Amanda + Adam by chelsie burkhart

I met Amanda through a mutual friend (who recommended me) and GAH I love this gal! If there was a way to radiate on your wedding day this girl DID IT! I can’t tell you how amazing Amanda looked, she shined (excuse my cheesiness) BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND! You could absolutely tell she was smitten for this day and about the amazing man she was about to vow your life to. Adam and her are authentic and real plus they seriously know how to PARTY!

We really lucked out with the weather! It was calling for showers all day but the rain definitely passed and they were able to do the outdoor ceremony they had planned. The French Creek Golf Club is a quaint cottage feel venue that was absolutely stunning. I’m happy they chose me to document such a special day and was fortunate to witness all the happy vibes. Cheers to Amanda + Adam!

Molly + Aaron by chelsie burkhart

Hey Guys! Its been a hot second since i’ve posted a blog post…because you know LYFE.

Back in June 2018, Molly & Aaron [ who by the way are A D O R B E S ] wed in a catholic church and partied at a country club down the street. I had the pleasure of photographing their “classic” engagement session in 2017 near downtown Cleveland. If you scroll through my insta feed you’ll know what I mean by classic. This girl wore the most killer LBD!

Anyways, i got to know Molly & Aaron as a sincere sweet genuine couple who really loves each other. They are the type that you see in a chick flick and make you want to cry because they are so cute and cuddly! It was amazing to see them tie the knot and party with their closest friends and family.

Congrats to these two and many decades of a happy marriage!

Wedding Planner: A Charming Fete

Training while Pregnant by chelsie burkhart

Being pregnant is hard work. This is my first pregnancy and I honestly had no idea what to expect. I of course have friends and family who have all gone through it and  from general knowledge we all know how pregnancy works BUT you’ll never really know until you go through it yourself #TRUE!?

Everybody's experience is slightly different which is why there really is no cookie cutter plan out there. So, I’m going to go through my experience of trying to hit the gym during pregnancy. First however, I need to roll back to what I was doing BEFORE pregnancy.

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My body literally right before pregnancy! To be 100% honest, I had found total balance the year prior to getting pregnant. Coming off of a few years of competing in BB, the struggle to accept a body other than shredded to the seams can be a challenge. I ate what I wanted (still mostly clean food), exercised how I wanted, and didn’t obsess over anything. I felt free from constantly tracking macros in my head! 

My general training regime:  

3-5days/week

20 min low intensity incline walking

3 rounds of 9 exercises 8-20 reps

I sat between 94-97lbs  

 

Favorite exercises: 

Lower Body: Squats (all variations), lunges, 3 way lunge, ball leg curls, curtsy back lunge, glute bridges, TKEs, clam shells, single leg squat, RDL, Single RDLs, step ups.

Upper Body: DB press, Lateral raises, around the worlds, triceps rope ext, triceps dips, incline push ups (for preggo), lat pull downs, band row, BOR, incline chest press.  

 

So what about during pregnancy!? 

This isn’t everyone’s experience but I feel like I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy. The hardest thing I got hit with was fatigue. I had a little nausea in my first trimester and a little into my second but what really kicked my butt was being full blown exhausted! It was really hard for me to do anything other than work, eat, sleep, and repeat. Some days I would get up, eat a bowl of pasta (oh I craved SO many carbs) and go back to bed. 

I feel like my body was telling me, ugh Chels, your body needs more fuel. You’re making a baby!! Even though they say your body only really needs about 300 more calories a day (again such a cookie cutter rule) I feel like my body truly needed more. Probably because I’m used to eating X amount of food and it probably wasn’t enough to help support growing a baby and feel energized.  

First Trimester Training

On the days I felt more energized I would go to the gym and do my 20 minutes of low intensity cardio and sometimes that would be all that I did. Other times I would add a few exercises in there but for the most part this whole trimester wiped my body out. 

Diet

It was hard seeing the scale go up and not be as active. It honestly gave me a little bit of anxiety to watch my body transform, especially because I craved a lot of foods I wasn’t used to eating (Pasta, pizza burgers, ect, general tsos) I only ate those things in moderation but they were still somewhat foreign to my body. 

 

Second Trimester

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This is the trimester that most people get their energy back! I was one of those lucky few. My exhaustion and nausea subsided a few weeks into the second trimester. Luckily I was able to get to the gym more often during the first few weeks. Something that I had started to notice though was I was getting a lot of round ligament pain in my lower right side every time I would do any type of cardio. I tried doing different intensities and nothing seemed to subside the pain so I cut it off all together. 

If I wanted to walk, I would take our golden retriever Theo on a 15 minute walk to at least mentally feel like I did anything!  

Training 

mobilizing

1-2 days/week

6-9 exercises 8-12-20 reps  

Favorite exercises: 

Lower Body: sumo goblet squat, ball leg curl, TKE, step ups, single leg RDL, RDL, single leg squat, lateral lunge, glute bridge. 

Upper Body: band pull aparts, band row, shoulder press, lateral raise 3 way, tricep dip, elevated push ups, lat pull down, chest press (until mid second trimester)

Austin helped me quite a bit during this trimester when I did have time to train. I traveled A LOT during this trimester so days at the gym from 18-28 weeks was few and far between. Sometimes I would do a Kettlebell and band circuit at home between editing sessions. If I did go to the gym, Austin would write me a workout so I didn’t have to think about it!

Diet 

My cravings pretty much subsided during this phase. I craved a lot of fresh foods and salads. So, even though I wasn’t able to train as much I tried to make healthy choices now that my usual pallet was back.  

 

3rd trimester

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My third trimester has actually been pretty good. I’ve honestly trained the most in this trimester! Mostly because I’ve actually been home and work slows down as winter approaches. Although I’ve never seen such a high number on the scale I know that it must be what my body needs to grow a little human inside! Plus, the third trimester requires the most growth! The baby can grow up to an OZ/day

Other than the holidays my diet has stayed pretty consistent and I’ve been training a couple days a week. I know, it’s not a lot! But,it’s better than nothing! My intensity is the lowest of all trimesters because my body can only handle so much. If I go hard training,my body maxes out the next day and wants to hibernate. So, I’ve really took it easy so I can maintain balanced energy levels throughout the day. 

Training

2-3x week

6 exersises, 3 sets each 

10-20 reps

Upper body: BOR, band row, seated lateral raises, seated shoulder press, pull aparts, band shoulder press, tricep rope, tricep dip. 

Lower body: Sumo KB squats, single RDL, band lateral lunge, single leg squat, band glute push aparts, walking lunges, hip addiction. 

Diet 

My diet has been pretty consistent with my second trimester. I eat a lot of rice, potatoes, chicken, lean turkey, lean beef, and veggies!  oh, and also a few breadsticks here and there with dinner! 🤪

2nd trimester vs 3rd

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I’ve gained about 25-27 lbs give or take all together. Hopefully after little Joie arrives we can get her on a schedule and get back to training normalcy. It’s pretty rough seeing no definition anywhere in my body BUT I (and Austin)  Constantly remind myself that I’ve been pretty healthy and as long as I’ve been healthy, Joie should be healthy! Baby’s health comes first! Going to extremities to make your body super duper lean during this phase of life is probably not safe! 

Take aways:

Everybody is different! Listen to your body when training! Are you getting extremely exhausted after working out? If so, do less intensity next time! Are you eating enough or indulging too much? I truly believe your body tells you what it needs. Listen to your bodies cues! 

Dont overdo yourself. You are creating a human inside of you and that is a huge responsibility and takes a lot of energy! If you’re used to constantly training and feel like a failure because your capacity isn’t as high, DONT SWEAT IT! If you do less more often you may find yourself in a balanced state!  

Don’t feel defeated when you see other pregnant women running half marathons and doing olympic derivative training. Odds are, those mommas have that as their typical routine and have been doing that type of training for a while. I stuck to things my body is USED to doing. Could I have ran? Probably! But honestly I’m not used to running so why would I start when I was pregnant? Plus, that round ligament pain was not fun for me! I kept my workouts simple and similar to what I did pre-pregnancy! Had I added more cardio in my routine I may be in a little better shape, but I’m trying not to sweat about it too much! 

Dont have time? Buy a Kettlebell and some bands! You can create a 15 min workout at home. Easy Peazy!

For those of you that struggle with body image throughout pregnancy I’m right there with you! But hang in there, the most important thing is you’re being healthy for you AND your baby! Don’t be too hard on yourself 💛

Alex + Billy by chelsie burkhart

::::Alex + Billy::::

Wowza, this couple is on fire! They decided to get married on a hill overlooking Seneca Lake. The day was absolutely gorgeous! It may have been a little toasty, but we really couldn't have asked for a better day in the beginning of June! 

The girls were able to get ready at a beautiful farmhouse down the street from the ceremony location and the guys hung out at the house on the ceremony property. The morning was full of those jittery exciting nerves because well, these two were about to speak their own vows to each other (insert tears here) I love it when couples do this! It makes it special and even more intimate when couples are able to get in front of people and vow in their own words why they love each other and what they are going to vow to be for one another for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES! You can tell these two are the real deal and that they adore each other. Life is crazy and we all feel so blessed when we find the soul we are supposed to be with! It makes it so fun and sweet to be able to capture that! 

After these two kissed and sealed the deal, we took some portraits and then head to O'Hayes farm for a semi-casual reception! They had a good country meal (in my opinion THA BEST food) followed by lots of drinks and desserts. 

Thanks Alex + Billy for having me capture your special day and I wish you guys so much happiness in the many many years you'll spend together! <3 <3 

Brandi + Ben by chelsie burkhart

BRANDI + BEN

AHHHH THESE TWO!

I will have to admit, these were two of the most crazy fun people to photograph! What Bride wouldnt go crazy if her HUSBAND tackled her on the ground in her wedding dress?? Not this one! The love that these two share is undescribable. You can feel the love for each other in the air.

They both chose to write their own vows....gaaaawsh it always makes me cry. Expecially when the groom starts getting all worked up! Excuse me while I wipe away tears on my sleeve as I capture their moments.

Congrats you two! <3 ya XOXO

Olivia's in home 6 month session by chelsie burkhart

Hey Guys!

OHMYGOSH!  I finally got to meet Olivia this past week!  I was so excited when I heard the news, I couldnt be happier for these two! I photographed Neely+Dans maternity photos this past fall, and had such a great time. I was excited when they got ahold of me so I could meet the little girly girl!

Neely decided to do an in-home session of Olivia! I'm tellin ya, these sessions are so nice and relaxed at home! The babes are already comfortable in their own home and really allows for organic smiles and laughs.

My favorites are of her and her animals! Love it, isnt she so cute!?!?

Ricky Stelzer by chelsie burkhart

By her parents surprise, little GIRL Ricky  (name taken after her Grandpa)  was Born on January 21, 2018. 💕 9 lbs 3.5 oz!

It is one of the best feelings seeing the love and happiness a child can bring to a family. Its even more special when it happens to one of my closest friends! I cant even describe the feeling of being able to capture moments like this for people so close to me. Rory and Jake are a couple of the most calming, down to earth, and loving people I  know. (I'm biased because I feel that way about all of my closest friends) but seeing her and Jake hold and cuddle Ricky...staring into her eyes...radiating the joy and love through their presence with her, WOW. That, in my opinion,  is what life is about. Having the blessing of god, to be able to bear a child, and pray for health and happiness. Being able to hold a little one in your arms and know that God gave you this blessing and that you're able to experience a deeper love that you've never been able to fathom before, its incredible to see.

Thank you Rory & Jake for having me photograph Ricky in her first few days welcomed into the world. I love you guys so much <3

Jessica + Derek Toadvine by chelsie burkhart

GUYYYS! This wedding was  like a fairytale!!

I met Jessica + Derek last year during our engagement session and let me tell ya, they are are photographers dream.  Meeting people who are as beautiful on the inside as they are outside is rare <3. Working with these two was so easy. They are laid-back, genuine, and humble.

Their wedding day took place at Rustic Acres Farms. One of the coolest things about this wedding is that Jessica's mom did most of the styling & florals. Her brother made alot of the centerpieces himself, and the rest of the family helped execute the whole thing! They spoke their own wedding vows under a wispy willow tree in front of their closest friends and family. We couldnt have asked for a better August day with mid 70's temperatures and a clear skies!  They shared a family style dinner on the wrap around deck of the venue. I watched as they laughed and stared at each other for the first time as husband and wife. I can tell how much these two love each other by those small intimate moments. It's like those cinematic moments where there are tons of people around, so much going on, yet the only person that the other see's is their loved one.  That is exactly how Jessica + Derek were and have been each time i've met them. Its was so much fun to work with them and i'm so excited they chose me to be their photographer.

How sweet they are <3 <3

Venue & Food: Rustic Acres Farm
Dress: Bridal Beginnings
Flowers:
 

The Huddles by chelsie burkhart

Tis the season for snow! What a perfect time of year for those cozy in-home sessions. I was so happy Kaleigh had got in contact with me to do her newborn, Sadie's photos. I had photographed CJ's newborn three years ago! Wow, time flys by. Its always awesome to see how much the kids have grown and blossomed into their own little person. In this instance, CJ and his little sister look like identical twins as babies! Its basically CJ with a bow!

If you're on the brink about an in-home session, take a look at this gallery! I personally love the feel of how natural and organic in-home sessions can be. :)

Alyse + Jordan by chelsie burkhart

Ahhhh December Weddings! Sunsets in winter are always so crisp and beautiful! We got really lucky for good temperatures and a beautiful sunset! Alyse was one of the most relaxed brides i've ever had.

We started the morning with the girls, Alyse's friend did the girls makeup (she was THE BOMB). I mean, seriously. Really no edits on the face and they all looked flawless <3! All of the girls were so calm and relaxed. This group was really the go-with-the-flow type and made the day so much more fun!

The ceremony + reception was held at Pritchard Laughlin in Cambridge, Ohio. It was really cool how they split the room up. Ive photographed multiple weddings here and it was the first time i've seen a set up like that. Theo's of Cambridge did all of the event styling and really made a special atmosphere to walk into.

As for Jordan + Alyse... They were so stinkin' cute together! I love working with relaxed couples who are just in love and want to get married. That's what the whole day is about anyways! It was so good to be apart of a wedding where I felt that's all they wanted to do! Congrats to Jordan + Alyse and best wishes for a happy and fufilled marriage <3!