2012 Photography Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re a photographer, or are close friends with someone who is, you’ll probably understand how painfully hard it can be to either receive a photography related gift, or to give one. Despite the advertising, not all photography related gifts are suitable for all photographers. So if you’re planning on buying someone a gorillapod, think again. And never consider buying someone a lens, unless you know they want/need it. Many photographers, for instance, might not require that ultra-cool macro lens, or the famously cheap Canon 50mm f/1.8.

So, your first goal is to figure out what kind of photographer you are buying for. Do they use DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, or point-and-shoots? What kind of photographer are they? Are they a landscape or wedding photographer? Once you find this out (or if you already know) precede below to choose the perfect gift.

Landscape Photographer Gifts:

OP/TECH Pro Loop Strap

OP/Tech USA Pro-StrapHere is where knowing what kind of photographer you’re purchasing for pays off. There are many camera straps on the market, and all of them are designed to do different things. Wedding photographers, for instance, might require a quick holster shoulder strap, that will allow for quick and easy access to their camera. Landscape photographers on the other hand need something more comfortable, because they often travel long distances on foot to reach whatever scene they want to photograph. The OP/TECH Pro Loop Strap is a terrific strap for landscape photographers. It’s comfortable and practical, with its quick release clips allowing the photographer to shorten the strap if they feel the need to do so.

Cost: $20

Complete Square Filter Kit

Filter SetFilters are often an integral part of landscape photography. They can change the scene from a dreary cloudy day, to a dramatic orange sunset. The complete square filter kit is a perfect gift for the landscape photographer because the filters fit into a universal holder — which is included. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to worry about buying specific filter sizes.

Cost: $70

Portrait Photographer Gifts:

Gels Universal Lighting Filter Kit

Flash GelsPortrait photographers often rely heavily on flash as a source of light. Sometimes, however, the white light from the flash can drain the picture of all of its color. Gel filters help give photographers control over the color of their flash, and therefore make a perfect gift. Just make sure that the person you are buying for has a flash, otherwise, this gift will be a rainbow-y slap in the face.

Cost: $30

Camera Flashes

If your gift recipient doesn’t have a flash, then the previous gift is completely irrelevant! Find out what camera they have and buy them a flash that you can afford. You’ll open up a new realm for them in the world of portrait photography. There are many camera flashes to choose from, so use your best judgement in finding one. I would recommend the Nikon SB-28 (even for a Canon user because flashes are not brand specific) because they are very solid flashes and can be found for less than $100 on eBay. Research some reviews and use your common sense!

Cost: $50-$600
The Extra Mile: To better control the lighting, photographers normally move their flash around off of their camera. To do this, you need a wireless transmitter and receiver. Cowboy Studios make a cheap set, here, that we have found works very well for only $25.

Sports Photographer Gifts:

Opteka M900 Monopod

Opteka M900 MonopodOpteka makes some cheap monopods that can be a lifesaver if you are stuck hefting around that telephoto of yours all day. Some of the cheaper aluminum ones are even capable of holding up to 30lbs while weighing next to nothing. Personally, I am comfortable using my Manfrotto 390 (10lb weight rated) to support my 300mm f/2.8 with D300s even though the monopod is two orders of magnitude cheaper. Plus, monopods aren’t very common outside of extremely dedicated sports photographers who have giant lenses and are probably doing this for a living anyway (Who wants a gift for their work, right?).

Cost: $40
The Extra Mile: Monopods do not come with tripod heads, and although you can still mount a camera directly to a monopod it is nice to also get the added mobility from a head. I would recommend this head because it will handle pretty much any lens you throw at it (with the exception of some $10,000 monster-lenses).

Isotoner Men’s Smartouch Fleece Lined Gloves

Conducting GlovesGlove are a lifesaver for any outdoors sporting event that takes place in the fall or spring. Especially during soccer or football games late in the season, I find myself missing pictures because I am too busy warming my fingers in my pockets because I’ve forgotten my gloves. These gloves, or any others that are made for touchscreen phones, are perfect because they have very narrow fingers and are on the thinner side. This is important because you need to be able to feel the shutter button and to accurately navigate your camera with the gloves on.

Cost: $19

Street Photographer Gifts:

SterlingTek Camera Wrist Strap

Wrist StrapNeck straps get in the way and make hip-shooting difficult, they also limit the movement of your camera and can cause you to miss that perfect moment. That is why many street (or sports) photographers like to use wrist straps instead. Wrist straps can be fitted onto any camera, and are a cheap, simple gift.

Cost: $8

Opteka Voyeur Right Angle Spy Lens

Spy LensAnother gift, which we have never used but intrigues us, is the “Super-secret Spy Lens.” This is essentially a mirror that is a fixed to the front of your lens and lets you take pictures from a 90 degree angle to the side. This would be great for more timid street photographers who don’t want to take pictures of people in such a straightforward manner

Cost: $20

Travel/Adventure Photographer Gifts:

Casio Men’s Pathfinder Multi-Band Solar Atomic Ultimate Watch

Casio Pathfinder WatchA watch might seem like a strange gift to give a photographer, but listen to this: The Casio Pathfinder has a built in altimeter, barometer, and compass, making it an extremely valuable tool when your out in the wilderness and you need to predict the weather, or know where you’re going. On top of that, it also tells you the current moon phase. This is useful for astro-photographers, who need to know if the moon is going to interrupt their nighttime view. Another bonus is that the watch doesn’t require any batteries, because it’s completely powered by solar power. Unfortunately, the watch is a little pricey.

Cost: $260

Vortex Media Pro Storm Jacket Cover

The Vortex camera storm cover is a perfect gift for anyone that doesn’t have a weather-sealed lens, or anyone who wants extra protection from the elements. The storm cover is designed to be simple to use, you just attach one end of the to the front of your lens, and the rest will go over your camera. It’s made from super-water resistant AquaNylon, so even during torrential downpours, you can bet your money that your camera will stay dry. It’s best to use these covers with lens hoods. So if the person you’re buying for doesn’t have a lens hood, you should consider buying them that as well — do some research about their lenses, or just ask them.

Cost: $35

Miscellaneous Gifts:

24-105mm Travel Coffee Thermos

The camera lens mug is a fun gift for anyone, and it will almost always get a conversation going between two photographers. The link we provided is for a Canon lens lookalike, but there are also Nikon lens mugs as well. This is a fun gift if you don’t feel like risking getting anything else.

Cost: $20

F-Stop Watch

Another fun photography gift. It’s not the most practical watch to help tell the time, but it certainly is a conversation starter amongst photographers.

Cost: $35

Stay Away From These Gifts:

Zeikos ZE-WA58B 58mm

Remember when we said not to buy lenses? Well, also do not buy adapter lenses. There is a very good reason that these cost less than 10% of real lenses and they are not worth the money at all!

Iphone Lens Attachments

Iphone lens attachments are typically of poor quality, and most photographers would prefer to use their dedicated camera anyway.

We hope you have found this list at least somewhat useful. If you would like to help us out, use the links that we provided to buy any of our recommended items! The links we provided are actually tagged with our referral ID, to let Amazon know that you came from our website. That way, when you purchase any of the items, we get a tiny fraction of the total cost of the product, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading.



One response to “2012 Photography Holiday Gift Guide

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s