First Place—Fine Art
Sasha Shemirani
Sasha Shemirani

Where are you based?
Los Angeles, California.

Where did you attend school?
The University of California, San Diego.

What previous contests or awards have you won?

Have you been published previously?
I’m unpublished.

What equipment do you use?
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF lenses, Apple iMac, Adobe Photoshop CS4.

About This Photograph:
The Floating/Falling Apartment was an idea that came to me on a particular day where I had lost control of certain personal and professional elements in my life. As a photographer, I try to channel my emotions into my work, and I feel that this particular photo is an accurate representation of those timely sentiments. I created a tea party atmosphere and interrupted it with an apocalyptic situation. The contrast between the connotative innocence of a tea party and a cataclysmic event is what I hope makes this photo an effective one. Essentially, it’s an apartment from a high-rise building in New York that has broken off and is now falling to the ground. Each and every element floating around in the photo is intended to be a symbol of a personal trait, memory or event.

The photo has about 15 to 20 layers placed on top of each other. I shot on a tripod, so I was able to easily layer each photo on top of one another. The first layer is simply the main setting with the young model reaching out for help. For the second layer, I placed a fan underneath one of the curtains and shot the curtain flying in midair. I then placed that photo on top of the main photo and erased everything underneath the flying curtain. I used this method with the subsequent layers to get the final product.

I’m grateful for the talented team of wardrobe stylists and makeup artists who made this photo possible. Without their insight and contribution, this photo wouldn’t be a winner in this competition.

To see more of Sasha Shemirani’s photography, go to


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