Our Story

Since it was born in late 2009, Heartstory has grown to be one of Australia’s leading portrait studios, with two of Australia’s most awarded and best known family portrait photographers at the helm; Jeremy Byrnes and Katie Kolenberg.

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Jeremy Byrnes

Principle Photographer, Co-owner, Production Specialist, husband to Katie, dad to August and step-dad to Toby

Jeremy joined Heartstory in 2014 after 12 years of running a family and wedding photography business in Sydney.

Jeremy is a major kid magnet and most littlies who meet him consider him their best friend by the end of the shoot.

Be sure to order a coffee when you’re at the studio because Jeremy’s barista skills are nearly as good as his photography. He’s one of the smiliest people you’ll ever meet, loves 80s music, and rocks double denim.

Katie Kolenberg

Principle Photographer, Founder, Managing Director, Creative Director, business coach, wife to Jeremy and mama to August and Toby

Katie founded Heartstory as a solo operator back in 2009, and is a two time winner of the prestigious Australian Family Photographer of the Year.

Katie does does the social media and the big picture business stuff. She also does all the studio sessions because she’s obsessed with babies.

Katie is a big softie, who cries and laughs more than the average human.

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heartstory photography team member mel


Heartstory Studio Manager, mum of 2

Mel joined Heartstory in 2017 and quickly made herself indispensable. She is our Studio Manager and therefore an excellent organiser and we couldn’t live without her!

Mel has a background in graphic design and hospitality and she makes everyone at Heartstory hungry with her delicious curries at lunchtime.

heartstory photography team member ayu


Associate Photographer, mum of 2

Ayu is our newest team member, in the role of Associate Photographer. Ayu has a Diploma in Photography from CIT, and has 7 years of professional photography experience.

Ayu loves the smell of books and paper, and more weirdly the smell of wet dogs. She’s multi-lingual, originally from Jakarta (Indonesia) and has been living in Canberra since 2005.

heartstory photography team member heather


Heartstory Customer Care Specialist, mum of 4

Heather is also a new team member who joined in late 2022, in the role of Customer Care Specialist. Every family who has a Heartstory Portrait Experience will chat with Heather at some stage!

Heather is a talented calligrapher and worked for Creative Memories for 15 years, so she is right at home amongst Heartstory’s specialised printed products.

Heartstory in the media

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