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Secret to Success v1.1

The power of positive thinking and having people who love and support you unconditionally and with no question asked which eventually leads you to completely omit those poking you from time to time is an attitude many misunderstand as a way to success.

To note:  This article is just a mere personal observatory and by no means I am liable for any personal, professional, physical, mental or psychological pain and loss.  

Often we are been told to be surrounded by positive people though I have a question for you to ponder, how do you know who is compatible, when you don't know what traits are not working for you? How do you know what is love when you have not felt what betrayal means? How do you know who supports you when none cheated you?

If you know what it is, this article may not be for you but still read along in case you are open to grabbing a few more pointers to add to your list to watch out for.

There is a thin line between criticism and feedback and on any usual day, I am sure many will not stop for a sec to feel what one should feel rather feel what one wants to feel.

In my understanding, the word "Criticism" is often regarded as negative and demeaning for many and whereas the word "Feedback" is positive and supportive.

To be clear I don't expect anyone under 30 years to really appreciate what is mentioned in this article. 

It doesn't matter whether you are a high-school going student, an intern or a full-time professional be it service or self-employed, the above has and will always be a part of our life as long as we live. Success comes to them who knows when to appreciate, edit and accept it accordingly.

Often your folks don't know the best hence entrusting them with no question asked has its downfalls. They for sure have their set of experiences that do qualify in terms of quality but as time passes the intensity differs and we have no control over it hence being open is the way to go.

Below are a few pointers from my personal experience for you to look out for in anyone whom you do or may cross paths with.


To note: It is a choice you ought to make as per your requirement and environment to suit your living needs and standards. By no means its an imposition rather mere suggestions in case you are seeking a better social life.

My childhood has been quite critical for a decade and two until a few people made me prove wrong, and I am forever indebted to them to do so. An individual with dark skin, afro curly hair and above healthy built led her to go through various experiences which shaped the way she is down the line. A wall she carried for others to maintain a distance from her and was and is a way to protect herself from any further damage. After many years of her desire to be with people who can help her understand better, she comes across whom she needed the most and they eventually guided her to be who she can be at its best.

A desire | wish | passion to meet people, living beings and instances in life who and which can teach one to be it's best is what leads one to alter it's attitude to be wherever it wishes to be is undoubtedly a powerful tool and skill to posses and practice everyday respectively.

In my everyday life, I have come across people who admired my existence and who simply faked it. My job was to analyze the sincerity in their statements and keep them at distance accordingly.

The skill of understanding sincerity in anyone helps in a long run.

Many admired, worshipped with overwhelming compliments simply to be in my good books to take the best in me and eventually part ways when I have nothing to offer is a toxic connection to carry. The moment I feel so I either choose to be distant and avail my presence as per my convenience only or choose to part ways in situations where I suffer from anxiety and worry.

On the other hand, many respected my existence without over showering me with superficiality and they may or may not have anything to ask for, at the end, I felt safe and being myself in their company. The reason being is if they come to me any day bluntly letting me know where I am wrong and how it affected them confirms that they wish me to be a part of them, cause else they wouldn't have cared so (many will simply do so to make you feel miserable).

In today's world, people don't have enough time and bandwidth to invest in any relationship unless it matters to them any way more than anything.

I have difficulties getting along with my folks, the difference lies in the conditioning and the exposure to life. I do admire and am forever thankful to them for providing me with things that helped me to come so far. I also admire all the love and support through our differences doesn't get banished for the same above. The way I see my life and the belief system I have gained in the past many years often challenges them. Yes, they do feel the authority to have control and I only choose to give as and when I like (it is forever a struggle for me).

To note: when I say so, family is the most subjective affair to have in anyone's life and it's up to them how to move along the game to either win or loose and often simply to play draw. Being neutral is often a best strategy to go about.

I remember an instance where my dad brought up a particular trait of mine to me. It so happened I used to ask for a tentative budget one had in mind, anytime anyone called me for work. I don't mean to defend myself though that's what I have learnt in the past few years as and when I started freelancing.

Dad: You know what, I have been listening to your past few conversations and you need to stop asking their budgets, it is not a good way to go.
Myself: Why??? Well that's what I have learned so far from my other colleagues, they do the same. 
Dad: You may feel so but it is not a good way to about it, I repeat!
Myself: Aaah, dad, you don't know how my business worrks... hmm, what do you think what I should do henceforth?
Dad: In-case one asks for your fees, tell them a ball park and let them decide if you fit their bill. It's business you will not earn the best and you will not be underpaid all the time. You will be happy to be paid what you asked for. 
Myself: Ok, what about in-case I severely over estimated as per my client and lost the job?
Dad: That's ok, at least you didn't underpaid yourself and in case the concerned values your skill, it will come back for any further negotiation and that's the client worth the chase.
Myself: Ok, will try to do the same next time. 

I mean no joke and it worked wonders for me, I am happier and more content about my deliverables. My business is doing better and I got the opportunities I always dream for. The value I wished to add in me as an artist and a business person gained many folds and down the line, I have gained the confidence and self-respect I always wished for.

To add to the above my dad will not be the best person to criticize my work and any technical glitch it may have, simply reasoned being he has no experience to have the needed understanding of being the critic I wish for when it comes to photography, design and production.

The Rude ones: I don't know how to explain myself to you better than to tell you the benefits of looking into someone beyond their rudeness. Every now and then we come across those into themselves, rusted monks who have nothing to offer other than #nofilter statements and who very often makes us feel off about ourselves. 
The thing which should make us wonder is why we felt so? Than, why he|she|it said so! if we think hard we will realize what the problem is and it is up-to us to edit it for our own betterment.


After many professional failures, I was desperate to have access to the right people, one of the many secrets to creative business is often collaborating with one who wants you too to succeed and the rest is often been taken care of by itself.

I met people who were sweet, sugar-coated and eventually ghosted me in various forms which led me to confusion and forced me to retrospect whom to trust and not. As a person who had been through enough simply seek one who wished it's well with complete sincerity. Met enough art seekers who wanted me to keep my work to myself for their benefit, had hours-long conversations with people who adored my work but never considered me enough for any assignments, crossed paths who promised opportunities to attain what I always dream for but they never ended up responding to my calls.

I wasted a lot of time with people who acted well enough to make me feel good initially but eventually didn't mean enough or otherwise I was of no concern to them.

(Sincere recommendation to be good enough to those who were not as you never know what is there in coming times unless it falls under no tolerance policy)

In 2019, I decided to freelance as a product stylist apart from photography to enhance my networking ability and eventually met a professional whom I was aware for a long time and I got a call from his production manager seeking my availability and fees, things went through and we met in person and he realized that he knew me. It was a long long day when we finally finished our shoot and ended up with the deliverables. I have heard a lot about him as a producer and his past en-devours and my in-person working experience confirmed my assumption and with no further delay, I wanted to have a conversation in case he wishes to collaborate for any future projects. I was so happy to know when he was all eager and down the line, we ended working on multiple projects. But wait he had more to offer than just being my producer.

The other secret to success is being uncomfortable with being comfortable.

We avoid debates, confrontations and other respective conversations which is meant to alter ones believe system. Ego is what people think is at stake and often misunderstand it with an attitude. 

I had this bunch of images on my website, work from my past commercial projects and they all looked pretty well for many but sadly my portfolio struggled to get a green go for many years. I eventually started to ponder in case I need to edit or do something to bring the change it needed. I do believe in my work and my skill but I was pretty assured I do lack something, an attribute which is stopping my work to surpass the hurdle and finally one day I thought to ask my producer about the same and must say I felt low about myself after long. The conversation we had didn't quite throw me off (well it will do to anyone else if I have to be honest) but whatever he said it was indeed enlightening and eureka I got to know what I was lacking. He was not able to spoon-feed me with the solution but gave me the right amount of magic portion for me to sort the rest.

As I type this I am reworking on my portfolio and I am super excited to say I do binge on a few assignments post-pandemic with not many hurdles when it comes to my photography portfolio.

Yes, I do still struggle with those confrontations from time to time and honestly, I look forward to it as I get to learn so much.

To sum it all up the above, the struggle is still on and the journey to a better myself is an ongoing process. Like anyone and anything, perfection is a myth and not letting self do the mistake is what fools believe.


Hello, I am Shovona Karmakar, a commercial advertising photographer and product stylist. Portraits, Product and Food is my speciality and have had the opportunity to work with various national and international brands, corporate and publishing houses.

Feel free to connect in case of any business queries or simply use the contact form.

We are a cross-functional team, presently based out of Mumbai, India, that provides specialized service in still photography, product | food styling, cinemagraphs, digital content creation and TVC production.

Thank you so much for reading and do visit again for more.


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