Tony Van Le was born in Redwood City, California, in 1976. The son of Vietnam War refugees, he is the youngest of four siblings. 

Tony bought his first camera in 2009. Although his ultra close-up images of insects and flora led to his first photo exhibit, it was his other-worldly coastal photography that led him abroad. Tony has also experimented with narrative storytelling through surrealist set pieces and has delved into more personal territory by documenting his parents traversing their twilight years.

Even though Tony’s earliest attempts at street photography can be traced back to 2011, he’s only really been comfortable with it since 2018. While on his way to Greenland to photograph icebergs, he took some candid street photos in Portugal and Denmark on a whim. Despite being in unfamiliar countries, he experienced a level of ease that he had never felt on the street before. Upon returning home, Tony turned his entire creative focus toward street photography and has been utterly consumed with it ever since.

When Tony isn’t taking pictures, he puts his master’s degree in education to work as a community college counselor and instructor in Newark, California.

Tony also doesn’t usually refer to himself in the third-person and he has trouble communicating humor in his writing.