Gift shopping for a photographer can be tough. It’s hard to know what gadgets a shutterbug already has in their huge toolkit. Worse yet, you may not even know what half of the gear is if you aren’t familiar with photography. If you’re looking for a unique yet useful photo-related present, here are some gift ideas for photographers. Happy shopping!
The Essentials – Gift Ideas for Photographers
These are items that every photographer should have in spades. Most photographers running a business spend a lot of money on expenses and often find it hard to indulge in much-needed backup gear. In other words, these are products that a photographer can never have too many of.
1. Portable Hard Drive
Western Digital makes reliable portable hard drives and hard drive cases available in a variety of colors and sizes. Or you can go a step further and gift a portable SSD hard drive. My pick for this one would be the Samsung T5 Portable SSD and the protective hard case. It’s pricey but incredibly small, fast, quiet, and reliable. I purchased the earlier model, the Samsung T3, earlier this year and was so impressed a bought a second one as a backup drive. This will be my traveling external hard drive of choice. Size-wise, something in the 1-3TB range is useful. Be sure to buy a hard drive case to complete the package.
2. Memory Cards and Memory Card Wallet
Photographers can never have too many memory cards. They vary a lot in size, speed, and type. Generally speaking, this 32GB or this 64GB SD card are safe bets. Complete the package by including a memory card wallet. Be sure it comes with a strap to secure to a camera bag. In my experience, brightly colored wallets also help so that they stand out and are easy to find.
3. 2-in-1 Car Wall Charger
This was one of the most useful gifts I’ve ever received. It’s a 2-in1 charger that lets you plug USB cables into either a car charger or a wall. Perfect for traveling and road trips, this charger is always in my portable office kit.
4. External Battery Charger
On the topic of chargers, an external battery is essential for photographers. Not only can these batteries charge phones and iPads, but they can also charge camera batteries with a USB camera charger. For a gift, size matters and it’s probably best to get the smallest physical charger that still offers at least 1 full device charge. When it comes to power, I’m a big fan of Anker products. The Anker 22000 is the current version my battery of choice that still works great 4 years after purchasing. As a cheaper, slightly smaller option, the Anker 10000 is also a great choice.
5. Rechargeable Batteries
Many portable photography products are powered by AA or AAA batteries. Things like remote triggers and Speedlight flashes need batteries, and so do standard home appliances like home theater remotes. So for all things both related and unrelated to photography, batteries are great to have. The best ones that I’ve found are the rechargeable Panasonic EneLoop AA and AAA batteries. I use them to power my flashes through photo shoots all the time and they never run out of juice. I also carry at least one extra set of backup batteries, so I really can’t have too many of these at hand.
6. Pivoting Power Strip Surge Protector
Power strips are great for charging multiple devices at once. But the traditional ones are generally not configured by the chunky, oddly shaped adapters that we use to charge devices. Enter the 8 outlet pivoting power strip! My friend showed me this at his latest shoot, and I was marveled by how simple and novel it was. Each power outlet can swivel on a pivot to be moved to a position that will better fit your power plug. This means you can truly make use of all 8 outlets if you needed to. There’s even a 12 outlet model if you need even more power!
7. Gift Cards
Yes, gift cards can seem impersonal. But when it comes to pricey camera gear that is continuously updating, I don’t mind having a few of these to redeem! You can never go wrong with a standard Amazon gift card that you can even reload in the future, but you can also make the gift card more thoughtful by getting one from B&H Photo. Getting a gift card from this official camera store adds a hint of personalization.
Unique Photo-Related Gifts
9. Camera Lens Mug
An oldie but a goodie, I still get a kick out of the camera lens mug idea. I have several myself that I was gifted over the years, and I use them often. Interestingly enough, the lens mugs were gifted by different people over a period of time, and each one is different. There are different camera brands and lens focal lengths to choose from. So it’s very easy to find different types of camera lens mugs as gifts.
10. Camera Shaped Thumb Drive
It looks like a toy, but this camera-shaped thumb drive is actually very functional and useful. This is the cutest USB drive that you’ll ever use. Thus, it’s probably not something photographers would buy for themselves, but you bet they’ll get a kick out of it and actually use it if they have one.
Printing a nice photo album is incredibly cheap and easy, and you don’t even need professional-level photos! In fact, it’s arguably better to make this one with your own personal photos. Consider ordering a photo album with a bunch of personal photos you took with the gift recipient. Maybe they’re photos from a recent memorable trip or old family photos. Making a physical album or photo book of memories is always a great present.
12. Personalized Photo Gifts
Did you know that you can do more with a digital photo than simply get it on a wall print? You can also make a personalized photo mug, keychain, pillow, cell phone case, or throw blanket. Some friends recently had our wedding photo printed onto a large, super comfy blanket. It was a really cool present that I never knew was possible.
13. Personalized Comic Book Art
This was a pretty neat idea that can appeal to even to non-photographers. It’s a personalized comic book style digital art of your gift recipient. I had one done for part of my husband’s wedding gift. After finding an artist on Fiverr who specializes in this type of art, I sent him a gallery of portraits of my husband along with a concept that I had in mind. We went back and forth a few times to straighten out details. Less than one week later, I had this really cool metal print done. This was the artist I went through. I highly recommend him.
Over To You
Whew! I think that about covers it for now. Please share with anyone who needs a nod in the right direction as to what’s on your bucket list.
If you’re a photographer, am I missing anything from the gift ideas for photographers list? What would you like to see in your Christmas stocking this year? Sound off in the comments below.