Heide Soltsien was born in Germany, where her father was a graphic artist and designer. After an apprenticeship in photography which culminated in a diploma, Heide studied advertising, gaining a second diploma. After a spell as an industrial photographer, Heide worked as a photojournalist for four years until her marriage in 1963, travelling to England as Mrs Smith.

In 1971 the Smith family emigrated to Australia, where Heide worked as a photojournalist and later in a professional colour laboratory. In 1978 the family moved to Canberra, where Heide established a studio, which she ran until 1997.

Since 1998, Heide and her husband Brian have lived in Narooma, a small fishing village in NSW. Heide continues to photograph families and celebrities, participate in exhibitions and competitions, has recently published another book, and, in 2009 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.




1963   Foto.heide Hameln

1979   Lebendiges Hameln

1980   Works of Art in Canberra (NCDC)

1983   I Love Canberra

1986   I Love Canberra (Two)

1990   Tiwi – The Life and Art of Australia’s Tiwi People (republished twice)

1992   Heide Smith's Canberra

1994  Shooting at the Moon ( in Cambodia with author Marje Prior )

1999   Canberra-a personal perspective.

2008    Portrait of a people, the Tiwi of Northern Australia

2012  A Portrait of Canberra and of Canberrans 1979-2012



seminars & workshops


Heide has given workshops and seminars to professional photographers in most states in Australia and in China, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Holland, UK and Germany. In Australia the highlights have been two APSCON conventions, a Caxton Awards presentation to the Australian Advertising Industry in Cairns, and giving workshops at the Light of Australia convention in Sydney, alongside such icons as Helmut Newton, Art Kane and Jay Maisel. In recent years, Heide has held seminars for small groups and one- on- one workshops, at her home Narooma.



hobbs point cottage


Spectacular secluded luxury waterfront cottage, the perfect place to share a bottle of wine with Heide and Brian, talk photography and unwind in this amazing holiday cottage




Work included in numerous joint exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia.


1963 Fotokina Cologne.

Heide was one of 14 young German Photographers exhibited at Fotokina


1983 The Churches and Churchmen of Canberra.

Commissioned by the National Library of Australia. The collection was exhibited in the Library, and led to Heide winning the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP),1984 Portrait Photographer of the Year Award 


1984 Portrait of an Industry.

Sponsored by Ilford, Heide travelled extensively throughout Australia, photographing leading photographers. The exhibition was shown in every state in Australia, and when launched at the National Library in Canberra, drew a record 37,000 visitors.


1987 The Tradesmen of Fyshwick

Portraits of workers from the industrial suburb of Fyshwick.


1988 Black Australians Parliament House in Canberra.

This was the result of five months living with the Tiwi people of Bathurst and Melville Island, and was the first exhibition to be held in the new Parliament House. It was later exhibited in Darwin and Alice Springs.


1990 Because beauty is timeless

Portraits of famous women launched at The National Press Club in Canberra by Bryce Courteney, and exhibited at numerous other locations. This exhibition received national & international coverage in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio.


1992 The Canberra Raiders.

Also launched at the National Press Club, this was a fund raising venture for the beleaguered local Rugby League Club.


1992 Looking Back

Retrospective exhibition of Heide's work, launched at the National Convention Centre Canberra, by Lord Patrick Litchfield.


1993. Shooting at the Moon

Pictures of Cambodia, sponsored by Malaysian Airlines, Kodak and AIDAB. Exhibited at the Sydney Town Hall and the Old Parliament House Canberra.


1994.  " The Canberrans - A Vintage Selection "

 Exhibition for the Council of the Ageing  at the ACT Legislative Assembly.




1995 Germany Revisited

 Launched at the High Court of Australia by Senator Gareth Evans; consisting of 90 photographs of Germany, resulting from two visits to Germany in 1994, commissioned by the German Government. The collection was later exhibited  at the Goethe Institute in Sydney, where it was launched by ex premier Neville Wran. During 1997 and 1998, the exhibition toured Australia.


1996 The Pegasus Story

 Launched by MP John Langmore at the Canberra Theatre in aid of Pegasus, these photographs recorded both staff and students at this riding school for the disabled.


1997  Of tears, laughter and hope

Photographs of 22 women who had suffered from breast cancer and were members of Bosom Buddies. The exhibition travelled throughout the ACT and Sydney.


2004 Black is…

 Images from the Tiwi collection at the Postmasters Gallery Bodalla, NSW. This small exhibition was particularly popular with collectors of photography from Sydney and NSW country. It was opened by the late Peter Anderen (Indep. House of Reps Parliament House Canberra)


2006 Focus Photography & war

Exhibition to launch a new book "Contact" at the Australian War Memorial: chosen from the Memorial's collection of photographs taken in areas of conflict; both book and exhibition  included some of Heide's 1993 Cambodia shots.


2008 Heartbeat

Joint multi-media exhibition with three other NSW artists displayed in the Manuka Artspace Canberra, and the Bodalla Gallery.


2008 Vivid – Alternative Photo Processes

A joint exhibition of Australian photographic artists using historical photo processes, at the Church Gallery Canberra


2008 Australian National Photographic Portrait Prize.

An exhibition of the finalist held at the National Portrait Gallery Canberra.


2009 Australian National Photographic Portrait Prize.

An exhibition of the finalist held at the National Portrait Gallery Canberra


2014 Portraits of Australian Oyster Farmers

Portraits of NSW South Coast oyster farmers t from Nowra to Eden. A series of exhibitions  held at a number of coastal towns, sponsored by AOC - Australia's Oyster Coast Inc.

Contact: tel: 61 2 44761171  email: