Behind the Lens With Yu Tsai


Photographer Yu Tsai poses for a self portrait. (Photo courtesy: Yu Tsai)

World renowned photographer, Yu Tsai, is known for his high-fashion spreads in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and GQ.  He recently finished his second season as Photo Shoot Creative Consultant on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22.  He responsible for launching the careers of super models such as Kate Upton and Irina Shayk.

What many do not know about this expert lensman is that his passion began far from the runways of Milan.  “I began my career with degrees in Biology and Zoology,” he explained.  “When I first picked up a camera it was to capture wildlife.”

Yu spent the early part of his science career as a wildlife biologist, rescuing injured animals.  “I love wildlife conservation and preservation,” he added.  Yu also participated with National Geographic Research Group photographing conservation research.  “(If I wasn’t a photographer) I would dedicate my life into that field.”

Yu Tsai’s resume extends well beyond photography as well.  He was responsible for the “Share a Coke” summer campaign that included print ads and commercials. He has collaborated on commercial campaigns for Guess, Aetna, Samsung, and many other corporations.  “I never did study photography,” Yu explained.  “However, I know that having the education in graphic design really helped me develop the way I see objects.”

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring photographers, Yu responded, “Find a subject that really, really inspires you. It can be anything from flowers to people. Photography to me is capturing what makes you happy and captivating that in your work.”

These days, Yu can be seen every week on the CW’s America’s Next Top Model: Cycle 22. “ANTM has been a great experience! Its been so rewarding teaching and mentoring young, driven, and hungry individuals and watching the grow!” Yu explained.  “It was also great learning for myself to be in front of the camera and not just behind it.”