Do you want a business that you absolutely love,
that also pays you a great income and fulfils all your creative passions?

A business that your clients rave about to their friends?

Without stress, burn out and sacrificing yourself?

If you want success in your photography business to feel easier, to be creating amazing work, consistently booked out and have great work/life balance, watch this first…

To the family, newborn, pet, boudoir and portrait photographers who are ready to elevate their businesses to 10-50K+ months that excel in every area...

We see how hard you work and we know it's because:

But to achieve all that, you need:

  • a customised strategy and approach that suits your needs, goals and circumstances.
  • a supportive pathway to enhance, elevate and improve aspects of your current business. 

And you need for these solutions to meet you where you are and get you to where you want to go, without burning your entire business to the ground, or spending tens of thousands of dollars.

Thing is...

You struggle to find the time to change things because you are working in your business so much. Sometimes you wonder whether this is just the way running a photography business is, and if you’re being ungrateful or unrealistic. But you can’t shake that feeling that there are solutions that you don’t know about yet. And that leads to you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, which keeps you stuck where you are, trying to make the most of it. 

We believe a big part of what makes this happen is the stories that exist in the world around creative work, that it’s not as important as other work, that it’s not essential and that it’s not worth spending money on. Even if we have committed to walk the creative path and we have pride in our work and its impact, we can still carry parts of those stories with us – stories like we should be grateful we get to have such fun while we’re working and therefore should accept less income or benefits than other people who do other work. But what we do is just as important as any other profession, if not more important!

We are story-tellers and stories are one of the most powerful forms of communication that exist. We preserve people’s most precious moments and you can’t even put a price on that. We enrich and add value to people’s lives in ways that are hard to quantify. And above all that, we are multi-skilled business owners who deserve to be rewarded for our hard work. We deserve to have lives that are nourishing, restful and respectful of our bodies and our hearts, so we have the energy and passion to give ourselves to the important creative and heartfelt work we do. 



photography & business intensive

a 3.5 day workshop for family, newborn, boudoir, pet and portrait photographers who want to create the business of their dreams.


hosted and presented by Katie Kolenberg and Jeremy Byrnes,
national award winning Australian photographers with a combination of
40 years of photography and business experience between them.

sponsored by



Elevate is an in-person intensive workshop experience that helps passionate photographers elevate their photography businesses into creative machines that excel in every aspect of art, service and delivery and leave a legacy for their customers, while also supporting them as creative humans who deserve to have balanced and fulfilling lives.

This workshop is 15 years in the making

We’ve been through quite a journey in the 15 years of building the multi 6-figure business that Heartstory is.

Just 4 years ago, Katie found herself once again face to face with some unpleasant repeating patterns in her life – particularly the way she would sacrifice her and her family’s needs for the business. She’s come face to face with burn out, overwhelm and poor mental health so many times over the course of her business life that she decided to go deeper into why this happens and how to stop the pattern repeating. This took her down a path of learning about human behaviour through the lens of applied neuroscience, creativity, somatics and other tools.

Once she could see the change in her personal life, she was able to step back into her business genius and transform our photography business into a well-oiled creative machine that no longer relies on us to be ‘on’ all the time in order to generate leads, make bank, and create happy repeat clients. Before this point, we already had a successful, profitable and efficient photography business, but after doing this work, we can now truly help others do the same because we know how to customise the transformation to suit the individual. It all comes down to you—your unique self, your stories, your experiences, your vision, your energy and time, your circumstances. 

Our business is what it is today because we’ve maintained our creative passion, we’ve adapted to market changes and we’ve kept growing. We’ve scaled from at-home to a commercial space, from digital files to stunning large scale product, and from one solo operator to a team of six.We have perfectly honed our craft, our systems and the experience we provide and we are ready to share it all with you so you can use our experience and avoid our mistakes to build a business you can be proud of too.

We get it.

  • We understand how it feels to be burnt out, time poor, on the business rollercoaster and frequently paralysed by overwhelm.
  • We understand the struggle of mental health, work/life balance, parenthood and maintaining your creative passion at the same time.
  • We know what it’s like to be following a path that didn’t quite turn out how you expected or hoped it would.
  • We know how it feels to identify yourself so strongly with your work and business and not have any idea how to change that, or if you even should.
  • We know what it’s like to not know what to do about it and to feel sceptical and mistrustful that any of the solutions out there will actually help. 

We are here to help liberate you from all of that, and to help you build your dream business.

Your experience of your business matters and we can help you change that experience.

Just ask Sarah, a family photographer who recently spent 6 months learning from Katie and during this period has almost doubled her revenue and bookings, increased her average sale by 40% , and re-signed for more coaching work.

Every single step we took together has made such a massive impact to my systems and processes both on a personal level and in a business sense. But I think the true magic here is in the way that you coach, from the place that you stand. Your deep (and considered) understanding of not only business, but people, and who they are in this world is what makes this experience truly exceptional. You facilitate a mindset shift. A re-learning of self. A new way of thinking. A new way of understanding. You have left me with a new level of confidence and self-belief that I have never had before. Along with all the tools I need to continue this journey. Signing up was quite simply the very best decision I have ever made for myself and my business. You have changed my life; I have no doubt about that.

This is why we created Elevate

To bring like-minded photographers together, to inspire, educate and support you to elevate your art and your business to what you deserve; a creative machine that fulfils your needs, makes you truly happy, and leaves a legacy you can be proud of. 

Elevate will help you find the success and satisfaction in your business that you’re seeking without sacrificing yourself in the process.

Here's a look at what will happen during the Elevate experience...

Day one: the heart of our business

When you arrive at our beautiful studio space – the heart of our business – we will give you a tour of all the layers of Heartstory. As you make yourself at home, we will share our journey with you; the ups and downs, the twists and turns, and the failures and successes that have brought us to where we are right now, which is a thriving, highly regarded and awarded family photography studio, supported by a small team, servicing over 300 families a year with revenue well over half a million a year. The aim of this no-holds-barred, secret-spilling session is to give you the context, the circumstances and the decision-making behind our lived experiences, our strategy and our approach to life and business. We believe that the human experience behind the business is one of the most important but overlooked parts of business education, and we want to start putting you at the centre of your business strategy. Day 1 will finish with a fun social evening with dinner and drinks sponsored by Nikon.

Day two: the art in your business

On day 2 we will be exploring the art in your photography business, as we are big believers in giving your all to your photography and becoming a master. After all, 99.9% of photographers start their own businesses because they love photography with all their hearts and want to be excellent at it (a made up stat, but likely true!). We will host a number of different shooting experiences (indoors and outdoors) throughout the day for you to observe, experiment and stretch yourself. We will share our approach to sessions, including light, environment, communication and technicalities. An amazing human from Nikon will also be present so you can play with new gear and get your creative juices flowing! In between shoots, we’ll be educating you on faster editing and production workflows, the benefits of printing in-house and selling heirloom products.

Day three & four: business deep-dive

On day 3 and 4 we will be diving deep into your business and where you need help, specifically exploring the big topics of profitability, sales, your client experience and marketing. However, no topics are off limits and if we can help you elevate how your business operates we will go there. We will keep checking in with you, looking at your vision and your needs and circumstances, so any plan or strategy we create is customised with respect and consideration to you. We will share our systems, strategies, templates and more with you throughout this process. We want to help you excel in every part of your business; to fix the leaky holes, to make more predictable revenue, to get off the rollercoaster and to have more control over lead generation and bookings. You will leave the Elevate experience feeling acknowledged, nourished and inspired. You will have solved some of your biggest challenges and you will have an exciting actionable plan to take away with you and keep working on, so you can build the photography business of your dreams.

During the Elevate intensive, you will get access to the practical and creative information that has been the backbone of our success and millions of dollars in revenue over the past few years alone, including:


How we set up and run our annual marketing plan, and how to do that for yourself so your business is less reactive and more proactive and easeful.



How we give our clients a simply incredible experience so they can’t resist coming back for more and end up with a lifetime value of over $12,000+, and how you can make this happen for your business too.


How to set ourselves up for profitability by knowing and making friends with our numbers, plus how and why you should change your relationship with numbers too. 


How we manage our schedule so we can take 12 weeks holiday a year and work less than 40 hour weeks and how you can make this happen for yourself so you can have the life you want.  



We’ve just come up with a wicked bonus, and that is a POP UP FACEBOOK GROUP exclusively for Elevate attendees that will be your support network until end 2024! 

Katie & Jez will frequently pop in to share tips and support you + you will have an incredible network of friends to keep you accountable and cheer you on! 

We know that isolation is a huge cause of stress in photography businesses and this inclusion is designed to set you up for success by keeping you on track and in touch with what matters! 

Most of the Elevate experience will take place at Heartstory HQ, the real working studio where our business comes to life. We have a 5x5m shooting space, a dedicated sales room, office space for our team to work and a printing & packaging workspace. We can't wait to show you how our studio functions and answer all your questions about what makes a great studio.

What's included in your ticket

What's not included

Book your seat

Last minute tickets available until Friday February 16th.

Hi, we're Katie & Jeremy

Jeremy went straight into photography out of university, working for several big wedding studios in NSW and QLD for many years before starting his own business, specialising in family photography. 

Katie jumped from career to career until she found her happy place in portrait photography and founded Heartstory in 2009 following the birth of her first child. 

Jeremy and Katie met on the dance floor of a photography event in 2012 and officially joined forces in 2014 under Heartstory’s brand.  

Jeremy is a people person and a little kid magnet. At Heartstory, his job titles are Production Specialist and Principle Photographer. He specialises in adventurous outdoors sessions, and he kicks arse at extended family sessions. He takes care of the majority of sales sessions, editing, producing and printing client orders. 

Katie is the Managing Director of Heartstory and Principle Photographer. She specialises in baby and newborn studio sessions and loves golden hour outdoors. She takes care of strategy, marketing, staff and social media. Katie has also been coaching creative business owners (including photographers) for the past four years. 

After interviewing over 450 photographers from around the world, if you were to ask me to single out successful business operators who are truly inspirational in the work they produce, the service they provide and the sales they generate… Katie and Jez of Heartstory Photography in Canberra would be high on that list.
Andrew Hellmich
Photographer & Owner of PhotoBizX

Client work from the last few years, taken around Canberra and in our studio

Jeremy and Katie are experienced presenters and judges, having been invited to share their expertise on platforms in Australian and New Zealand in person and online for many years. Katie has teaching and coaching experience, and has been working 1:1 and in group programs with photographers and creative business owners since 2019. 

Do you want to know why we’re doing this?

Our business is a reflection of us. Of what we love, of what makes us tick and of what our needs are both now and in the future. 

Our business is also separate to us. It can function without us there all the time, which gives us a freedom in our lives that many small business owners don’t have. 

Heartstory has been our family’s sole income for over a decade. We’ve seen the biggest growth in our business in more recent years – our revenue is more than double what it was 4 years ago. We are still walking the walk and we’re not even done yet. 

Our business serves 300-350 families a year. We do it in about 100 hours a week (divided between 5-6 people). We have average sales of around $2400 a client (which truthfully includes ‘no sales’ because they happen in almost every business). We mostly sell wall art and albums. We have a huge repeat client ratio. We usually have 50-80 bookings ahead us on our calendar at any time. Our business is stable, predictable and profitable – the opposite of most photography businesses. 

It took us a long time to reach this point and what we’ve learnt along the way has been vital to our longevity and continued passion. The journey of business is full of incredible rewards, but it can also be heartbreaking, backbreaking and isolating. 

We are anti hustle culture. We don’t think it’s healthy to work 60 hour weeks. We believe in ease, alignment and wellness, and we believe that service is the root of everything.

We believe that photography changes lives and creates history. The role of a trusted photographer is about creativity and connection and it takes skill, passion and dedication to do it well. We don’t believe that every photography business should be exactly like ours but we do believe that the principles, values and strategies by which we operate will make your business more successful, profitable and fun. 

We believe there is a real gap in the education market for photographers who want customisable strategy which takes their unique needs and circumstances into account. A lot of education and coaching isn’t centered on the individual and instead sells step-by-step formulas and techniques that require a hustle mindset and leave no room for individuality. It doesn’t address our humanness and it’s the human experience of being in business that we struggle with and need the most help with. And that’s what we’re good at and can help you with.

We are honest and open-hearted people and we want you to succeed. Elevate will not be a great big talk and ego fest! It will be solid, deep, useful and practical help for you and your business. Elevate will stretch you, it will be enlightening, inspirational and full of lightbulb moments. You will leave the experience with a lot of problems already solved and an actionable plan to take home to your business with you. 

We are running Elevate to help you make your businesses what you deserve: a creative machine that fulfils your needs, whilst also leaving a legacy for the customers who connect with you. We want to help you excel in every part of your business: to fix the leaky holes, to make more predictable revenue,  to get off the rollercoaster, to elevate your art and your business.

The itinerary

DAY 1 (Fri)

We kick off at 4pm with an intro and studio tour, followed by a group dinner.

DAY 2 (Sat)

Today will be an early start and a late finish. We’ll be shooting on location and in studio, as well as looking at editing and printing at our studio. 

Group dinner (optional)

DAY 3 (Sun)

We’ll be kicking off at 9.30am and finishing around 5.30pm and we’ll be exploring business all day. We’ll break for a group lunch. 

Group dinner (optional)

DAY 4 (Mon)

We’ll be kicking off at 9.30pm exploring more business topics plus a final group lunch. 

Finish up at 2.30pm

Please note, the program is subject to change and will be finalised about a month ahead of our start date. 

I want to give you my money

take me to the bit where I sign up.
At Momento Pro we're very selective about our ambassadors. They have to be the whole package - excellent photographers, natural storytellers, sophisticated designers, successful business people, and generous educators who are passionate about preserving photos in print. These characteristics were evident in Jeremy and Katie from the first day we met almost 20 years ago. They also practice what they preach, and have crafted a work/life balance many would be envious of.
Libby Jeffrey
Co-owner and Marketing Manager, Momento Pro

Elevate is for you if:

Elevate isn't for you if:

And if you're still wondering...

Here are some FAQs that might help.

We will demonstrate how we do things. And we’ll be sharing a lot of our experiences and wisdom. But what we’ll teach is more about how to help you do things in a way that suits you, using our adaptable tools, techniques and strategies. We don’t believe that business is one-size-fits-all, especially creative business. We don’t believe there is a single formula or a bunch of secrets that only some people know. That’s why this experience will suit portrait photographers of different genres, different business models and different levels of experience. 

Canberra has heaps of affordable options. If you’re wanting hotel accommodation, the closest hotels to our studio are Mercure Belconnen, Abode Apartment Hotel Belconnen and Ramada Encore Belconnen. If you’re looking for AirBNB, we suggest Belconnen town centre, or the suburbs of Macquarie, Page or Bruce as the closest suburbs to our studio (likely walkable).

Camera gear, laptop, notebook.

We suggest arriving in Canberra around 2-3pm on Friday afternoon. We kick off at our studio (Belconnen town centre) at 4pm, which gives you time to check in to your accommodation and then make your way to us. We recommend flying out on Monday evening from 5pm. We will be wrapped up by 3pm in Belconnen and it’s about a 20 minute Uber ride to the airport. 

Dinner on day 2 and 3 aren’t included. We will still organise for a group dinner those nights, but it will be optional as we know some folks may wish to retreat and have some quiet time to process the day. 

Breakfast is at your own expense. 

We provide lunch and snacks on day 2 and 3 and dinner on Day 1.

You know how it goes: there is always something to learn. Sometimes the best perspective for learning is that of experience! 

Rest assured, Elevate will meet you where you’re at. 

As long as you have a basic set up and you’ve started, that’s ok. This intensive is suitable for a wide range of experience levels as the principles are the same no matter where you are on your journey and what your goals are.

Katie mostly coaches 1:1, so while some of the content is similar, it will be delivered and taught in a different way. Compared to 1:1 coaching packages, this is unbelievable value (business coaching with Katie costs $1665/month for a minimum of 6 months) and you’ll get access to some of the same tools and templates. 

We plan to pack in as much as we can, which is partly why we chose this time of year so we have as much daylight as possible to work outdoors.

We believe that the quality of your photography is important, because it’s photography is where your inspiration and passion comes from. We shoot outdoors and in studio and with minimal equipment and we pride ourselves on not following a formula so our clients receive a customised experience. You will get plenty of opportunity to shoot and be creative and learn new ways of using light and environment and connecting with your subject. Even if you already feel confident with how you shoot, this part of the Intensive will be fun and creative. 

if you're ready to say goodbye to overwhelm, burn out, questioning yourself, operating below your worth and feeling like something’s missing and instead elevate your art and your business into something that makes you truly happy, and a legacy you can be proud of...


We’ll teach you everything we know about running a successful photography business for over 15 years, and we’ll help you do the work you need to do to get to where you want to go.. 

Proudly presented by

Katie Kolenberg & Jeremy Byrnes


Photos on this page of Katie and Jeremy by Hayley & Darren from The Beautiful Collective.
All other photos by Katie & Jeremy for Heartstory, unless otherwise captioned.

Visit HEARTSTORYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM.AU to find out more about us or follow on socials.