As the holiday season approaches, it’s never too early for me to start thinking about presents. I must admit that gift-giving, gives me a lot of problems. Don’t get me wrong I love giving gifts, but I get in trouble when I have to choose gifts. Some people can just go out there and buy a number of gifts and then they just give them to friends and family. I like to make it more personal, and I try to pick gifts that fit the characters and needs of my friends perfectly. When it comes to gifts for photographers, things become a little bit easier. Photography themed gifts are always a great idea.
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
Finding perfect gifts for photographers for any of your friends can be a daunting mission. You want to buy something that mirrors their character or has some funny message. However, you also want to choose something that will be put to good use and not just sit in the basement corner. It is easy to find a great gift for my fellow photographers. But, do they have it already? Will someone else come up with the same idea when picking gifts for photographers?
Strategy for Gifts for Photographers
It’s not like you’re going into the battle and need to create an elaborate strategy. However, a little bit of thinking and planning can help you choose better and more quickly. A great present is not about buying the most expensive stuff. It’s more about expressing love, friendship, or care.
You know about the white elephant gift exchange party game, right? If you don’t, it’s a game where participants exchange dubious, extravagant and basically useless gifts. Legend has it that the title of the game has origins in the historic Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand). The king of Siam used to give an albino elephant to any nobleman that displeased him. While these animals were considered sacred and prestigious, it was more of a burden than a gift. You couldn’t let the elephant go, or put it to work because it was sacred. On the other hand, upkeep costs were tremendous. So, it was a sort of graceful way to ruin disobedient subject’s finances.
“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if it doesn’t work out, just take another shot!” – Anonymous author
So, getting back to our gifts for photographers, we don’t want to give a white elephant to our friends. First, you have to ask yourself how well you know your friend. Do you know what equipment and accessories she or he already has? If you know the answer, then you should look for something to boost or supplement her or his kit. If it’s not one of your closest friends you can opt for not so technical but useful things. You can choose coffee mugs, pillows, t-shirts with photography themed prints, or something like that. Another option is to go for expendable parts. So, even if your friend already owns it, it will come in handy eventually. Once you narrow down your choice to a certain category, it will be easier to take your pick.
Random Ideas and Apparel
If you don’t know what gear your friend owns, it’s best to choose some useful, cute or funny gifts for photographers that your friends would like. These include anything from house decor to garments to kitchen tools. Of course, all of these items should have prints or symbols that point out to photography. Here are some great ideas.
A T-shirt with a funny print is always a great gifts for photographers idea. For some reason, almost everyone I know likes to wear funny t-shirts. Of course, in this case, it should be some kind of photography-related joke. “I can freeze time. What’s your superpower?”, and “Never lose focus!” are my favorites. Or maybe something like this:
Photographer Coffee Mug
A coffee mug is a universal gift for everyone and for every occasion. Well, for your close friends you will probably want something more special. But, for the rest of the world, it is a great gift. Everyone drinks coffee or tea, and a photography themed coffee mug can be cute and funny. Not to mention that it is useful. So, you can’t make a mistake here. Here are some great gifts for photographers ideas.
Camera Lens Coffee Mug Thermos
Drinking coffee or tea at home is okay. But, having a cup of hot coffee out there while shooting a beautiful landscape is a first-class treat! And drinking it from the lens-like thermos is just awesome. I have one of these for years, and I still make jokes about drinking coffee from the ‘lens’. Try to match the camera brand of your friend for full success.
Keychain is another great small gift for any occasion. Everyone needs it, and everyone uses it. A stylish keychain can be a delightful gift for a photographer. It can be beautiful and it’s personalized in an unostentatious way. You can choose a vintage camera design or lens or anything you find attractive. These are my gifts for photographers suggestions.
This is my favorite gift. The perfect gift is personalized, useful, and beautiful. A watch can easily fit all these categories. You should probably look for a comfortable and practical watch to surprise your fellow photographer. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a photography themed watch. But if you can find one with photography design, your selected photography gifts will be spot on. Check out these two beautiful watches.
Speaking of time, a wrist watch is not the only solution. Wall clocks send a classy message and if you choose a nice one it will adorn your friend’s wall for years to come. This is a great gift for more intimate friends. By this, I mean that you should know how their house looks like so that you can buy a wall clock that fits the rest of the furniture. It doesn’t have to be a cuckoo clock with a pendulum to be beautiful and useful.
We are still on the same page, sort of. If your friend already has a beautiful wall clock, there are other things you can hang on the wall to make it look great. You can choose from a variety of great hanging decors. Be it a funny photographer’s message or any kind of photography artwork, it can be a great gift. Once again, make sure that it fits your friend’s room ambience. Here are some great ideas.
If you ask me, a book is one of the greatest photography gifts. Today, most people don’t really read that much but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer an incentive in the form of an appealing book. If your friend is a novice photographer, an educational book can be a great and useful gift. For seasoned photographers, you can choose books about legendary photographers or compilations of the most influential photos of all times. The better you know your friend, the easier you will choose.
Photographer Wine Bottle Holder
A wine bottle holder is yet another can’t-go-wrong gift. Most photographers can appreciate a glass of good wine after a day at work. If your friend is not a fan of wine, well she or he will have guests who like it. Personalized and cute wine bottle holder will put a smile on the guest’s faces even before they taste the wine. It’s easy to find several different designs and they are all pretty effective. The choice is yours.
Pen and Pencil Holder
You’d be surprised how often photographers use pens or pencils. They write down appointment schedules, reminders or they just like to put some ideas on the paper. Even if your friend is not one of them, these lovely pen holders will look great on her or his desk. It’s another gift that is convenient, beautiful, and personalized.
Photographers often work long hours in hostile environments. Landscape photographers can spend hours out there, while urban shootings can be exhausting, too. Hydration is very important and sometimes underestimated in this business. Hydro flask is a great gift to keep the liquid cold or hot for a long time. Therefore, it’s a great gift for photographers.
Speaking of strenuous working conditions, photographers often walk a lot. Focusing on their task or idea, they often pay no attention to feeling comfortable. Comfortable clothes are important, but it’s not easy to buy the right fit or style for someone else. You won’t have that dilemma with socks. A pair of good and comfortable socks can make a difference and help them to focus better (pun intended).
Gear and Accessories
While photographers love their gear, and they always yearn for more, it is not so easy to make the right choice. You don’t want to buy them something that they already have. Any gift should supplement or upgrade their existing gear. So, it means that you need to be familiar with your friend’s equipment. Or you can be resourceful and buy some expendable parts that will be put to good use.
Dust Removal Tool
Dust is one of the worst photographer’s enemies. Keeping the gear clean is essential for quality images. However, cleaning sensitive gear is a delicate job. So, this powerful blaster dust removal tool will be useful for your friend. It is safe for the gear and it will blow clean air to eliminate dust from hard to reach and sensitive surfaces.
Lens pen is the most important and necessary tool for cleaning camera lenses. This little piece of somewhat magical tool is a great gift. It is common to use it for about 500 cleanups and then to replace it. So, even though it’s a sure thing that your pal has one of these, your gift will get its turn.
Lens Care Kit
A manual air blower is a nice but small gift. So is the lens pen. If you want to upgrade it, you can choose a full lens care kit. These kits usually have all the necessary items to keep photography gear clean. Your friend almost certainly has some cleaning tools. With this kit, you can complement your friend’s gear. Even if you duplicate some items, it’s okay. These tools will wear down over time so they have to be replaced.
A camera bag is another necessary item, but it’s also prone to wear and tear. If you buy a stylish and functional camera bag, I am pretty sure that your friend will use it straight away. When I buy gear for myself I focus on functionality and utility and I don’t want to waste time to search for good looks. But, if I receive a stylish gift that fits my needs, I switch to it instantly.
Camera backpacks are great for all outdoor shootings. A photographer can pack all his stuff safely and go to a shooting location. If you didn’t know, there are specialized camera backpacks with perfectly organized compartments to store all the gear that you need. You can even find all-in-one backpacks to pack your laptop, tablet and even tripod easily.
Photographer’s job isn’t always about glamour or beautiful nature. Rainy conditions are great for some outstanding shots, but the camera can be ruined in the process. So, a rain cover will allow your friend to seize the moment without fear for his/her equipment.
Seriously? I know it looks like it is impossible to use gloves while shooting. But, I can’t stress enough how important it is to feel as comfortable as possible when you’re waiting for a perfect moment. If it’s cold out there a photographer needs to stay warm. Shooting is no fun if your hands are nearly frozen. A pair of specialized gloves with removable fingertips can save the day.
Rapid Battery Charger
Every photographer has faced a situation to run out of batteries before the end of the shooting at least once. Our cameras, flashes, and remotes need batteries. Serious photographers need to use rechargeable batteries. Fast battery chargers are a great help to avoid gaps and delays when shooting.
Atmospheric Aerosol or Haze Machine
A little bit of haze or fog can add some magic to images. However, you won’t encounter misty conditions very often. Fog and haze machines provide great results, so if your friend is a portrait or fashion photographer, they can be great gifts. However, they are more expensive and not so easy to carry around. For most photographers, atmospheric aerosol will do the job just fine. It is lightweight, easy to use, and it will provide the desired effect for up to 20 seconds. So, it’s not an investment, but it can come in handy occasionally.
All photographers use gaffer tape a lot. Well, some of them use duct tape as well, but I’d always vote for gaffer tape. It holds well without leaving residues or damaging the surface. Gaffer tape can be used for countless improvisations while shooting. You can flag a flashlight, fix something, secure cables, even prevent lens flaring.
Remote Shutter Release
The remote shutter release is necessary when the exposure time is longer than a second. It allows the photographer to avoid shakes and movements of the camera that would ruin long exposure shots. Cable remote switches are usually more reliable and don’t need batteries. The wireless remote shutter release is a great option when you need to go farther from the camera. It is also lighter as it doesn’t have a cable.
Photographers always need more space for images. So, a memory card with a large storing capacity and good transfer speed will be a great gift.
Memory Card Case
Your friend probably has a lot of memory cards. A stylish memory card carrying case is a great and useful gift. I prefer shock-resistant and water-resistant cases, but any carrying case with lots of slots will do.
Chances are your friend already has a tripod. But this supercute Gorilla Pod 3K will be a great addition to any photographer’s gear. It is lightweight with flexible legs to place it or wrap it almost anywhere. It will provide some new angles like using a tree branch or something like that. You could throw in a wireless remote shutter release to make it ready for all situations right out of the box.
Bean Bag Camera Support
Sometimes photographers don’t plan to use a tripod but during the session, they get an idea for long exposure shots. This little platform will provide stability for camera on almost any surface. Once again, a wireless shutter release is helpful to shoot some amazing images.
Light and lighting is everything in photography. So, a Flash Speedlite or any kind of lighting is always a good gift. Of course, you should choose quality gear. This adjustable and powerful Flash Speedlite will be helpful and useful.
Flash Diffuser Light Softbox
Light can be your best friend or it can be your worst enemy. A flash can provide too harsh lite and too dark shadows, especially in low light conditions. This is where diffusers come to the rescue. A flash diffuser will soften and scatter the light to make the light more flattering.
Digital Photo and Video Frame
A digital photo frame will provide the ultimate playback experience. Instead of passing your phone around, you can show your photos to your friends in one or more great slideshows. The larger size and higher resolution will make your images look better. Actually, not yours but those of your friend. Of course, it’s not a bad idea to buy one for yourself as well.
Lightroom or Photoshop Shortcut Keyboard Skin
Most photographers prefer Macs over PCs. Mostly it is because of Mac’s great color accuracy. But, that’s a whole different story. Anyway, almost all photographers use Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop or both. While I am not very fond of extensive editing, some changes are sometimes necessary. These great-looking keyboard skins will speed up the process and make it easier.
Photo Portfolio Book
Every photographer needs a portfolio. While it’s more important what’s inside, it’s nice to have a lovely cover. It’s a little bit tricky gift as your friend most certainly has one. So, you have to buy a better or more stylish one.