“Get rhythm when you get the blues
Come on , get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock ‘n’ roll feelin’ in your bones
Put taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues.”

– Johnny Cash


How can we illustrate this word and make it come to life within the photographic frame? The swaying, keeping time, rocking, repeating and echoing that happens when you think of a rhythm. When we photograph things, we are keeping time. But it is a different type, or is it?  We hold space, we make space, we squeeze the world into a tiny little rectangle (or square as we did in April), just like we do when we create or listen to a rhythm.

MortalMuse_Rhythm (3 of 12)

Of course I instantly think of music when I say the word, “Rhyyyyythmmmm.rhythm.rhyyyythmmmm.rhyyyyythmmmm.rhythm.rhyyyythmmmm”.

MortalMuse_Rhythm (2 of 12)

But I also hear and see the waves hitting the shore or the pull and push of the tides. Much as Vanessa Snow did in her image below.


I think of the way a pattern of color or light repeats over and over again.  Meghan Davidson sees it like this too in this photo of plaid flannel shirts.


I think of the daily cycles such as getting ready for the day, the march of time as we grow and our children loose their chubby cheeks and gain freckles. I feel the habits and the movements we make over and over and over again.  Like the switch of our hands as we type,  knit, or set the table for breakfast, like Nikki Gardener has done on her pretty red table by the window.

MortalMuse_Rhythm (1 of 12)

spiced sweet potato soup

I foresee images this month being loud as a rock concert , or soft and subtle as a humming bird’s buzz.  It could be the way architecture repeats itself, or is broken up by plants, colors and design elements.  Jenny Graver sees this when she captured this line up of windows in the afternoon sun.

Holly Clark caught the rhythm during a photo meetup in San Francisco last spring. Shake it, girl.

Work It Sistah!

I challenge you this month to look for and feel the rhythm as you shoot your camera(s).  What do you instantly think of filling your frame with? I want to know, share it in the comments section.

Until then, dance (and shoot) like no one is watching and keep chasing that light, Vanessa Simpson