heartstory photography text logo in black

Babies in Bonnets™ 2022-2023 

What is Babies in Bonnets™?

Babies in Bonnets™ is a special photography project run by Heartstory – one of Australia’s most awarded and experienced family portrait photographers – for families with little ones aged newborn to approximately 2.5 years old.

This project is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the magic of babyhood with gorgeously styled studio portraits of your baby – and your experience can also include photos of your whole family!

When we have completed all the sessions, we will create a stunning coffee table book, that can be a stunning heirloom for the families in the project, and also available to buy at the conclusion of the project.

This project will also be raising funds for one of Australia’s most important charities: PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) to help parents on the frontline. This is our fourth year running Babies in Bonnets and through it, we have raised almost $50,000 for PANDA!

For every session booked during the 2022-2023 project, we will donate $100 to PANDA!

Families with babies up to the age of approx 2.5yrs (at the time of their session) can apply for a spot.

Check out our previous books below. They’re A4 size, hard cover, with over 120 pages, printed in Sydney. Everyone says they look amazing and we have to admit, we’re pretty proud of them!

Apply for a spot here

act2019 kolenbergk 1

How does it work?

Session times are currently available on weekdays and selected weekends until the end of July 2023, or until all spots are filled.

Heartstory’s natural light photography studio, Suite 104, Loop Earth Building, 17 Market Street, Belconnen, ACT 2617.

$100, due at time of booking

  • A Heartstory portrait session with your baby in our Belconnen studio. We encourage you to include your whole family, as it’s a perfect opportunity to update your family photos! We will spend around 30 minutes on your Babies in Bonnets™ portraits, and then move on to family/sibling photos (see examples below). Total time needed is around an hour.
  • A range of beautiful bonnets in many sizes, for boys and girls, just for this project!
  • Cute toys, props and other accessories to make your photos look amazing!
  • A double page spread in the Babies in Bonnets™ book. One page will be the feature photo of your baby, the other will have your baby’s name, some words from you about motherhood/parenthood and a small family photo or mum/dad & bub photo.
  • A personal appointment following your portrait session where you have the opportunity to purchase images from your session. We have a selection of special Photographic Artwork Packages available for Babies in Bonnets™ participants, which include a complimentary copy of the book and up to 50% off our normal pricing. See more info on pricing & products and ask about the special packages during your phone consult. There’s more info about pricing in the FAQ further down this page. 
  • Your own fund-raising page (on My Cause, set up by us) as part of the Babies in Bonnets community where you can continue to raise additional funds for PANDA via your personal network.
  • For every session booked, we donate $100 to PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia).
  • Photos from the session. Prints, products & digital files can be purchased after your session at your personal purchasing appointment, as described above.
  • The book itself. We are ‘self publishing’ this book, so we are selling copies for $75 each, which is the same price it costs us to produce it. If you purchase one of our Babies in Bonnets™ Photographic Artwork Packages, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book!

Fill out the application form on this page, and we will be in touch to arrange a ‘getting to know you’ phone consultation and then book your session!

Our artwork and our studio

Check out some of the beautiful artwork we produce for our families. We have wall art, albums, simple prints that you can frame yourselves and digital files available. You can also see what our studio looks like.

Family photo highlights

These selections give you a taste of the gorgeous family and sibling goodness you can get a part of your experience with us! We can split your session into two parts: the first part is just for Babies in Bonnets, and the second part is this – family connection, fun and personality! 


Because we love babies! And they look so adorable in bonnets! We love the fun, the unpredictability, the quirkiness and the gorgeousness of photographing babies and toddlers with their families. And we are passionate about using our business platform to support important charities like PANDA because we care about families and making sure they’re supported. Our family has had personal experience with perinatal anxiety and we think what PANDA does is simply amazing!

Every time a session is booked, we will donate $100 to PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia), so you’re involvement directly helps parents struggling with perinatal anxiety and depression. You will also have (at least) one image of your baby in our 2022-2023 book that you can keep forever and pass on to your baby when they grow up! You’ll have a collection of stunning portraits made by one Australia’s best family photographers AND you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase photographs from your photography session and get some amazing art for your home. There’s a very high chance you will fall in love with your images and will want to buy some, so it’s a good idea to budget for that, however it’s not compulsory! We can chat more about this at your ‘getting to know you phone consultation’ which is the first step to getting involved.

We have lots of weekday appointments and some weekend ones too, and you can choose a time that suits your baby’s routine. Sessions are available up until the end of July 2023, unless booked out sooner. PLEASE NOTE: it’s first in first served, so don’t delay applying because you want a later spot. Just jump in, otherwise you might find we’re full.

We will be accepting babies from newborn up to approximately 2.5 years of age. If your bub is just over that, please apply. If you have older kids, you can have your little one star in the book and take full advantage of this opportunity to have the other kids photographed too, and the whole family if you wish!

If you have two babies who fit into the age criteria then firstly YOU ARE AMAZING! Secondly, we would LOVE you to apply. Your babies will be photographed together and separately, but we will likely use a photo of them together for the book. You do not have to pay extra for this.

Your baby (and family) will be photographed by Katie Kolenberg, two time winner of Australian Family Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2017, and co-owner of Heartstory. Katie is a mother of two boys: August (4) and Toby (15) and she loves babies, especially when they’re wearing bonnets. Katie has been a professional family photographer for 15 years and her favourite subject to photograph is babies with their mamas. She also has the patience of a saint with toddlers (although she admits she’s not as patient with her own children!).

Absolutely! We would love for you to take full advantage of this opportunity and we can photograph the whole family at no extra cost!

Yes, absolutely we will give you the opportunity to purchase photographs. We will make lots of beautiful images at your session so we can get something really special and unique for the book, so there will be plenty for you to chose from! Unique photographic wall art of your family is such an amazing investment for your home. At your ‘getting to know you’ phone consultation (before the actual photography session) we’ll discuss our products and pricing with you to see what you might like! You can also get more info about this on our pricing and product page. We have a special set of Photographic Artwork Packages just for our Babies in Bonnets families and they give a 20-50% discount off our normal pricing. If you’ve been contemplating a session for a while, this is a really great opportunity to get more bang for your buck!

We help you do that in person, following your portrait session in our dedicated purchasing room at our Belconnen studio.

You can find detailed info about our products on our pricing and product page. Babies in Bonnets participants will have access to a set of special packages which have been specially designed to suit these types of shoots, based on our previous experience! The starting package is $1000 (regular price $1875) and includes a set of 8 digital files, a matted art print and a copy of the Babies in Bonnets book. We have other packages that include wall art and albums. Most Heartstory families spend between $800 and $3000 on photos. 

Yes! Every family who pays the $100 participation fee will be photographed and feature in the book!

We will make the final decisions just to ensure that the design of the book is balanced, however most of the photos in the 2019 and 2020 and 2021 books were the family’s favourite images!

We will be going to print at the end of winter 2023. All participants will need to pre-order the book prior to completion of the project.

$75 for all participating families, or it will be included in your Photographic Artwork Package if you buy one.


Perinatal Anxiety and Depression affects 1/5 mothers and 1/10 fathers, so out of the 60 families selected for this project, at least 10+ of them will have been touched by this condition. And this includes your photographer. Katie had her second baby at age 42, 11 years after her first. She found that the support amongst health professionals during her pregnancy and after her baby was born was very different to what it was like 11 years previously, in part due to the amazing work PANDA does in supporting and educating perinatal caregivers. She made sure she had an amazing network around her of health professionals specialising in perinatal care. But despite this, Katie discovered she had postnatal anxiety when August was 9 months old and found PANDA to be an incredible resource, especially their online mental health checklist, designed to help parents find out if what they’re going through might be a little more than the stress and exhaustion of caring for a new baby.

PANDA saves lives and provides vital support, which is even more necessary now that we don’t have villages raising our children. And after living and working in Canberra for the past 25 years, Katie knows that it is in this city where so many people move to for work, away from their family and support networks, where services like these become even more important.

Sadly, there is still a stigma around mental illness and new mums feel intense pressure to put on a brave face and get on with it, no matter what might be beneath the surface. As photographers, we meet hundreds of new parents every year and this topic is always on our minds. That’s why we’ve chosen to support this cause via this project. We want to start a conversation, raise awareness and build community while celebrating our beautiful, precious babes.