Javier Puig Saura: A career diplomat, Javier Puig Saura moved to Hanoi in 2014 and was blown away by the energy and color -- so much so, that it inspired him to resume his long-neglected hobby of photography.
Javier Puig Saura – The more he shot, the more Saura wanted to see and discover -- all the while posting on his dynamic Instagram feed. "Life, from birth to death, happens on the streets," says Saura. "And there is also this fabulous mix of tradition and modernity, European influence and Asian character."
Javier Puig Saura – "Basically, taking pictures is an excuse to meet people so I use the camera as a pretext," says Saura, who regularly sits down to share a beer with his subjects and even delivers printed photos later as a gift.
Hai Thanh: A Hanoi-born documentary photographer, Hai Thanh keeps a "visual diary" of day-to-day life in Vietnam on his popular Instagram account.
Hai Thanh – Formerly a photojournalist, working at local newspapers and magazines, Thanh has been photographing the city since 2004.
Hai Thanh – "In the early years, I used street photography as a tool to develop my own voice," says Thanh. "The city is an eternal inspiration of mine -- it's kind of like my big house. I have everything here: family, job, friends, foods and love."
Maika Elan: Married to Hai Thanh, Maika Elan is a documentary photographer who tells intimate stories through her lens.
Maika Elan – Born and raised in Hanoi, Elan's passion lies in documenting the everyday struggles of Vietnamese people. "In the Old Quarter of Hanoi, people eat in the alley, sleep in the alley, whisper in the lane, all of the smells and laughter are all staying in the lane," she writes. "My photos describe the people, the living space, the joy and sadness at the end of the alley in the heart of Hanoi -- where it all began."
Maika Elan – Elan has won numerous awards, including a World Press Photo award for an image depicting an LGBT couple in bed -- part of Elan's "The Pink Choice" documentary project. Her intimate "Inside Hanoi" and "Like My Father" photo series were also well received.
Maika Elan – "I love to take picture in the small alleys," she says. "They look very small and dark from outside, but when you walk in, its very long and often open up to stairways or kitchen, with lots of sunshine. It always takes me by surprise."
Bien Thuy Nguyen: Photographer Bien Thuy Nguyen grew up in a small village, just outside of Hanoi. The Instagrammer -- who shoots under the moniker "Bien on the Road" -- relocated to Hanoi eight years ago.
Bien Thuy Nguyen – Now a full-time liaison officer at the UN International School in Hanoi, Nguyen snaps photos while traveling or wandering around Hanoi.
Bien Thuy Nguyen – "I got my first camera in 2008," he recalls. "I was shooting in my free time with friends ... I fell in love with Hanoi and all its charms. All the historical and cultural layers inspire me."
Bien Thuy Nguyen – "The people and their daily life in the city are like watching a film -- lively and interesting," he says. "I take photos of whatever happens on the streets, or at secret corners, quiet alleys, beautiful architecture such as temples, churches, castles... of course coffee shops too."
Lan Chi Tran: A Hanoi native, 30-year-old Lan Chi Tran has a deep connection with her hometown -- evident on her vibrant Instagram feed, where she has 9,000-plus followers. Tran pursues photography as way to relax -- even in busy Hanoi, she finds peace through her practice.
Lan Chi Tran – "I always feel calm when being at these places," she says. "The streets are always crowded but when you are there, it's somehow very quiet and peaceful."
Lan Chi Tran – Tran says every corner of Hanoi is inspiring -- from coffee shops to trees, people and architecture.
Linh Pham: With more than 70,000 followers on Instagram and a career as a photojournalist and documentarian, Linh Pham is among Vietnam's most talented photographers.
Linh Pham – As a local, Pham says he knows many "backstage" shots and alternative angles to show Hanoi from a fresh perspective."I love photos with layers -- the kind of photos that make you stop and look more closely to really figure out what's going on in the scene."
Linh Pham – "On the surface (Hanoi) looks old, chaotic or plain dirty, but with patience and empathy, one can surely find beauty and order in every frame," he says.