Yu Tsai was made in Taiwan and assembled in the USA; raised on good ol’ mid-western American corn. His first passions were in Biology and Wildlife Zoology studies. With bachelor’s degrees in both, it has led him on a path that few have traveled. This scientist turned Art Director and turned photographer has become one of the world’s most sought after photographers. Yu Tsai’s career has circled the globe, with his images making headlines from New York to Beijing. Traveling between his homes in Los Angeles and New York he puts a whole new spin on the definition of 24-7.
Yu Tsai’s inspirations are a compilation of his studies and his extensive travels to Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. After changing direction from his scientific studies, Yu Tsai earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA where he discovered his passion for directing and design. Yu Tsai has collaborated and been the inspiration for countless directors and creative minds in the industry for treatments and script development. Drawing from his expertise and talents in design, this journey organically lead Yu Tsai to his present focus of fashion and advertising photography which has bridged seamlessly into the world of celebrity. Yu Tsai’s effortless, real, and sometimes shocking manner generates an atmosphere of trust and authenticity that is unmatched by his peers. Yu Tsai’s assemblage of the industry’s most visible, beautiful, and provocative talent includes actors Leonardo Dicaprio, Jessica Chastain, Bruce Willis, Jon Hamm, Anne Hathaway, Forest Whitaker, James Franco, Keira Knightley, Ewan McGregror, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Pine, Juliette Lewis, Idris Elba, Chloe Moretz, Ben Foster, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Evan Rachel Wood, Zoey Deschanel, Chris Hemsworth, Mila Kunis, Daniel Radcliffe, Olivia Wilde, James Marsden, Aaron Paul, Noomi Rapace, Kristen Stewart, Leah Michele, Aaron Eckhardt, Elle Fanning, Aaron Johnson, Maya Rudolph, Zoe Saldana, James McAvoy, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cillian Murphy, and Ryan Gosling and musicians as diverse as Ringo Starr, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Katy Perry, P Diddy, and Ke$ha.
Yu Tsai is also creating iconic imagery for international brands such as Apple, Guess, Coca-Cola, Dasani, SKYY, HP, Pantene, Clairol, Lexus, Toyota, Emporio Armani, Neiman Marcus, Vince Camuto, Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated, Jantzen, Coach, Bebe, BCBG, Charles David, FreeSoul CBS, Sony Music, and Interscope Records. Working hand in hand with his clients, Yu Tsai has helped to launch the careers of many supermodels including Kate Upton, Candice Swanepoel, Ilsa Hosk , Jessica Hart and Irina Shayk to name a few.
With the balance of an art and commerce mentality, Yu Tsai continues to work in the editorials arena; creating covers and stories with magazines such as Vanity Fair, Vogue International, Esquire US , Esquire UK, Flaunt Magazine , GQ Italy, Marie Claire US, Marie Claire UK, Elle, Essence, Harpers Bazaar UK , Sports Illustrated, Muse, Playboy, Interview , Vs., V Magazine and Variety.
Yu Tsai was nominated for a 2010 Lucie Award for his fashion story featuring Kristen Stewart for Flaunt Magazine. He was also awarded as Photographer of the Year at the 2010 Hollywood Style Awards. In 2011, his work was exhibited in The Beautiful Blessed: Celebrity and Style in Photography showcased in St. Moritz, Switzerland as well as speaking and being showcased in Los Angeles’ Annenberg Space for Photography.
Yu Tsai has never lost his love and desire for his original and foremost passion in the sciences, continuing to lend his talents and his hands to the ever-growing global concerns of conservation.