querying aethstetic

The Life of a Manuscript | day one of querying |

querying aethstetic

Oh boy.

So I finally “finished” my book, A HERO’S SECRET, and have begun the scary, scary world of querying to find an agent.

Let’s start off and say I have research quite a bit. I feel fairly confident, but I have never felt SO UNPREPARED. I’m usually a wing it kind of lady, but knowing the plethora of information out there on the internet, I read as much as I could take without psyching myself out.

To start off, I luckily found this nifty little website, pitchwars.org.

This site has a ton of good information as well as a mentorship (Pitch Wars) once a year and a side twitter pitch (#pitmad) four times a year. All of this was created by Brenda Drake and a ton of volunteers help.

So PitMad was yesterday and I tried it.

Basically, you tweet three pitches throughout the day and hope an agent likes your tweet. Other fellow writers can help by retweeting to get you more exposure. It was actually a lot of fun. There are SO many good ideas out there, unfortunately way more than the agents can keep up with.

I didn’t get any agent likes, but a lot of people retweeted me, so confidence wasn’t all lost.

Today, I found a website Manuscript Wish List, which is very nice. You can search for an agent based on your genre/style of book. I searched, clicked on a couple and found a couple I liked. Unfortunately, one was closed to queries (make sure to also check their website for updated info!), but one was open, so I emailed her!

Now I know and expect this to go on for a long time, but I’m already so overwhelmed with that one email, I’m going to stop for the day. πŸ™‚

However, I am excited to move through this and figure it all out. I hope you join me on this adventure! Any advice? Leave it below! I’ll take all the help I can get!


CHAPTERS


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cheers,

jenna-diane.com

engagement session

Olivia & Matt | Engagement Session

This engagement session was so fun! I know Olivia through her older sister (my super good friend), so I was ecstatic when she asked if I’d be her photographer for her wedding and engagement photos.

It was even more exciting when Olivia mentioned she wanted to go to a sunflower field! Those are obviously all the rage during the summer time, but it’s totally justified. We got the most beautiful photos during this session.

Here’s a few more than a few of my favorite.

Olivia and Matt were naturals despite what they may think. I love when couples just have a good time with each other, especially during an engagement session. We love to see the love!

I’m still learning with photography and editing, however, I’m pretty proud of how these photos turned out. I think I’m figuring out an actual editing style, which is neat!

Either way, I’m super excited to stay with this couple through their wedding day next summer. It’s going to be a blast!


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I hope you’ve enjoyed this new style of post! I’m going to start adding in client sessions here that my website links out to. It provides a little more personable look to the sessions!

cheers,

jenna-diane.com

golden hour

Golden Hour

I finally took time to play around with the prime photography time of golden hour. You know, the beautiful light coming off a warm sunset?

I wish I had discovered photography when I was younger. I would have been out to this little pond a lot more. But while my family still lives there, I can enjoy its photo perks when I visit.

Golden hour is a fun time to shoot. While most of these photos display the end of the golden light (and not the best time for portraits), the mood was perfect and exactly what I was going for. Not too often do I have a more create photography idea that actually pans out.

I’m pretty pumped.

I’ve learned that within the hour before sunset, there’s an even smaller window to capture that picture perfect light, so golden hour is a bit deceiving. Either way, I have an engagement shoot tomorrow during the evening at a sunflower field and I can’t wait to use the warm light.

 


MORE PHOTOGRAPHY


 

 

cheers,

jenna-diane.com

My favorite place in the world.

I’m been procrastinating posting because I’ve been using new SEO tricks and they are very intimating, but today I’m ignoring that and showing you my favorite place in the world.

I live in Minnesota in the United States, but my family cabin is right across the border in Ontario, Canada. With the entire world on lockdown because of the pandemic and the US being the shitshow at maintaining it, the borders are closed.

This year would have been the first summer since working like an adult that I could have made it up at least twice if not more. It stinks, but I know its for the health of others (even though it would be like the most socially distanced place we could be).

In honor of the joy that is found there and in my selfish sadness, here are some pictures of my favorite place in the world.

I may have photoshopped a pretty sky in there, but the feeling is all the same.

cheers,

jenna-diane.com
nature photography tips

Nature and Photography |Tips to Improve your Beginner Photography Skills

nature photography tips

Nature photography is the initial way my passion for photography grew.

It’s everywhere for one, but nature is one of the easiest places to be creative. Today, I want to share some tips on how to improve or start you photography journey using the nature around us.

My Tips for Beginners!

1. Zoom in! The photo above was a plant placed in a tiny garden next to a bridge in the city. By zooming in (or rather getting the camera super close to the subject to ensure quality), you will fill the entire frame with the flowers, plants, or whatever nature subject you’re shooting. This opens up the possibilities of what to shoot, but also creates a beautiful photo.

2. If you don’t have a DSLR to get the bokeh (blurry background), you have some options. First, if you have an iPhone, portrait mode will give you a similar effect; however, you have to stand farther away and may lose the ability to do tip #1.

I recommend picking one flower, plant, branch, water feature, etc. to focus on and placing that in one of the “thirds” of the frame. That means mentally dividing the frame into thirds (horizontally and/or vertically) and picking a general area. The photo above shows the middle third going horizontal; however the bigger flowers appear in the left third vertically.

3. Edit. If you have no idea how to edit, most phones have an option to edit right on the photo! To start off, I would play around a littleβ€”A LITTLEβ€”with the contrast. Boost that up a bit, maybe drop the exposure/brightness. You could also sharpen the photo a little. Playing with the colors would be the next step. I almost always warm the tones in my photos.

If all of that sounds like too much, Adobe Lightroom has a free version for iPhone (and I assume others) where you can purchase third-party presets and import them into the app. You will still want to learn the basics of editing. Each time I use a preset, I have to adjust the contrast (down typically) and exposure. It really all comes down to personal preference. My main tip is to not be afraid to edit, but start little by little.


That’s it!

I hope these tips help! I know they are super simple and possibly even common sense, but if you’ve been inching to get more creative with your camera/phone, nature is such a good starting point.

 

Feel free to browse my Instagram for how I personally like to photograph nature. πŸ™‚ Also, leave your tips in the comments! Photography is always a learning process!

cheers,

jenna-diane.com

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more nature photography

 

morning sunrise

sunrise morning

Okay, people do not realize how easy it is to start the day with a morning sunrise. Also, it’s the best way to start the day off well. Beauty and joy right outside the window erases the inevitable tiredness and instinct to stay cozied up under the covers.

I sleep with my window blinds open. Yes, it takes some getting used to in the city, but it’s a wonderful thing to wake up and the room be drenched in deep reds, oranges, and pinks.

What makes it easy to wake up? Once I see the color flooding the room, I jump out of bed for my camera. It’s crazy how fast the vibrancy fades.

I highly, highly recommend creating some opportunities to enjoy a sunrise. I love a good sunset, but man, I’m never disappointed with the morning color and glow.

Ready to watch a sunrise? Perfect.

My main and honestly only tip to make it easier to wake up early is to go to bed early. It helps, I promise. There is no magic way to become a morning person, just go to bed earlier. πŸ™‚ I have been getting up around 5AM to 5:30AM for a little over one year and it is still a struggle, specially because I now have developed the habit of going to bed at 10PM. I started the early morning journey going to bed by 9AM (and sometimes before!).

IF waking up early is not an option, just make the jaunt over to Instagram and search #sunrisephotography. I mean, it totally isn’t the same, but the photography is STUNNING. Actually, any sunrise tag on Instagram will give you beautiful views at any time of the day. Love it for inspiration, but like I said, it’s not the same. πŸ˜‰


|more sunrise morning photography|


cheers!

jenna-diane.com

creativity among the wildflowers

Today, I’m sharing my simple way of using creativity to get out of that pesky rut.

This week was a bit of an off week. Even though when I look back, I was productive. I have only two chapters left of my “final, not final” manuscript edit and I ran two days for the first time in forever.

Still, I felt off. It’s Friday now and I have a fun lake weekend ahead of me, so I know I need to drop those feelings. To me that means being creative. Creativity equals relaxation in my mind.

I love finding quotes, photography, and writing inspiration on Pinterest. That is one of the most common things you will find me doing and one of the easiest ways for me to get out of my head.

So this morning, I searched for a good flower quote or something to title this post that related to my flower photography (something you can find more commonly littered on my Instagram).

Being creative is a simple thing. Most people overthink it. You don’t even need to create something tangible, just put yourself into a rabbit hole of Pinterest or Instagram, full of pretty pictures and words.

The results may surprise you.

cheers,

The Life of a Manuscript

Holy shit, you guys.

manuscript and books

So, I haven’t been doing much of the creative writing part of my blog for a minute. Mostly because I’ve just been trying to figure out life, ya know? But also manuscript the only creative writing thing I felt like I could do was work on my book.

Naturally, I then avoided it at all times.

I have only been able to do one, two pages tops and this sounds maybe not that bad; however, I’m on the third “big edit” (adding in/smoothing out plot lines and character arcs), so I’m literally just re-typing most of it. I printed out the second big edit, made notes on it in a nice pink skinny sharpie with an obnoxious array of blue sticky notes to match, and now I’m re-typing it into Scrivener (holy, life saver program), so it shouldn’t realistically be that hard.

But, I mean, of course it is.

HOWEVER, a switch has been flipped and no, I have no idea why or how, but I currently have four chapters left after doing a chapter A DAY since last week.

I’m finally excited again.

After I finish, I get to read the book like a “normal” person (I say this with confidence even though I know that won’t happen) and send it to my momma, who really will read it like a normal person.

THEN, during that time, I will also be working on my first every query letter, synopsis, pitch, whatever else I need, etc. because we’re going to try and publish this baby.

I found some really nice articles to reference with examples and tips, but I have no idea what I’m doing. So if anyone has any advice, I’d be very grateful; however, I never know what I’m doing in life, so I’m going to do it anyway.

Thanks for reading! Here’s a vintage film preset edited photo of me I found from last fall that I’m including for no other reason than I like it.

cheers,

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island in the city

Island in the City

I’ve lived in walking distance from this little island in the city, or rather the river, for over a year and last weekend was the first time I went… oopsie.

What a not so hidden whatsoever gem, though! A perfect spot for any activity. We saw a wedding photoshoot, a hiphop class, painters, a tiny football game, and a little picnic.

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cheers,

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Walk Along the River

Who knew a river in the city could have such a nice beach?

This weekend, I started the work to create a location guide for my photography clients. I shoot in natural light, so almost always outdoors and typically a client doesn’t have a clear choice on where they want their photos. I figured this would be the easiest way to avoid the back and forth when deciding on a location.

One PDF with a ton of local location photos. So far, I have two locations, haha, and today, I’m sharing a few photos from my fav of the two. πŸ™‚

cheers,

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