Sipping with Moms ~ Beth Genengels

We are back with our monthly series (you can check out our April post here) and this month we are featuring another gorgeous and talented mom…

Beth Genengels

Beth
photo credit Ron McKinney

HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE AND WHAT ARE THEIR AGES?

I have three kids, Two boys, ages 11 and 8 and a little girl who is amazingly just like me. She will be five this summer. We also share an astrological sign, I kind think that’s part of it.

{MyBAB Comments: hmm, you might be on to something} 

WHAT IS YOUR 9 TO 5?

Admittedly, I wear many hats, so my 9-5 changes almost daily. On a client day, I get the kids off to school and head straight to the studio. I prep in whatever means necessary depending on my location. In studio my clients are scheduled typically for 10 am and/or 1 pm. On location sessions are ever changing, so some days I am off to the city and others to local companies. The second Wednesday of every month, The Professional Photographers of Northern Illinois (a Professional Photographers of America affiliate) meet in Aurora for education, growth and networking. The association is very special to me and I have been on the board for several years, currently serving as President. On meeting days, I know I’m gone from 8-8, if not longer, so my husband ups his game and has been very supportive.

Having three kids, and being present is important to me. I am gone several weeks of the year for photography, so I try and make the honor roll assembly and special masses when I can. It’s really a blessing to live, work and have the kids all in the same town.
With my profession, it’s rare that the “9-5” actually ends at 5. Ordering appointments often happen in the evenings and classes are held at the studio, 4105 W. Crystal Lake Rd, Mchenry on weekends.

{MyBAB Comments: hard-working momma right here} 

YOU WERE MCHENRY COUNTY MAGAZINES COVER STORY, TELL US HOW IT FELT

That was fun! Huge thanks to Ron McKinney for the photos and Andi and Calvin at Mario
Tricocci, Crystal Lake for making me look my best! I certainly did not expect this to happen, but it was a huge honor to share an issue with so many other talented women. I say that I’m not often on that side of the lens. In truth, I occasionally am, but those are lighting tests or model stand-ins and those photographs never go anywhere! Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. It was probably a really good thing. I get to experience what my clients feel when I’m photographing them.

{MyBAB Comments: check out the feature here!}

DESCRIBE MOTHERHOOD IN THREE WORDS

Exhausting, Rewarding, Awe-inspiring

{MyBAB Comments: AGREED!}

BEING A WORKING MOM WITH LITTLE ONES, HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANIZED

Orgawhat…..oh yes, organized. As much as I try, disorganization often gets the best of me. I’m really working on this, in fact, it has been top of mind lately. I recently downloaded the calendar app from Readdle for my iphone. I haven’t been this excited about an app in a long time. The app syncs with your google and ical and incorporates a task list into the calendar app. It’s also much easier to view at a glance. The weekly view is my favorite. This is the first year I have been using my phone for my calendar. In the past, I preferred a monthly and daily view planner (specifically the day designer, which I still love.) Readdle calendar is the closest match I have found in an app.

{MyBAB Comments: checking out this app now!} 

DO YOU HAVE A MOM HACK OR TIP YOU CAN SHARE WITH US

I love my instant pot. I didn’t jump on the wagon early on, and even when I did, I didn’t love it. Once I took some time to learn how to use it, it made life exponentially easier! I have a few good go-to’s that we love and they are super fast.

{MyBAB Comments: Wen here – the instant pot has been sitting in my amazon cart for a while, still on the fence}

PICTURE THIS – YOU’RE HOME ALONE, WHAT SERIES ARE YOU BINGE WATCHING?

Binging shows happens more than I care to admit. It’s easy to throw on a series while editing and get through quite a few episodes…or seasons! Lately I have been trying to listen to books on audible. I have just finished “Big Magic,” by Elizabeth Gilbert and “The 10X Rule,” by Grant Cardone. My current read (or listen?) is “All the Light We Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr. My favorite series, though, are always historical dramas; Outlander, Victoria, Poldark and so on. If anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

{MyBAB Comments: We’re so behind on our reading…}

WE LOVE DISCOVERING NEW BEAUTY PRODUCTS, WHICH ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

When I travel, I find the air inside a lot of hotels is very dry. Recently, I picked up a small trial size of the Freeman Hydrating Manuka Honey & Collagen Cream Mask from Nordstrom Rack. I returned from speaking at The Reset Conference in Indianapolis and had the McHenry County Magazine shoot scheduled for the following day. I hit the store on my way home and applied the mask that night. It was magical. I have since purchased the full size. It’s a steal at $9.00.

{MyBAB Comments: Looking this up now…we’re product junkies}

WHAT IS YOUR MOST LOVED ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET RIGHT NOW?

My favorite item isn’t actually in my closet, but my jewelry box. I subscribe to Fab Fit Fun and I have yet to be disappointed with a box. My spring box included these awesome tassel earrings by Ettica. I find myself wearing them all the time. I feel like the seasonal box keeps me relevant without having to try too hard.

{MyBAB Comments: we haven’t tried this box yet!}

WHAT IS YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?

Burbon, Vodka or Red Wine… I don’t discriminate much. Unless it’s gin… blech.

{MyBAB Comments: With you on the gin…blech} 

WE KNOW MOM TIME IS PRECIOUS, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE SOME ME TIME?

I’m a very tactile person. I like to touch and feel. So, for me, I love to walk in town or through antique stores and explore. I don’t necessarily buy things, but I am intrigued. Everyone places value on different things. I am extremely drawn to history, so when I walk through an antique store it amazes me that more things are not behind glass. The stories these objects hold and where they came from is fascinating. Its hard to convince the kids to come with me, and even if they do, It usually is a hands off day for them, and not much fun. My middle son was sick from school one day and I had to shop a vintage item for an upcoming shoot. He spent three hours with me at the Volo Antique mall and didn’t complain once. He was intrigued and it was so much fun for me. He asked questions and made up stories about items. We left with a velvet hat he picked out and wore everywhere for the next few weeks. He’s pretty awesome.

{MyBAB Comments: Such a fun way to spend some me time}

MONEY IS NO OBJECT, WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WANT?

Usually the answer to that is photography equipment. But if I think even bigger, it would be an oceanfront home in Hilton Head, NC. We spent Easter there two years ago and dream daily about going back. We plan to park the airstream out there at Skull creek as soon as we can for a week or two.

{MyBAB Comments: sounds amazing, we’ll take one of these too!} 

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU’RE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW

In my business, I am booking summer and fall and am very excited about offering my
underwater sessions to clients for the first season.

Personally, We have our airstream to work on. The kids want to help, which is exciting. We built the home we live in as well, and I cherish the memories of my kids building fireplace mantels with my husband. I am excited for us all to get involved. I have the design done and much of it shopped for, but we are a bit ahead of ourselves. We need to figure out the ducting, plumbing and electrical before we can get to the fun part.

{MyBAB Comments: we cannot wait to see this project completed!}

SINCE WE FOCUS ON CHICAGOLAND – KIDS ACTIVITIES, FAMILY FUN, AND DATE NIGHTS, WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO PLACES FOR EACH?

Kids Activities- We have done the tour of usual kids places around here, but I’ve really wanted to head up to Old World Wisconsin and check that out. If not there, the Naper Settlement. When my kids were littler, we enjoyed the Tree House in Lake Zurich. It’s nice that they are a little older now, because they are enjoying museums more than before. We had a great time and would highly recommend the Public museum in Milwaukee if you get a chance.

Family Fun- We just purchased a 1972 Airstream Sovereign that we have gutted and are in the process of renovating. I’m hoping this allows us the opportunity to escape on Summer weekends with the dog and kids. We stayed at the Timber-lee Family campgrounds in East Troy last year and the kids loved it. We hope to make it back to Hilton head soon and up to EAA’s Airventure with the family. Locally, we love the Woodstock square in general. My favorite are farmers market days when they have live music. In the past we have packed a picnic and really enjoyed ourselves. My husband and I will often grab the spicy olive pita from Expressly Leslie’s.

Date Nights- While we love making it out to Chicago, it’s a hike. Instead, we often try and
patron local establishments. One of our favorites is Mixteca in Woodstock. They have the world best margaritas. I recommend the ginger margarita and the barbacoa nachos. We make dinner out of them. We also tried Door Dash a few months back. That was a favorite recent date night of mine. We camped out at my studio and ordered in from Bimbos. Door Dash had it there in less than an hour and the studio is always stocked with wine. It was nice to have some peace and quite away from the rest of our tribe for a bit.

{MyBAB Comments: great idea on Door Dash and we agree on the Mixteca marg’s – yum!}

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU IF THEY WANT TO SEE YOUR WORK OR SCHEDULE A SESSION

The best place to contact me is through my website at www.bethgenengels.com. I’m also on Instagram @beth_genengels_photographer and Facebook. If you are interested in learning more about your camera or photography, we have been teaching classes in studio. There is a Facebook group for education and classes will be posted there, The Studio at 4105 Education.

Thank you oh so much Beth for sipping and sharing with us!

We’ll introduce you to another rock star mom next month!

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