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Gifts for Photographers
Gift ideas for photographers including recommended photography books
Finding gifts for photographers can sometimes be a tricky task. If you're not a keen snapper yourself there's all that jargon to overcome! Even if you are the sheer range of products around are difficult to sift through.
But not to worry, I spend far too long with a beady eye on all things photography and love sharing my favourite ideas with you!
So here's a run through of some great stuff that you might well be interested in researching further. My recommendations are always based on things I own or really want to own / have bought for me!
Fun smaller gifts for photographers
Every now and again when I'm researching photography equipment I stumble on some quirky yet brilliant little item.
I'm very wary of photography related gadgets and parafernalia. My mentality is to keep it simple! But a few things just hit the nail on the head and are really ingenious.
So, from bottle top tripods to spy lenses, here's my list of the coolest small gifts for photographers!
Buying Equipment and Accessories as Gifts for Photographers
Just a quick note when you're planning to buy photography equipment for someone:
Most photographers have a bit of a secret wish list which is constantly updated as they discover the need for new stuff. It's more or less always worth just asking what they would most appreciate.
Unless you're buying something small as a surprise, this is always the best strategy!
But perhaps you've been given certain specifications for an item, without being told exactly which one to buy. This is often the case for things like camera bags, tripods, filters or compact cameras.
So let's take a look at buying these kinds of items as gifts...
Camera bags make great presents (plus they're not too technical!). They basically come in 2 kinds of design: shoulder bag or backpack.
Shoulder bags have 1 strap that slings over your shoulder and compartments for equipment inside. Backpacks are externally the same as normal backpacks, with sections for photography equipment inside.
Shoulder bags are great for gaining quick access to the gear inside; ideal for photographing on the street. I use a Crumpler Muffin Top 4000 which I can easily swing round and open up without having to stop to take off my shoulder.
Backpacks are much kinder on your shoulders and back, and can store more equipment. I take my fantastic Lowepro Flipside 300 on long photography walks as well as using it as hand luggage with my camera inside when travelling.
Here is a full guide to choosing bags as gifts for photographers.
Tripods are also great gifts for keen photographers because sometimes people don't realise how useful they are going to be until they get one!
They are important for night photography, intentional motion blur, better depth of field and much more. DSLR users need a big strong tripod like the Velbon MAXi 347GB to support their camera's weight.
Meanwhile, 'Gorillapods' are the perfect solution for owners of compact cameras.
Here is a full guide to choosing tripods as gifts for photographers.
Despite the brilliance of Photoshop, photographers still rely on a few filters for certain effects.
ND Grad filters make it possible to slow the shutter speed in daylight and capture cool motion blur in subjects like waves on the beach. I use this Cokin ND Grad Kit and reckon it's the best system around.
I also use a UV filter and a polarizing filter quite a lot. So check out all the options here.
Here's my full guide to choosing filters as gifts for photographers.
- Compact Cameras
It's much more common to choose a compact camera for someone as a gift, than a DSLR (unless you are also a keen photographer and know what the recipient needs).
The whole point of compacts is to make photography simple. So, with their relative lack of complicated specifications, they are easy to buy too!
Magazine Gift Subscriptions Make Great Gifts for Photographers
Being a photographer is about having fun capturing great images and trying out new techniques.
It's also about looking at other people's amazing work - temporarily feeling completely depressed about how bad your own stuff is - then finding out whatever has to be found out in order to replicate what you've seen!
The first part, looking at amazing photos, is of course something all photographers love to do. Apart from the pleasure of just poring over interesting pictures, it also inspires you to get more out of your own camera.
Where do I go when I need a dose of major inspiration? When I need to see just what amazing sights the best photographers are capturing in their little black boxes? National Geographic.
Most photographers will be over the moon at a gift subscription to National Geographic. The current editor is a photojournalist and the images turned out in each issue are just extraordinary. The pinnacle of photography for sure.
As for the second bit of being a photographer - learning stuff - I subscribe to Digital Photo Magazine, which is brilliant. It is extremely accessible but packed full of useful information.
It also provides a free DVD of step-by-step Photoshop video tutorials with every issue. Amazing!
Here are some more reviews of my favourite digital photography magazines.
My Best Photography Books
Equipment and magazine gift subscriptions are fantastic. But I have to say that I think a really stunning collection of photographs in a well produced book is one of the best gifts for photographers.
For people who love photographs and photography there's nothing better than thumbing through images of people, places, events or landscapes that have been captured by a master of the medium.
I'm especially fond of the 3 coffee table photo books below, featuring work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry and Ansel Adams. I've reviewed them all here.
Photography guides and books on technique also make excellent presents.
There are several brilliant ones out there - but some not so good! I've reviewed my personal favourites here.
Cool Personalised Prints, Books and Cards as Gifts for Photographers
These are some of my favourite things to give as gifts. Whether for a photographer or not, personalised cards are so much better than most of the ones you'll find on the shelves.
It's so quick and easy to upload some of your favourite photos to a site like Moo.com and have them beautifully produced as greetings cards.
I've got a bit of an obsession with photobooks too! They're a step up from cards and make such impressive gifts for photographers - or anyone really!
I've produced a cookbook for my Mum, collections of funny pictures of friends and general family 'albums'. The first book I made was with Photobox - it was so easy and the quality was so good that I've stuck with them ever since.
You could even impress someone with a fine art print of one of your own photos. I love having pictures on my walls that were taken by me or someone I know because they mean a lot more.
Fine art photography prints also make excellent gifts for photographers. Here's where I often get mine from.
Have Your Say and Share Your Photos
What have you bought as gifts for photographers? What kinds of things tend to go down well? Share your stories, ideas, experiences and tips!