Photographers are special people. We can have all the camera gear and equipment in the world, but it’s still not enough. Which can make it easy AND hard to shop for us for the holidays. Depending on the type of photographer you are shopping for, there can be an endless supply of gadgets and accessories that will make anyone smile.
So to make life a little easier, here are my top suggestions for holiday gifts for your favorite photographer:
One camera bag is not enough. I feel as though I need a variety of camera bags for a variety of situations. A leisurely stroll around the neighborhood will not require as much camera equipment as an epic day of travel or even studio work. To accommodate all my gear and equipment, diversity in camera bag size and storage is ideal.
Hex Ranger Black Camera Mini Sling
For a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or going out to dinner with friends, this is my go-to bag. It’s small enough to fit just my camera and 1 lens so it makes it super easy and convenient to be on the go. What makes this bag different than other sling bags is that it’s specifically made for cameras so there’s padding inside and my camera is well protected.
Brevitē Jumper Photo Backpack
Great quality bag that allows you to carry multiple lenses at once plus it’s lightweight and comes in really nice colors. The tripod straps on the bottom of the bag are a great detail!
Ape Case Cubeze
On the totally opposite end, if you just want something even more portable, check out this Ape Case Cubeze. It inserts seamlessly into your backpack, purse, or whatever. I carried this around for years before purchasing a real photo backpack and never had any issues with my camera equipment.
You know I like these when I have 2 or 3 of my own. I love that if I want to pack my camera or lens into my purse, I can just wrap these Tenba protective wraps around them and I feel very confident that my gear will be protected. They are great for quick on the go situations.
All the little things that make life easier.
Peak design tech pouch
I love to be organized. I get overwhelmed when everything around me is a mess and that can happen very easily with all the camera cords, battery chargers, etc that get pilled up. Having an electronics organizer like this is so great and then you can zip it up and take it anywhere with you. Even if you’re not traveling, having your cords packed away like this is a game-changer at home. Alongside this tech pouch, I highly recommend picking up a pack of reusable electronic ties. It just makes everything neat and compact.
Camera cleaning kit
You can’t go wrong with this cleaning kit. I use this kit with these swabs before major shoots and for regular maintenance. They are super practical and always great to have on hand.
ProGrade card reader
I will be honest, this is a little pricey for a memory card reader but it is so great. I love how fast it reads my memory cards AND you can upload two cards at once. It’s so nice. I initially purchased this when I had my old MacBook Pro, the kind where you can stick the memory card directly into the computer, and this ProGrade card reader reads FASTER than the one built into the computer.
Portable external hard drive
Hard drives are life. You need to have a reliable one so you don’t lose all your memories and images. Even though it’s small, it works very well. One can never have too many hard drives.
Peak Design straps
In general, I’m a big fan of Peak Design anything. I have not tried any of the bags but I’m in love with their camera straps. I think the anchor links that come with the straps to make it easy to put the straps on and off your camera is such a smart idea. I have this neckstrap in the light grey color and pull it out of my camera bag when I’m going on long walks or need a bit more security.
I honestly use both of these straps but this hand strap was on my Sony A7II forever! The only thing about it is that you can’t really do much else with your hand with it on, but that’s also a good thing too! It encourages you to take more pictures. I feel so secure while using this hand strap in those awkward camera positions.
A little inspiration and motivation.
Untold The Stories Behind the Photographs
I have been reading a lot lately, especially in quarantine. Out of all the photography books I’ve read so far, this is by far my favorite. I love hearing the stories behind the shots. Something you would never know just by looking at them and Steve McCurry is insanely inspiring and daring!
Accidentally Wes Anderson
I have been following this Instagram account for years so I was not surprised that they came out with a book. I love how it’s formatted to different continents and where to find all these buildings and places that look like they could have been from a Wes Anderson movie. It’s more like a travel guide/photo book and it’s beautiful!
But if you’re looking for the best places to take pictures in Washington, DC, then you’ll need to read this book. I have all of my best tips on shooting locations, best time of day to capture them, and even where to park.
If you’re more into watching videos than reading, I love CreativeLive. I purchased the subscription over quarantine and have gone through many of the lessons. My favorite so far is probably Amanda Lucidon and hearing her speak about how she became a White House photographer and her stories behind the scenes.
Another video learning platform, Moment has some great videos that usually follow an artist around and they teach you their craft. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for something a bit more specialized.
“The best camera is the one with you” -Chase Jarvis
Ever since I got this in October, I’ve been obsessed. This is my first gimbal so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I LOVE how easy it is to use and how smooth all my videos turn out. I love that it can fold to be very compact and basically slides into a compartment in my photo bag or my purse. Even if you’re not using it for video, it makes for a great stand for some mobile selfies 🙂
I’m a big fan of AirPods. I use them almost every day. Sitting at my desk, walking in my neighborhood, or even sometimes on photo walks. I can’t recommend them enough!
In the era of COVID, these are essential. Once in a while, I’ll wipe down my camera but more than anything, I wipe my phone with these because sometimes I’ll place my things down somewhere and it just gets sticky or dirty. I feel better once they get a good sanitizing and they are perfect for on the go!
Film is not dead.
These are so fun! I can’t believe disposable cameras are still being made but I love it. I think the best part about disposable cameras is filling up a whole roll of film and not knowing what you’ve captured. These would make great stocking stuffers!
Since the disposable camera was on the list, a polaroid has to be too. I love how sleek this one looks and that it prints out the original size of polaroids.
But if you don’t want to carry a polaroid around with you, I LOVE this Instax printer. You basically connect it to your phone and print out whatever picture you want from your camera roll. It’s pretty much like having a polaroid without having to carry around anything extra.
Once you print all your polaroids out, stick them on your refrigerator! These are specific to the Instax size print outs.
There’s something so rewarding about seeing your images printed in real life. These gifts will make any photographer proud.
From photo books, calendars to individual prints, Artifact Uprising has an amazingly beautiful quality that the photographer in your life will cherish.
If you’re looking for something a bit larger for wall art, I personally use Bay Photo. A great company in California that prints great quality work. I use them for the majority of the prints I create.
And if you’re looking to purchase any of my work, you can click here and use code: HappyHolidays20 for 30% off during this holiday season.
I know this is a little different than others, but putting your images on a sticker is so fun! It’s even better when you give it to people and you can see how they will stick it onto their water bottles, notebooks, or anything else. I have created a few stickers from here and the quality is fabulous.
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions but I hope the person you gift them to enjoys it even more. I know some of these are super practical but I know I would appreciate them if I received them as a gift. Enjoy the holidays and please let me know if you used any of these suggestions!