Each year I am bombarded with questions from friends on what type of gift they should get for their photography loving friends. Most often the recipient is not a professional photographer, but love the art and impact of photography, and have an appreciation for the craft. Whether you or your friend is weilding an iPhone, Android, or DSLR, here’s my list of fun gift ideas for that special photo-loving someone in your life.
For the Bookworm
I’m a huge fan of photo books and collect many from the old masters of photography. A few of my favorites are by Herb Ritts, Annie Leibowitz or anything by Richard Avedon. Any budding photographer will want to study these images to improve their craft.
For the Photojournalist
Nothing screams the world’s best collection of images likes National Geographic. Their iconic imagery has changed the world and our views of how we live and explore planet Earth. Whether it be a magazine subscription, a photoeducational tour, or a special edition issue, you can not go wrong with that little yellow box.
For the Whimsical Photographer
I found these lens mugs online a few years ago and knew immediately I needed to buy one. I am an avid tea drinker, but have yet to use it because for some reason I want to preserve it’s integrity, (weird, I know.) Nevertheless, they make for great gifts and I’ve given them often to photographer friends which is always met with a smile, laugh and a hug in return. You can get them in both Canon or Nikon lenses.
For the iPhoneographer
I first heard of the OlloClip from a photographer friend of mine who takes it with him everywhere. For us pros, it gets exhausting to carry around all our heavy gear, so just like most consumers, our iPhones have given us freedom to capture fun and creative images on the go. The great thing about the OlloClip, is it’s ease of portability and it’s 4-in-1 lens system giving you the option with just your iPhone to capture images with a fisheye, telephoto or 2 types of macro, with a quick attachment.
For the Multitasker
If you’re like me, you’re doing about 5 different things all at once, and being held up with one hand holding a DSLR or camera can greatly restrict me. For years now I’ve used a cross-body camera strap so that I can have my hands free as my camera hangs securely by my side. I can pick it up when the moment hits me to grab a frame, or let it hang which leaves both hands free if I need an extra hand to steady myself as I hike, climb a ladder or hold hands with one of my nieces or nephews. Check out Black Rapid as they have a variety of straps, even a specially designed strap for a woman’s body.
For the Action Enthusiast
It really goes without saying that those into action sports will want a GoPro camera. Deemed the world’s most versatile camera, it can go deep underwater, fly through the air on a remote-controlled helicopter, strap to an extreme skier’s helmet, or ride the treacherous waves of a kayaker. If you’re not familiar with how this palm-sized camera has revolutionized the still and video worlds, just head over to their website and watch a few of their user-uploaded videos and hold onto your seat. You will be blown away.
For the Travel Photographer
One of the challenges of taking photos on the road is carrying the needed gear but not be bogged down by it. For years I put off buying a tripod because they were just too heavy and bulky for me to carry around. That is until a friend showed me the MeFOTO tripod, made specifically for ease of travel. I have the RoadTrip model, it fits perfectly into my checked bag, folds down nicely to a small enough size to slide onto the side of my day backpack and unfolds to a standard size tripod when needed. Small enough to carry with you into the most cramped of locations, yet sturdy enought to set up with a pro DSLR. It also breaks down into a monopod for simplicity and comes in a variety of colors.
For the Instagram Lover
Nothing has taken social media by storm since Facebook, as has Instagram. The soclal site where members can upload camera phone images, customize with a variety of filters, and post to their favorite social media sites has been growing leaps and bounds. And now you can give your favorite Instagrammer the ablity to print some of their images on these fun magnets by StickyGram. A creative gift to decorate your office cube, refrigerator, or locker at school.
These are just a few suggestions and favorites of mine, and I hope they will become a favorite of the recipient of your gifts too. Happy Holidays and happy shopping!