Shanghai’s Hottest Celebrity Photographer? A Nine-Year-Old

Sheng Sheng has gained a following for capturing unguarded, authentic moments with celebrities

0 0
4:33 PM HKT, Thu May 30, 2024 1 mins read

At first glance, Sheng Sheng may seem to be your average Shanghai elementary schooler. But the nine-year-old girl actually has a second identity as a celebrity film photographer — and she always shoots on analog film. Since she was in kindergarten, she’s been wandering around Wukang Road and Anfu Road in Shanghai’s former French Concession, one of the trendiest areas in the city. She conducted a street photography project on these streets, using a film camera from her photographer father.

Her adventure into celebrity photography started when she bumped into singer and actress Ouyang Nana when she was out taking pictures. Impressed by Sheng Sheng’s outstanding work, Ouyang got in touch with her later on, asking for assistance in documenting a concert. From there, Sheng Sheng started getting to know more celebrities in the film and TV world, snapping shots of actors like Hu Ge, Leo Wu, Zhou Xun, and Tony Leung Chiu-wai.

Chinese netizens particularly appreciate how Sheng Sheng’s photos seems to capture a more authentic side of their favorite stars. Celebrities appear more genuine and at ease in her images, apparently devoid of any artificiality when seen through the soft color tones and gentle lighting of a child’s perspective.

All Ears

A promo photo taken by Sheng Sheng for the film All Ears (2023).

On the flip side, there are controversies surrounding Sheng Sheng’s photography skills and whether they align with the level of fame she has attained. As with other child influencers in China, there are questions about the role her parents play in in her online presence. Her father Zou Ruipeng (known as J神) is a skilled, somewhat known film photographer, and maintains social media accounts for both Sheng Sheng and her sister Xixi.

However, Sheng Sheng’s supporters maintain that she has her own unique perspective and approach as a child, and has invested significant time and effort in establishing connections and earning the trust of her models. Reflecting on her earlier street photography project, she would occasionally feel disheartened when facing rejection, but she always managed to bounce back with renewed enthusiasm and continue her mission.

Together with her father, Sheng Sheng is continuing to reach out to more celebrities and produce stylish photographs. When asked about her future plans, Sheng Sheng consistently expresses hopeful aspirations for further progress on her photographic journey.

Banner photo of Sheng Sheng with Tony Leung Chiu-wai via her Xiaohongshu.

Join the Conversation
Write comment

Use this time to reassess your life choices