Heidi Saayman was born on 3 February 1970, Umtata in Transkie. She matriculated in 1988 from Queenstown Girls High School. After leaving school she studied at Port Elizabeth Technikon for a national diploma in photography. During her studies Heidi took part in two group exhibitions, one on old age homes in Port Elizabeth called " Autumn Years" and the other on life in the colored townships of Missionvale and Helenvale. In 1990 she won the Santam bursary for art students with four images from the exhibition "Autumn Years".
From 1992-1993 she studied for National Higher Diploma in Photography at Port Elizabeth Technikon while working as Photographer at the University of Port Elizabeth. She later did freelance photography at the Weekend Post, Times Media, Port Elizabeth.
In 1998 she joined the Department of Visual Arts and Design at the Vaal Triangle Technikon as a photography lecturer. In 1999 and 2000 she exhibited in the annual departmental Kwazulu Natal rural life exhibitions at the Bensusan Museum of Photograph, Museum Africa and at the Vaal Triangle Technikon art school.
At present Heidi is working as a photography lecturer and studying for her M-TECH degree at the Vaal Triangle Technikon focusing on the viability of the Web site as a form of presentation for the documentary photograph. As part of the practical component she has worked closely with the Mental Health Society of Port Elizabeth, documenting the children in the outreach home care and training program in the rural areas and disadvantaged communities of Port Elizabeth.
In 2001 Heidi had her first solo exhibition, "A Special Story", at EPSAC art gallery in Port Elizabeth. The work was also later exhibited in Johannesburg at the Bensusan, Museum Africa and at the Month of Photography in Cape Town, at the African Studies Building, UCT.