Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) was born in Vietnam, and lives and works in Hanoi.
After taking a BA in sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2006, Maika started to use the camera to document her daily and private life.
She soon turned to professional photography, working for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010, she took up documentary photography.
Her first project, The Pink Choice, focused on the life of gay couples in Vietnam, and was widely published internationally and online, winning in 2013 a World Press Photo prize and a Pride Photo Award.
“My Little Hanoi” is a photo album uploaded on her personal facebook in 2009, captured the daily life of people who live in the Hanoi Old Quarter areas. Her description for the album says: “Hanoi – joy in this alley, sorrow in this alley, every story here and there, will finally find their way back to this alley”.