Born in 1978 in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso from Ivorian parents (Ami and Drissa). Yacouba Tanou grew up with the Western winds in the Ivory Coast. His dad was a Chef de Cuisine for French and Dutch families (Lawyers and Professors), in Abidjan and Gagnoa, and his mother, a small business owner, and Accountant for the Direction des Examens et Concours (DECO) a branch of the Ministry of Education. Together they encouraged his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit at an early age.

In 2003 at age 25, Yacouba moved to Washington, D.C. (the place he now calls home with his wife, Leah, and new baby boy, Eli). His two younger siblings attended international graduate schools in Casablanca and Marrakesh Cities, in Morocco, before establishing residency in Paris, France, and in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. 

Yacouba's photographic career started around 2006 as an effective tool for visual communication after seeing the work of Arnold Newman, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Richard Avedon. His diverse background affords him versatility, as he continues to perfect his craft like many artist-photographers, to complement magazine articles, business reports, and book projects.

He has photographed over a dozen of stories for the Washington Post Magazine, and his work has been featured in the Washingtonian Magazine, the British Airways Magazine, the American Society of Picture Professionals, and has won accolades at international photo competitions.