.10.2022, Haapsalu Art School Gallery, Group Exhibition

“5×6”, 06.05. 2022,  Theatrum, Tallinn, Group exhibition

03-04 of August 2019, Home Exhibition “Beginning“, Tallinn

06.02.2019-02.03.2019, Haapsalu Linnagalerii “Sensuaalne fotopuhkus”, Group Exhibition

16.11.18, UDJA: Current Value Restoran Viktoria, Tallinn

10.12.2016-02.01.2019, Pärnu Keskraamatukogu “Loetud hetked”, Group Exhibition

2017, Tartu Ülikool: Omicum “Meid kotib“, Tartu.

2016 & 2015, Kultuurikatel “Raamist välja linnaruum”, Tallinn, Group Exhibition



“Golden Swallow 2021. Beauty Festival” 2rd and 3rd place. Images was made for Tiina Barberina


TOP 100 Estonia photographers, 7th International Photography Award, 35awards, 2021

TOP 50 Tallinn photographers, 7th International Photography Award, 35awards, 2021

Nominated in “Art Photography”, International Photography Award, 35 Awards, 2021

“Golden Swallow 2021. Beauty Festival” 2rd and 3rd place. Images was made for Tiina Barberina

Nominated in “Pets” category, 35 Awards, 2020

TOP 50 Estonia photographers, 6th International Photography Award, 35awards, 2020

TOP 30 Tallinn photographers, 6th International Photography Award, 35awards, 2020

Nominated in “Art Photography”, International Photography Award, 35 Awards, 2020

Top 35 Estonia photographers, 5th International Photography Award, 35 Awards, 2020

Nominated in “Fictional story”, International Photography Award, 35 Awards, 2019



Laboratory CTRL+ART (Anna Radchenko)

Josh Rossi FTP School “Composing Secrets”

Digital Fantasy Portraits with Photoshop, Karmen Loh

Adobe Photoshop for Matte Painting, Karlos Vega Palacios

Secrets of Photomontage and Creative Retouching, Carles Marsal

Fine Art Conceptual Photography from Shoot through Post-Processing, Bella Kotak & Pratik Naik



Turunduslabor “Viie päevane turunduse intentsiiv”

Josh Rossi FTP School “Composing Secrets”

Surrealistic Photomontage with Photoshop, Carlos Jimenez Varela

Turunduslabor “12 tundi turundust”

Turundustreff, E-mail marketing master class by Priit Kallas

Turundustreff, Facebook marketing master class by Priit Kallas

Turundustreff, SEO optimization master class by Priit Kallas

Turundustreff, Google Analytics master class by Priit Kallas

Turundustreff, Google Ads master class by Priit Kallas


Creative Live, 28 Days of Portrait Photography, Sue Bryce

CreativeLive, Portrait Startup, Sue Bryce

CreativeLive, SkillSet: Wedding Essentials

PHLEARN, 30 days of Photoshop

Sue Bryce Education, 20.04.20-03.05.20

Sabri Suby, “How to grow your sales”, webinar

Sue B. Zimmerman, “The 3 Keys”, webinar


CreativeLive, Creative Studio Lighting, Lindsay Adler

CreativeLive, Fine Art Photography by Brooke Shaden

CretiveLive, Local Dodging and Burning for Beauty Retouching, Chris Knight

IGTV, Fineart_Photomarathon, 14.04.2019-18.05.2019

“Commercial and product photography” by Eduard Kraft, 08.04.2019-12.05.2019

Marketing webinar with Josh Rossi

Expanding your own creativity workshop by Ilona Pulkstene, 23.03.2019

Wokshop by Dmitry Rogozhkin, 16.03.2019-17.03.2019

until 2018

Tallinn University, BFA Sound design 2014-2018

Tallinn University, BFA Spanish language and culture 2011-2014

Narva Estonian Gymnasium 2010-2011

Narva Kreenholm Music School, piano, 2004-2011

Tallinn Ballet School, 2002-2009

My equipment

My eqiupment

Medium format (120mm):

Mamiya C330

Mamiya 80mm 2.8

Mamiya 55mm 4.5

Digital Full frame:

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 5D Mark III