The holiday season is here, and we are sure you know what that means -- it’s time for gift giving! It’s an exciting season, but we all know that gift shopping can be fun or challenging. If you’re in the market for the best gifts for photographers, whether it is for you or a loved one, you have found the right place.
Make this season as enjoyable as possible with the best gifts to stuff into your Christmas stockings. We have listed camera gear and accessories that will surely be received excitedly by any photography hobbyist or professional. Here are the best photography-related gifts to give or receive:
1. A high-speed, durable external hard drive
Any photographer knows the struggle of handling tons of data during shoots and post-processing. If you ever consider buying a hard drive, consider platform compatibility, transfer speed, and connectivity. If you have the budget, choose a solid-state drive (SSD) over conventional hard drives.
Most modern SSDs offer faster read and write speeds, which is really useful to any photographer. However, traveling photographers will most likely enjoy using this the most, thanks to the SSD’s more durable and portable make. Most models are palm-sized and are also USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible.
2. A portable lightbox
Commercial and food photographers will enjoy a new lightbox. A lightbox will give them cleaner backgrounds and better lighting, which is very useful for post-processing. A portable one will be easier to set up, and will also be flexible enough to be used for merchandise, food, and maybe even unique still life pictures.
3. A fashionable and functional camera bag
Photographers who are always on the go will have fun lugging around their gear in a nice camera bag that is fashionable, functional, and durable at the same time. This is especially useful for event photographers who need to present themselves nicely to clients and possible clientele.
There are tons of options in the market, but we recommend getting a classic leather or waxed-cotton messenger-style bag. It is best to get one in neutral black or brown tones since this will ensure that it will fit with any outfit. When buying one, make sure that it can fit camera gear comfortably (think tripods and bulky light equipment).
4. A nice and informative photography book
Excellent photographers value learning, so it may be smart to gift your camera buddies a great photography book. You or your friend will surely benefit from this because learning the technical and creative processes from acclaimed and published pros can improve, and maybe even influence your work. New York Magazine suggests “The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas” for people who may like a cross between a book and activities, and “The Secret Lives of Color” which is a collection of essays from Kassia St. Clair. The latter is a useful reference for color theory. The book explains how colors relate to fashion, politics, and art -- very useful for a person who is just starting out in the industry. Photography guides and magazines are also great choices.
5. A camera cleaning kit
It may seem like such a simple gift, but a camera cleaning kit is a very practical and useful choice. Dirty cameras cannot produce ideal photographs. Having a cleaning kit on hand will help immensely, not just with cleaning a camera, but with producing cleaner and clearer images.
6. A versatile camera and flash trigger
Camera triggers like MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger and RemotePlus Camera Remote are great gifts that will be received happily by pro and rookie high-speed photographers alike. These versatile camera triggers can turn any camera into a high-speed capture device, thanks to its unique features and various trigger modes. One of its modes is the Lightning Mode, which uses an integrated light sensor that detects lightning strikes. Once a strike comes into view, the MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger will instantly fire your camera to capture a clean shot of lightning. This gadget can also be used for time-lapse and HDR photography.
7. A water drop kit
While we are on the topic of MIOPS products, another worthwhile purchase from its line of accessories is the Splash Water Drop Kit. This kit is particularly great for people who are into splash photography, whether for commercial or artistic use only. The MIOPS Splash gives its users control over water drops with great precision. While splash photography can be done manually, it is also very time consuming to try to capture the perfect shot. MIOPS Splash will make it much faster and easier to do. Not only does it give photographers more control over water, but it also gives them control over timing and water drop sizes.
8. A flexible tripod
A flexible tripod will save photographers from taking a shaky and blurry shot in about any imaginable situation. If you choose this for a gift, make sure to choose one that is lightweight and can support both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Its edge over typical tripods is that it can be bent or wrapped around other objects, helping users frame their shots optimally no matter where they may be.
9. A great macro lens
This gift is specifically best for budding photographers. There are a bunch of macro lens options in the market right now, with much of your choices having a few shortcomings like a loud AF motor or the absence of internal focus. However, there are great ones under $500 that can produce great images. If this is something on your list, just make sure that the one you will be buying has awesome image stabilization and internal focusing.
Christmas is a season of giving and sharing. The list that we came up with are not just material recommendations, but is also a collection of accessories and gear that we deem useful in any photographer’s career. These are are not gifts meant for momentary happiness, but for consistent growth in the recipient’s hobby or career. The nine items listed above will surely help you put a smile on any photographer’s face.
Related Article: 9 Must-Have Things You Need for High Speed Photography