Exposed! :: How to be a photo superstar ::

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Steve Nash is an unlikely basketball superhero. At 6'3" he is short for a pro and he grew up in Victoria, BC, a spot known more for producing tea shops than basketball superstars.

And yet, Nash fought his way to the NBA Most Valuable Player - twice - and continues to lead the offensive team of the Phoenix Suns basketball team.

So, how did he grow from humble beginnings to achieve so much? He worked hard, had fun and pursued success.

In this edition of Exposed! learn from Nash's career to become photo superstars or photo business superstars.

Support and dreams

Steve Nash's father was a semi-pro footballer in Britain who lived the life of elite sports. This family legacy would have laid the groundwork for Nash's success by showing him vision, coaching his progress and providing moral support.

From a young age Nash knew what he wanted to do. He told his mom in Grade 8 that he would be a star in the NBA. In grade six he wrote about his desire to get a scholarship and to play pro sports.

Having support develops the confidence to set and pursue goals. Whether it's basketball or photography - support leads to good things! If you don't have it - get it. A colleague once told me - "surround yourself with supportive people!"


Nash was clearly obsessed with basketball and the pursuit of excellence.

His younger sister marvelled, "He always told me he was going to [succeed in the NBA] ... I didn't think there was anyway he couldn't."

His brother concurred, "He was just really intense... I remember days when he'd just dribble the basketball to school. He'd play between classes, at recess, in the gym; every chance he'd get, he'd be out playing."

And so it is with photography - a healthy, sustainable obsession will go a long way to getting you where you want to be photographically. What is a 'healthy, sustainable obsession?' Take photos every day. Read, ask, live photography.

Photo Success
Good Practice = Good Photos


As Nash puts it in his Nike commercial, Training Day, "If you wanna be good you've gotta practice."

You cannot become a superstar at anything without investing time. In "Outliers," Malcolm Gladwell refers to 10,000 hours as the time needed to become an expert at something. 10,000 means 40 hours a week, every week, for five years.

As a budding photographer that may seem daunting but it all starts with the first hour. You may never get to 10,000 hour expert status - the point is good practice makes good photos. The more time you invest in pursuing photography the better your photos will be.

Hard work

Nash's Mom said "Whether he'd make it or not you don't know, but I knew he was going to give it a heck of a try, because he works hard for what he gets."

And when dribbling a basketball became second nature Steve started dribbling a tennis ball to make himself better.

Nothing comes easy. Steve Nash worked hard and if you want success in photography, you're going to need to work hard too! That means regular photo attention. Regular equals daily time with your camera.

Every day? Buy a little point-and-shoot and carry it everywhere. Take photos:

Turn your photo brain on every day!


"I have to say I've worked very few days of my life. I used to have to cut the lawn, and when I was in junior high school, I worked at a concession stand at a stadium." — Steve Nash

Hard work is rarely sustainable if it's not fun. Steve Nash loves basketball. To him it wasn't work - it was fun. This is what allowed him to keep up all the hard work - it put a smile on his face. It's what he wanted to do.

And so it is with any pursuit - if you are having fun chances are you will succeed! Make sure photography remains fun. It'll keep you engaged and moving toward your dreams. How do you keep it fun?


Find your passion.
Have fun.
Gobble it up.

Use your photo brain every day.
Find other passionate people to keep you motivated.

Pro Perspective

Photography was all I wanted to do and all I could think about when I started. It drove me and allowed me to accomplish what I needed to break into the working world.

The success I've had in photography and in business comes from the consistent, persistent and overwhelming pursuit of photography. It was hard. I gave up a lot but it's what I wanted.

A mentor told me at the beginning "... Five years - it was five years before I saw a penny!" And his experience came true for me. Remember Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours? That's the same five years my mentor was talking about. It was five years of my time before things started to move. It took that long to get the skills to separate from other new photographers starting their dreams of photo success.

The most successful photographers are not always the ones with the most raw talent but the ones that are driven!

Final Frame

With the right moves you can be a superstar like Steve Nash.

If you enjoy photography let loose...

Take photos. Have fun.