Gift giving is stressful. Between figuring out what a person likes, does it work with what they already own, or simply not wanting to find your gift being re-gifted, figuring out what to get someone is not the cheery, selfless act that Hallmark would have you believe it is. If you’re looking to pick up something for the photographer in your life, you’ll definitely want to bookmark this article for later.
A Quick Preamble About This Guide
If you’re looking for a list of cameras or even lenses to gift someone, this is not the list for you. Buying gear for a photographer is a very personal experience – as well-intentioned, it may be, buying gear should be avoided unless you like waiting on return lines or sitting through the awkward, “oh you shouldn’t have.” Instead, the following list is a great guide for more thoughtful ideas that would end up in use and not in a return/regift pile.
Tile and the Tile App are not a new device and often associated with locating lost keys or your phone One of the often overlooked uses of the Tile, however, is the ability to use it as a digital tether for your camera gear. Keep in your camera bag, tied to your camera’s strap lug, or discretely affixed to a lens cap to ensure you can keep track of all of your gear – especially if traveling or at an event.
The Tile Pro (pictured above) starts at $35 but can be bought cheaper when bought in packs; the app is free on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Zendure Passport Classic
Speaking of travel, if the photographer in your life is the jet-setting kind, chances are they’re always complaining about the lack of power options. For years, I had to travel with a bunch of adapters and wires without any assurance that the hotel room would have enough plugs. Enter the Zendure Passport Classic – a self-resetting grounded travel adapter that can plug directly into just about any outlet in the world and includes 4 USB-A ports to charge your 2-pole unearthed devices (in layman’s terms, your phone, camera, tablet, and even your laptop). Even if you’re not traveling abroad, the Passport Classic also helps take away the stress of not knowing how you’ll charge all your devices while you hit the road.
The Passport Classic won a Good Design Award in 2017 and now, you can order one directly from Zendure’s website for $40.
SEE, THINK, DO Photo Cards
Despite what many people believe, inspiration isn’t something that just happens. For most creative people, inspiration is intentional – an exercise. Even the most creative among us are prone to a creative block from time to time; and much like what the Oblique Strategies did for musicians, photographer and teacher, Eddie Soloway created a beautiful collection of photo cards that can help photographers see, think, and do their way out of a rut. The 144 photo cards can easily be pocketed and taken with you as a daily exercise or sit beautifully as a conversation starter on your coffee table or desk.
If you missed out on the Kickstarter in early 2017, you can still find a few on Amazon for about $50.
Get Them a Photo Book
Every photographer worth their salt is always doing two things: 1. They’re constantly learning. 2. They’re always looking for new work that might inspire them. Photo books are the perfect gift for the photographer in your life as it checks off both boxes, especially when the book is written by an amazing Street Photographer like Ibarionex Perello. His latest book is due out in the first week of December and in it he helps photographers develop their own personal workflow to make consistently great photographs.
You can find Making Photographs on RockyNook as an ebook for $32 or get the print edition and ebook for $50.
When In Doubt, Get a Gift Card
Don’t get too caught up on whether or not a gift card is a lazy option – sometimes it’s the best option. Have a coworker or somewhat close friend in the office/group grab bag this year and all you know is they like to take pictures? Play it safe and get them a gift card. Whether one for their favorite camera store or a simple Amazon gift card, you can never go wrong with this option.
While similar to the Gift Card idea mentioned above, this one can be reserved for that really good friend or close family member that you know has been wanting to get away to do some photography – gift them your airline miles/credit card points. They can pick their destination, their gear, and whatever else they want to carry; you get to be the best gift giver of the year.
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