Membership Application

The work of the Heartfelt is unique, demanding, challenging, confronting and profoundly rewarding.

We are looking for very special photographers who would like to donate their time, skill and heart for the benefit of families facing the unimaginable. 

Applications are welcome from both photographers and retouchers.

We would like to emphasise that although not all session requests are urgent, the bulk of sessions are required within six to 36 hours of the request and can happen any day of the year. This work can be an interruption and we need members who are willing to be flexible and have the capacity to shift schedules and commitments to look after family's requests.

All members (photographers and retouchers) must agree to comply with the Heartfelt Code of Conduct, so please follow the link and read it before applying.

In addition, the particular programme we use for managing memberships asks for payment before a membership is approved. We apologise for this inconvenience. All membership fees are fully refunded if the application is unsuccessful. 

Photographer Membership

The photographers we are looking for need to demonstrate an ability to work with families and children and to produce high quality portraiture. They are skilled in the use of controlled lighting and have a deep sensitivity in their personal manner and their work. We will ask for examples of work in this area in order to assess your suitability to join Heartfelt and your application will not be able to proceed without suitable examples of the standard we are seeking. Specifically, we need high quality images of babies, children and families before your application can proceed.


We ask that photographer members be prepared to make themselves available for six sessions annually (this does not apply to regional or remote areas).


Photographer members are required to have the state appropriate working with children check (WWCC) before membership can be finalised. Generally for volunteers, this process is free and we recommend that, if you don't already have a WWCC, you might consider applying for the WWCC promptly so as to not delay acceptance of your Heartfelt membership. 

We ask that you finalise the processing of images within a week of the session for uploading to our secure, private online gallery.

Photographers will need the equipment, knowledge and ability to shoot and process as follows:

  • Shoot in RAW
  • Ability to use lighting techniques including bounce or fill flash, soft boxes and continuous lighting
  • Post-process images in Bridge/Lightroom/Photoshop in both colour and black and white
  • Provide images to specified sizes and colour spaces
  • Ensure appropriate backup of images

If you do not understand the terms listed above, it is unlikely that you will be operating at the required level of skill that we need from our photographers. If, however, you believe you have the necessary heart, time and skills to become a Heartfelt photographer, we would love to hear from you. Please follow go to the bottom of the page and follow the link below.

Re-toucher Membership

Heartfelt re-touchers need to have strong retouching skills significantly beyond basic processing in the following areas;

  • Background removal - removing or minimizing medical or distracting backgrounds
  • Skin reconstruction - removing or minimizing of tubes, cords, tapes or sometime significant skin blemishes
  • Control over B&W conversions - with flexibility to adjust the conversion for various skin colour and tones
  • Spot, Contrast and Colour control - to recover images from family or hospital supplied files

If you believe you are a retoucher with the heart, time and skills for this work, please fill go to the bottom of the page and follow the links below. 

Photographer or Retoucher Membership Review Process

Your application, including examples of your work from your website or links to before and after work will be reviewed and you will get a response within 3-5 weeks of your application being received.

What's in it for members?

Members report so many different benefits from joining Heartfelt. A member survey completed last year showed members felt the most enjoyable aspects of volunteering for Heartfelt included a strong sense of belonging or fellowship with other members, helping families and giving back, a sense of making a difference and being able to use or enhance their creative skills.

Queries and concerns 

We understand that you might have many questions about the work and of yourself. There is a page of Frequently Asked Questions that might answer some of your questions. We try to have information sessions in each state which will enable potential members to meet current members and get a better sense of what membership entails.

We also created this brochure.

If you have any further questions regarding photographer or re-toucher membership please feel free to contact the Secretary Vivian Hayles on or call her at 0439 933 923. If you are enquiring from New Zealand, you could call the local representative Emma on 0800583768. 

Alternatively, "Like" the Heartfelt page on Facebook and become a part of the community; we will post notices of information sessions on that page.

If you're ready to apply, please go to the bottom of this page and follow the links.  

To assist our membership review process, please make sure you supply ALL of the requested information, including links to show before and after examples of your work. Your application can not progress without these links or without payment.

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