holding tea cupI have a project in mind and am seeking advice from tea enthusiasts.  While it is probably fairly obvious by now that I am a fan of tea, I have recently started to merge my fascination for this beverage with my interest in photography.  My thoughts are a little difficult to explain, so please bear with me.

A few months ago, I started to photograph my friends’ and family members’ tea and coffee mugs – mostly being held, pre- or post-sip.  I have yet to photograph people’s faces, however.  Mainly, I have taken photographs of these mugs, amidst the surrounding scenery – whether in a restaurant, café, or bar.  For instance, I love to compare how different a mug of green tea may look in one setting as opposed to another.

holding tea cupThere is something peaceful and intimate about these photographs.  I’ve come to realize that I like to take pictures of people’s hands holding a teacup or mug.  With this inspiration in mind, I have decided to start an art project, but could use some input from other tea drinkers.  What is a good way to imagine this project on a larger scale?  Someone suggested that I create an Android or iPhone app that prompts users to upload similar photos to a public database.  Or (as strange as this seems), I am thinking of soliciting images through other means, as well.

Basically, I am trying to figure out the best way to photograph as many tea and coffee mugs as possible.  The catch is that people need to be using them in the moment.  Some people may choose to be sipping from the mug of tea, or would just like their hand in the photo, holding the mug.  It is up to the individual.

I can take the photo or you can have a friend take one, and send it to me.  Include a poem, a mini-biography, or a description of how you feel or what is on your mind while you drink the tea.  And if you aren’t interested in being directly a part of this artistic experiment, what are your ideas?  How can this type of project work?  This is open ended and I am looking for all types of feedback.