Sniped Shanghai Street Shots: Top 9 of ’09

I’ve had three obstacles thus far in putting together a Top 9 of ’09 list like this (I kind of did it):

1 – I’ve only been in China for 12 weeks and thus don’t have that many great pictures to choose from.
2 – I’ve literally been sniping shots (stealing you could say perhaps) of people on the streets because no one will ever pose when I ask them… they are highly suspicious of us foreign folk, which has made it difficult to get perfectly posed pictures.
3 – I’m usually trying to take pictures as inconspicuously as possible while walking on the street, riding the bus, in a cab, or on my roommate’s scooter. So please, if the pictures are off-centered or blurry, don’t judge me… the pictures are ranked by considering both the subject’s style/stance and the quality of the photo.

…So I’ve finally edited it down to the Top 9, but this post might spoil some later posts because the pictures are released before they are really contextualized. But it’s the New Year soon, so there are many, many new pictures to be sniped of otherwise unwilling subjects, but just to forewarn, you will see some of these pictures again.

Honorable Mention – She would have made it into the Top 9, but I spotted a Burberry scarf in her outfit unfortunately. But I know that it’s at least real because it’s not conspicuously the central piece of her look. Rather, it’s blended as a part of a beautiful composition, and I have to give her props for making the world’s single most offensive piece of clothing almost bearable:

Number 9 – This guy really isn’t Number 9… I just thought I should start off the list with a strong and interesting look to entice you to read further, and this guy has style to the max. His layers are great, the colors are beautiful, and the composition is perfectly and quirkily accented by the silly shape and color of the hat:



Number 8 – Jean jackets are back! Or rather, they never cycled out of the Chinese fashion system. We are still a couple of decades behind here, so I could understand one or two jean jackets here or there. But there are MANY, and they are EVERYWHERE (as I’ll blog about later). What’s worse is that jean jackets are inevitably paired with, how creative!, jeans. But he looks like a working boy, as he’s obviously a bit tired, so his jean suit is probably uber functional:


Number 7 – Here’s a construction worker with a loosely tailored and semi-disheveled look that I thought was super cool. If you were working as a construction worker, wouldn’t you want to still achieve some amount of individuality from the billions and billions of other construction workers in China?? I’ve never seen an anyone in such a profession in China so interestingly dressed, but the proportions, colors, cuts, and styling are all there. Appropriate, but still exceptional:

Number 6 – I love the conspicuousness of this woman’s PJ set… I never knew a pink to pop like that, and what makes this particular ensemble even more special are the heeled boots and cell phone she’s sporting around with her stroller:

Number 5 – So poised, yet not posed… this young gentleman has interesting layers and proportions, as well as nicely composed colors.

Number 4 – I always find people on the street wearing super interesting uniforms… an interesting factoid when you consider the country’s recent sartorial history. Anyway, this maiden clad in all white gets the Number 4 spot for her cute haircut and incredulous stare:

Number 3 – This little girl is ColorBlocking my brains out! She deserves Number 3 all to herself for how cool she looks (and the pose I got was great!), but I’m adding another little girl’s picture right below just for some contrast… I bet the ColorBlocker didn’t dress herself that way, but at least someone in her family had the decency to not dress the little girl in a fake Burberry coat at the tender age of 5:


Number 2 – This old guy has the most endearing smile, and I somehow managed to capture it… and this close up to him too! The iPhone has revolutionized picture/video-taking, because I would never have been able to have gotten this close to someone and sniped this kind of a shot with a regular camera. Anyway, I love his sweater pattern and color combination on top, and he’s dressed appropriately for his age. His personality though definitely is what makes the picture Number 2:

Number 1 – She’s the coolest f’in lady I’ve seen in China. I ran across the street and almost died to get this photo, but it was well worth it. She’s super unique and quirky by Chinese standards definitely, but she’s just chillin’ and doing her own thing with that bright blue bow tie. I think she was as intrigued by me as I was by her, which allowed me to snipe this great shot and expression:

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