Yu Tsai is an American photographer working out of Los Angeles and New York. He was born in Taiwan and moved to a farm in Indiana with his family as a young child. Yu Tsai and his family then moved to Chino, California where Yu Tsai spent his adolescent life. He attended Don Lugo High School in Chino, California. During high school, he was a member of the Future Farmers of America and was also on his school's track team.
After high school he attended the University of California, Riverside and California Polytechnic University, Pomona and majored in Biology. Yu Tsai has also participated in national-wildlife conservation research with the National Geographic Research group.
Yu Tsai also attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and studied graphic design. It was during this time in his education that he discovered his true passion for the arts along with directing and photography as a means of telling a visual story. Yu Tsai has collaborated with other commercial directors in treatment writing and script development and has also directed commercials for Samsung, AETNA, and Gateway to list a few.
As a photographer, he has shot advertising campaigns for APPLE, BCBG, Clairol, FreeSoul, GUESS Jeans, and Lexus, among others.
Yu Tsai has photographed celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Ashley Judd, Zhang Ziyi, Ewan McGregor, Rosario Dawson, Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Sienna Miller, Paz Vega, Ryan Reynolds, Sean Faris, Ryan Gosling and Zooey Deschanel, along with models including Alessandra Ambrosio, Kate Upton, Rosie Huntington, Liliana Dominguez, and Yamila Diaz.
Yu Tsai’s photography has also been featured in magazines including A Magazine, Arena, Flaunt, Harper’s Baazar, Marie Claire, Perfect, V Magazine and Vogue Japan.
Tsai has been tapped to appear as the creative consultant and also a judge on Cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model, replacing previous creative consultant Johnny Wujek. There has been controversy over his appearance on the reality show because of his treatment towards some of the models. This includes him calling one model, Chantelle Brown-Young, a panda due to her skin condition, Vitiligo. This controversy has even lead to the creation of a petition demanding his removal from the show.