Yu Tsai (Chinese: 蔡宇; pinyin: Cài Yǔ) is an American photographer based in Los Angeles and New York. He also works in television, appearing as a creative consultant and judge in America's Next Top Model and Asia's Next Top Model.
Yu Tsai was born in Taiwan to a Chinese father from China and a Taiwanese native, and spent his childhood in Taipei. He moved to a farm in Indiana with his family when he was 12. The family then moved to Chino, California, where he spent his adolescence. He attended Don Antonio Lugo High School, where he was a member of the Future Farmers of America and the track team. After high school, Yu Tsai attended the University of California, Riverside and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he majored in biology and zoology with an intention of becoming a veterinarian. He then attended the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, studying painting and graphic design. It was during this time in his education that he discovered his passion for the arts, along with directing and photography as a means of telling a visual story.
Yu Tsai's photography has been featured in magazines such as Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, Playboy, GQ, and Vogue. He has photographed celebrities including Janet Jackson, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Keira Knightley, Demi Lovato, Leonardo DiCaprio, Zhang Ziyi, Ewan McGregor, Chris Hemsworth, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Chastain, Sienna Miller, James Marsden, Ryan Reynolds, Nick Jonas, Adam Levine, Ryan Gosling and Zooey Deschanel. He has also worked with models including Alessandra Ambrosio, Kate Upton, Rosie Huntington, Liliana Dominguez, Yamila Diaz, Gigi Hadid, and Camille Kostek among others.
Tsai has collaborated with other commercial directors in treatment writing and script development, and has directed commercials for Aetna, Gateway, and Samsung, among others. As a photographer, he has shot advertising campaigns for companies such as Apple, Clairol, Guess, and Lexus.
Tsai replaced Johnny Wujek as photo shoot creative consultant on cycle 21 and cycle 22 of ANTM. He was a judge on cycle 4, cycle 5, and cycle 6 of AsNTM as the new creative director. He also worked on "I Supermodel".
He also participated in national-wildlife conservation research with the National Geographic Research group.