Photography for Self-care

If you need to relieve stress and bring balance into your life,
maybe it's time to Take a Break

This course is about using photography to add richness and relaxation to your life

Shift your thinking from taking pictures to creating images.

"I learned how to be in the present through something I love – photography."

This is for you if...

You already love photography AND you own a digital camera. You don't necessarily want to even think of photography as a serious hobby but you would like to incorporate the joy of creating images into your life.

  • Are you stressed?
  • Do you have a camera?
  • Has that camera been sitting there unused for too long?
  • Have you lost sight of why you got into photography in the first place?
  • Would you like to take photos just for the joy of it?
  • Watch the video below to learn more about the course.

Below is the course outline. Every week you will receive a new lesson with an assignment.

Each lesson has 5 parts: Inspiration, Instruction, Practice, Photo Tips, and Resources. The lessons have an assignment where you can practice what you've learned. You will receive feedback from Ruth and Marlene.
  1. Welcome Lesson – dust off your camera
  2. Getting Started 
  3. The Art of Seeing
  4. Take in the Good
  5. What’s all this about Mindfulness?
  6. Self-compassion
  7. Photography as a Spiritual Practice
  8. Creative Journaling
  9. Photography as a Gift
  10. Staying connected – continue with your weekly practice

This course is about using photography to add richness and relaxation into your life

Are you tired of all the techy photo training out there?

Do you want to try something more introspective with your photography?

Are you looking for a different purpose for your photography than merely recording landscapes, selfies, and events?

Remember what is was like when you first started taking pictures? Do  you want to put that joy of photography back into your life?​

Sometimes this is referred to as therapeutic photography. The term self-care is often used by life coaches and mental health professionals to describe the intentional things we can do to lower our stress levels, make us more resilient, and avoid burnout.


This is the background for each week's topic. The heart and soul of the lesson.


The how-to part of the lesson. You will get practical guidance about seeing, feeling and capturing the world around you through photography.


The assignment for the week where you will explore, experiment and practice self-care by creating photos.

Photo Tips

You will get basic photo instruction as it relates to the weekly assignment. For photographers of all levels.


Each week there are extra articles, websites, blog posts and movies for further research and inspiration.


Ruth and Marlene look at all of your photos and add comments and short critiques. Your classmates will too!

Online Learning Platform

This course is taught using Ruzuku, an online learning platform that includes tools for student engagement, email and progress tracking.


The community and care aspect of this course is an added value. The more you put into it, the more you get back.

We Get It!

Ruth and Marlene practice the lessons taught in this course for their own stress relief and self-care. They get it!

Get instant access to Take a Break now for only $97 USD

This course does not focus on the technical parts of photography. Instead, it focuses on you!

I found "myself" as a result of completing this course.

"I found many new ways of coping with stress and anxiety through my love of photography. I found how to be mindful... how to be in the present... how colors affect me... how to practice self-care and self-compassion.

I look at the world and photography through different eyes since I took this course. I see more and I see differently than I did before. I see things I would have never noticed before and I love it!

The most important value I learned through this course was how to be in the present, something that has always been difficult for me became simple through the viewfinder of my camera."

Jackie Sills

The course gave me a real incentive to start using my camera again. I love it.

I am a photography hobbyist and ingrained into learning about the mechanics of photo shooting. This course helped steer me in the direction of why am I taking the photo, what I am taking a photo of, and the myriad of subjects if we would just look.

I have a better feel for the environment around me and therefore more resource for better images."

Brian Lewis

What you need to take this course

You’ll need a digital camera. Any kind will do. And you should even be able to do most of the assignments with your mobile device if that’s what you’re used to using.

This course is taught online, so you’ll need high speed internet access.

A working knowledge of how to get your photos from your camera to your computer (or iPad) is an asset, but we will help you with that.

You’ll need some time to devote to this course. The content is released one lesson at a time, over 10 weeks. Pressed for time? You can do it slower if you need to.​

You need a desire to incorporate photography into your life in new ways.​​

What You Get in this Online Course

10 Weekly lessons that you can start immediately.

Instruction from Ruth and Marlene. Feedback from your instructors. Caring, supportive, community right within the course. All your course materials, assignments, community and critiques are done within the Ruzuku online learning platform. Your privacy is maintained. You only share what you want with your instructors and classmates.

Your Teachers

Hi there, I’m Marlene Hielema. My mission in life is to simplify the technical side of photography and teach you how to take better pictures. I’ve taught photography in the classroom at art and polytechnical schools since 2001, and I also do corporate training events. I’ve been teaching online since 2010, and currently offer eight online courses.

At this time in my life, I’m embracing that who I am is more important than what I do. So now I practice photography mostly for enjoyment and self-care, though I regularly do commercial photo shoots when asked, especially for artists and small businesses.

I am thrilled to be working with Ruth in this course. Her experience in photography and counselling are a great fit for this topic, for our students, and for me personally. The joy of photography is back in my life!

Hello, my name is Ruth Bergen Braun. In my day job, I’m a professional counsellor, registered and certified with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. I work with clients who have a variety of life struggles —for example but not limited to: depression, anxiety, relationship issues, bereavement, trauma, and past and/or current abuse.

I have loved photography since my darkroom days as a teenager — long before we ever imagined the fun of digital photography. I joke that I’m so old that I took my first photography course B.C. — before computers. I have enjoyed Marlene’s other courses, both the Ruzuku format and Marlene’s content. I often recommend her website and online courses to people who want to learn more about both the art and technology of digital photography. I also have recommended her courses as “a gift to yourself” and thus, the idea for this course on using photography as self-care was born.

I liked the practice the best.

"Putting the information to use helped me focus and retain the lessons.

"I liked that no fancy camera needed to be used for this course. I also think this is a good course to maintain a serenity about taking photographs rather than worrying continually about the mechanics."

Susan L.

This is the first online photography course I have ever taken.

"I didn't really know what to expect from the course, it was recommended to me by a friend who was signing up for it. She had taken and enjoyed some of Marlene's courses in the past. I thought the price was very reasonable. After completing the course I feel I got excellent value for my money."

Jackie Sills


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Get instant access to Take a Break now!

For less than $10 a week, you will learn to use photography for self-care, which will help to relieve stress and bring balance into your life.

Are You Canadian? If so, get this course for $97 CAD!

Click here or on the flag above to pay for your course in Canadian currency. You'll be taken directly to a PayPal invoice. We will then manually add you to this course. Look for an email with further instructions after you pay.

Canadians only please, eh!

You will need to provide your Canadian mailing address to purchase in Canadian dollars.