Canberra at Home

stories about homes and the lives that fill them

A photography book project proudly brought to you by

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in partnership with

Our mission is to celebrate Canberra families and their homes, and the ways we use our personal spaces to create connection and meaning with the people we love.

What is Canberra at Home?

Canberra at Home is a photography project about Canberra families and how they live in their own unique spaces – their homes. It will feature 50 Canberra families, photographed at their homes by Heartstory’s Jeremy Byrnes and Katie Kolenberg (both national award winning portrait photographers – holding the Australian title of Family Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2017 and ACT Professional Photographer of the Year in 2018).

Families will apply to be considered for the book and successful applicants will receive a Heartstory portrait experience and a double page spread in the book.

When we have completed all the sessions, we will design and publish a beautiful hard cover coffee table book called Canberra at Home featuring photographs from each session. We aim for this book to become an important piece of social history about Canberra and available in bookstores around the territory.

This project is for people who love design, architecture, functionality, family, home, lifestyle, space, creativity, craftmanship and aesthetics.

It’s for you, and it’s for Canberra.

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

How does it work?

We are looking for a diversity of homes and families that truly represent Canberra! We want new homes, old homes, renovated homes and unusual/quirky homes. We want families with and without kids, families with and without pets and multi-generation families. We want families who live all over Canberra. The only requirement is that you love your home and how you live in it.

Sessions will take place at your home in Canberra! It’s also ok if your home is just outside Canberra, if you consider yourself a ‘Canberran’.

  • A Heartstory ‘at home’ portrait session available to book on weekdays and weekends at various times from now until the end of 2024 (unless booked out sooner). (value $300)
  • A double page spread in the Canberra at Home book featuring at least two stand out photographs from your session and a story about your family and home. (value $200)
  • A personal purchasing appointment after your session to review and order your favourite images (should you wish to do so) with $200 credit that can be used on any of our products or collections. (value $200)
  • The option to purchase your own signed copy of the book at ‘cost price’. (Please see below for further details)
  • $250 for weekday bookings
  • $300 for weekend bookings
(value $700, as described above) Full transparency: participation fees will cover the administrative and design costs to run this project, get the book printed and allow us to make a portion of copies available at cost price. We want you to think of it like a kickstarter campaign, with lots of beautiful benefits and bonuses!

The photos taken on the session are not included. At your purchasing appointment you will see a the whole collection of photos from your session with us and you can purchase prints, artwork, albums and digital files if you wish to. We highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity and investing in your very own heirloom artwork by one of Australia’s best portrait photographers! It adds another layer of depth and meaning to your home, and of course, your patronage helps our business give back to the community through projects like this. Find out more about our pricing and products here

Fill out the application form on this page, and if you are successful, we will be in touch to book your session. Your acceptance will be determined by a number of factors including style of home and your story, with our mission being to feature diversity across all areas.

Our products and studio

What to expect

Your photographers are Katie Kolenberg and Jeremy Byrnes, two of the most experienced and awarded photographers in the Canberra region. Katie is two time winner of Australian Family Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2017, and Jeremy won the most recent ACT Professional Photographer of the Year award. They are parents to two boys (a kindergartener and a teenager) and have been shooting professionally for a very long time – so long that they don’t like saying because it makes them look old! Heartstory has been established since 2009 and in that time, has served 1000s of Canberra families with an excellent standard of product and service.

How the session will work

Your ‘at home’ session will be photographed by either Katie or Jeremy. Sessions will go for about an hour, leaving plenty of time to explore different settings in and around your home and get creative. We are mostly guided by the light and the environment to make interesting compositions. We don’t ‘pose’, but we do give direction, prompts or suggestions, in order to help you relax and get the best out of our time with you. We also want to tell your ‘story’ and highlight anything unusual or unique about you, your home and your lifestyle, so it’s important you share as much as possible with us!

How to prepare

We don’t require your home to look perfect or like it’s out of a magazine, however, we do suggest tidying up and removing any major clutter. We also want you to dress as yourselves as you can be. If this is dressed up because that suits your lifestyle and your aesthetic, we encourage that. If it’s super casual, we also encourage that. There are no rules. But we encourage thoughtfulness and intention.

Families accepted into the project will be provided with a Session Guide prior to their session.

Some of our previous books

A few important things to note

  1. Canberra at Home will be a published book with an ISBN and available to purchase, so you must be willing to give us permission to display photographs of you and your family in your home in print and online, as part of your involvement in this project. This will include the use of some names in the book (there are various options as to how we do this) and the suburb you live in. Please discuss this with us if you have any concerns.
  2. The Canberra at Home participation fee of $250 or $300 per family is due in full to confirm your booking and is non-refundable.
  3. We aim to complete 50 Canberra at Home sessions by the end of 2024 and have a print run ready and available for purchase in early 2025. Participating families will be kept informed of progress as we move through the project.
  4. The retail price of the published book is yet to be determined, however we will be printing in Australia and anticipate per unit printing cost to be $65-$75 each. Participating families will be able to pre-purchase one copy at cost price and will be kept informed of details as we progress through the project.
  5. Your booking will be subject to terms and conditions and other policies, which you can review during the booking process.

Our story in 2 minutes

Canberra's leading family portrait photography studio est. 2009