Bravely Speaking to the Robinson Community

Valor Dictus

Technical Artist Michael Sherburne

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Though senior Michael Sherburne is far from the school’s first student photographer, he may very well be the first to innovate his work through self-built technology.

“I first taught myself how to build machines when I was in sixth grade because I like engineering,” Sherburne said.

“I started working with robotics and went from there.”

Sherburne said he started Modern Day Sensations, his new business, as a way to blend his engineering and photography talents, as well as to earn a profit in the process.

Pointing out his photo of a strawberry being obliterated by an airsoft gun, Sherburne repeated how his hobbies complement each other.

“Something that stands out about my photography is that I’m also an engineer, so I can combine the two fields to take some high-speed photos,” Sherburne said.

“For one of my high-speed photos featuring a strawberry, I assembled a high-speed photography trigger out of some parts I already had. I made a censor that looks at sound levels, so when you’re using a loud airsoft gun, you can go ahead and shoot something for a photo. This creates noise, triggering a flash in the machine and imprinting the image to your camera if you’re in a dark room.”

Sherburne said he was first inspired to begin Modern Day Sensations in 2010, after peers praised the photos he snapped with his first camera.

Detailing the process of founding and marketing his business, Sherburne commented that it was a challenging, yet valuable experience.

“First, I started up a Facebook page to get fans, then over time, I started to get a fair number of followers, who could buy digital prints from the SmugMug account I linked to Facebook,” Sherburne said.

“You have to do a lot of marketing for your business when you start it up so, eventually, people will come to it. You also have to register with the state and tax laws and those things; it’s always good to play it safe and make money and feel good about it.”

Though he said he recognizes Modern Day Sensations will require further marketing, Sherburne is confident in his business’ future because of the reactions his machinery-based photos have received thus far.

“I’m pretty confident about the future of my business in that I’ll be able to continue getting my brand name out there,” Sherburne said.

“It’s not always easy, but my confidence is renewed whenever people come up and say ‘Sherburne got the eye.’”

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Bravely Speaking to the Robinson Community
Technical Artist Michael Sherburne