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
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.
Work included in numerous joint exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia.
Heide was one of 14 young German Photographers exhibited at Fotokina
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
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.
Portraits of workers from the industrial suburb of Fyshwick.
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.
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.
Also launched at the National Press Club, this was a fund raising venture for the beleaguered local Rugby League Club.
Retrospective exhibition of Heide's work, launched at the National Convention Centre Canberra, by Lord Patrick Litchfield.
Pictures of Cambodia, sponsored by Malaysian Airlines, Kodak and AIDAB. Exhibited at the Sydney Town Hall and the Old Parliament House Canberra.
Exhibition for the Council of the Ageing at the ACT Legislative Assembly.
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.
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.
Photographs of 22 women who had suffered from breast cancer and were members of Bosom Buddies. The exhibition travelled throughout the ACT and Sydney.
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)
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.
Joint multi-media exhibition with three other NSW artists displayed in the Manuka Artspace Canberra, and the Bodalla Gallery.
A joint exhibition of Australian photographic artists using historical photo processes, at the Church Gallery Canberra
An exhibition of the finalist held at the National Portrait Gallery Canberra.
An exhibition of the finalist held at the National Portrait Gallery Canberra