Holly Pickett grew up in Butte, MT. She earned degrees in journalism and history from the University of Montana, Missoula. She was a staff photographer at The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA for five years. At the end of 2007, she quit her newspaper job, sold her car and gathered her life savings. She then moved to Cairo, Egypt, to give freelancing a shot. She didn't know anyone there, didn't speak the language and had no solid work prospects, but she was pulled by a lingering interest in the Middle East. She spent the first couple months adjusting to a city of 20 million people and taking intensive Arabic classes.
Although she spent months living in and learning about the Arab world, Holly was drawn to another, very different place — Afghanistan. In November 2008, she departed for her first conflict zone. She spent two weeks in Kabul and two weeks embedded with U.S. forces. Since that initial trip to Afghanistan, Holly has worked in Gaza, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, as well as spending half of 2009 in Afghanistan.
Holly's photographs have appeared in Elle, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek, NPR.org, Stern, Time and The (London) Times, among others.