heartstory photography text logo in black

Canberra Kids '23

a fun photography project celebrating our kids

their uniqueness, diversity, sense of humour, interests, talents, dreams, personalities and relationships.

Imagine having stunning photos of your child that show their true personality

No fake smiles or awkward posing, just who they really are.

If you’ve been thinking about having photos done for a while, this is the perfect opportunity.

And for bonus feels, your participation helps raise money for kids in need! 

What is canberra kids?

Canberra Kids is a photography book project run by Heartstory (one of Australia’s most awarded and experienced family portrait studios) for families with children aged 1-18 years old. 

This project is an amazing opportunity to have beautiful, fun and creative portraits of your child/children that celebrate their personality, interests and uniqueness. And if you would like to include the whole family in the experience and grab some updated family photos, you can do that too!

When we have completed all the sessions, we will design and publish a beautiful hard cover coffee table book called Canberra Kids featuring our favourite photo of each child alongside some fun facts about them, which will be a treasured keepsake for them and their families, not to mention an important piece of social history about kids living in Australia’s capital in 2023!

Scroll down for more detailed information about cost, inclusions & availability. 

LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE! Once we’ve filled all the pages in the book, we will close applications. 

Apply for a spot here

Meet some of last year's canberra kids

How does it work?

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

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

  • A 30-60 minute Heartstory studio portrait session at our Belconnen studio. We encourage you to include your whole family, as it’s a perfect opportunity to update your family photos!  (value $200)
  • A double page spread in the Canberra Kids ’23 book, featuring a standout photo of your child and their answers to our fun questionnaire. (value $100)
  • A copy of the Canberra Kids ’23 book, which will be designed and published at the conclusion of all the sessions early next year. (value $75)
  • A personal appointment (1-2 weeks after your portrait session) with access to exclusive Canberra Kids packages as well as all our regular artwork and products on offer. 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. 
  • Sibling photos will be included as part of the session if all children from one family are going in the book. 
  • The opportunity to include the whole family for no extra cost!
  • $75 per child, due at time of booking
  • Additional children (from the same family and in the same photo session) are $25 each, with their own double page spread in the book, but not including a copy of the printed book (extras can be purchased later if you wish).
  • There is no additional cost to add on family photos or included other children in the session who aren’t going in the book. 

The photos taken on the session are not included. At your purchasing appointment you will see a beautiful collection of photos of your child/ren (and the family if they come along) and can purchase prints, artwork, albums and digital files. Exclusive packages and upgrades are available just for Canberra Kids families! And don’t forget we will be donating 5% of all sales to your charity of choice, to support kids in need in our region. Or, your family/child may wish to nominate their own charity of choice. Find out more about our pricing and products here. 

Fill out the application form on this page, and we will be in touch to 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.

What to expect

Your photographers are Katie Kolenberg and Jeremy Byrnes, two of the most awarded photographers in the Canberra region. Katie is two time winner of Australian Family Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2017, and Jeremy recently Australian Family Photographer of the Year 2023 as well as having previously won ACT Professional Photographer of the Year. They are parents to two boys (aged 5 and 16), are excellent at fart jokes and have been shooting professionally for a very long time – so long that they don’t like saying because it makes them look old! 

How we will photograph your child

Young kids just want to be themselves. That’s all they know! They love it when you enter their world and that’s what Katie and Jeremy love doing as photographers because it’s the best way of capturing their true personalities.

Older kids can take a bit of warming up, which is why we want to really embrace who they are for this project – whether it’s toys, activities, clothing, accessories or other objects, we would love you to bring these to the session so we can capture your child’s authentic self!

Katie and Jeremy know how to quickly build rapport so that children feel comfortable with the process. We want your kids to be excited about this experience and feel empowered afterwards!

We created and ran this project in 2022 and it was one of the most heartwarming projects we’ve ever done. Kids had an absolute ball, with full permission to be themselves and we adored it. The resulting images are charming, quirky, meaningful and unique and we can’t wait to do it again with a whole new group of amazing kids!

How to prepare

We recommend two outfits for kids. One for a truly authentic capture of them (why not let them pick their own outfit?!) and another for some portraits that are a bit more classic and timeless.

If the whole family are attending, you can follow our clothing guide, which will be emailed to you in the lead up to your session. 

Chat with your child/ren about what they might like to include in their session: favourite toys or collections, special clothing or accessories, activities they love, objects that are meaningful to them. Think sports equipment, books, musical instruments etc. Please feel free to chat with us about this if you need inspiration. Or use the photos on this page to get ideas! 

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 Canberra Kids, and the second part is this – family connection, fun and personality! 

FAQ

Because kids are the best people. Doing this project last year was literally the best fun and the resulting images are magical! It’s important to us and our brand and reputation to provide families with amazing and unique opportunities to celebrate their lives. Professional photography is an empowering experience and we love what we do!

Your kid/s get to star in a book! You get amazing, creative and authentic photos that capture your favourite people! 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 weekday and weekend appointments from September to December, and you can choose a time that suits you. 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 kids from 1 to 18 for the book. If you have older kids or a baby under 1, you can take full advantage of this opportunity to have the other kids photographed too, and the whole family if you wish!

Absolutely. We’ve even made it cost effective for families with more than one child – it’s $75 for the first child and $25 each for the other children, as long as they all attend the same session. Each child will get their own spread in the book, but only one copy of the book is included (and you can purchase extra copies later if you wish). 

The owners of Heartstory are Katie Kolenberg and Jeremy Byrnes and they photograph this project. Katie is two time winner of Australian Family Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2017 and Jeremy recently won Australian Family Photographer of the Year 2023. They are parents of two boys aged 5 and 16. Katie has been a professional family photographer for 15 years and Jeremy for 25 years. 

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 would love you to do that! Selling photographs is how we make a living, how we pay our incredible team, and how we’re able to create projects like Canberra Kids. 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 exclusive packages available for Canberra Kids families and they give a 20-30% 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. Canberra Kids participants will have access to a set of exclusive packages which have been specially designed to suit these types of shoots, based on our previous experience! The starting package is $1000 (regular price $1195) and includes a piece of framed artwork, two matted art prints and an option to upgrade to digital files for less than half price. We have other packages that include wall art with multiple images and full digital collections. Most Heartstory families spend between $800 and $3000 on photos. Rest assured we do not hard sell, and we’re fully transparent about pricing and are simply here to provide you with an amazing experience and artwork to adorn your home. We also offer flexible payment plans. 

Yes! Every family who pays the $75 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 2022 books were the family’s favourite images!

We will be going to print at the conclusion of all the sessions, which will be the end of the year. All participants will need to pre-order the book prior to completion of the project. We will keep you informed of progress. 

Extra copies of the book will be $75 for participating families, and you already have one copy included when you book and pay your participation fee. 

Please note

  1. The Canberra Kids book will be published, so you must be willing to give us permission to display photographs of your children in print and online, as part of your involvement in this project. This will include the use of first names in the book and some other details about your child/ren (nothing identifying). Please discuss this with us if you have any concerns.
  2. The charities we have chosen to donate 5% of sales to are Karinya House, Roundabout Canberra, Kids in Care ACT, Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation and Headspace. You or your child/ren can nominate which one of these you’d like your donation to go to, or you may nominate a different charity or organisation that’s important to you!  
  3. The Canberra Kids participation fee of $75 per child and $25 each for additional children is due in full to confirm your booking and is non-refundable.
  4. We are aiming to complete 50 Canberra Kids sessions by the end of 2023. This may result in ONE or TWO volumes of the book, which will go to print in early 2024. This will be confirmed when all sessions are complete.
  5. Your booking will be subject to Heartstory regular terms and conditions, which you can read here or review during the booking process.