The holidays are here and that means we’re looking at a few of our favorite things. Making recommendations for those looking to buy a gift for the photographer in your life is always tricky – do you know what gear they use? Do they have a preference with respect to style (form vs. Function vs. All of it)? Are they really going to need that tripod? To make navigating these treacherous waters a little easier for everyone, the following guide is broken up into two sections: 1. What to buy a photographer and 2. What I’m personally eyeing – so hold off on gifting that drone and take a look.
What to Buy
Every photographer should have at least a few photography books on their bookshelf or coffee table. Whether it’s a how-to or study guide like last year’s pick or a something fun like, Dogtography; photo books make for a great gift for any photographer.
Rocky Nook and Blurb are personal go-to publishers/bookstores for all things photo books but if you can’t pick one (and trust me, the options make it difficult to stick to one), you can always pick up a gift card from either site.
Photo Store Gift Cards
When it comes to purchasing gear for a photographer, it’s often a very personal decision. From understanding the kinds of photographs they like to make to personal style, it’s a slippery slope to start down. To make sure that your gift doesn’t end up on a returns line or worse yet – collecting dust – consider the gift of a gift card! There’s lots of deals to be had both now and shortly after the holidays so a gift card is an easy decision.
Personally, I like to shop local and being in NYC means I have more choices than others. That said, you can always try Adorama, B & H Photo and Video, Samy’s (West Coast peeps) – all offer gift card options.
Every good photographer wants to get better at their craft and sometimes YouTube won’t cut it. That’s why I’m always happy to see someone help contribute towards the cost of a workshop or even a Skillshare membership. Whether it’s learning about the craft directly or picking up a new skill, Skillshare memberships are worth their weight in gold (as long as you’re comfortable with remote learning).
For something a little more local and personal, consider gifting classes with a local darkroom or photography studio. Here in the New York City area, the Bushwick Community Darkroom has been providing new and seasoned photographers with classes, exhibitions, and (obviously) film development services for almost 10 years.
What I’m Eying
Okay, so this is a gear and gadget heavy site and I know you’re to find out what new toys I’ve been eying. So, here’s the list:
Fujifilm X-T4 and XF16-80mm f/4 OIS lens
I’ve recently had the pleasure of using a loaner for about a month or so and it’s got me considering an upgrade from my workhorse X-T2. The X-T4 packs an improved Eye-AF autofocusing system, full-sensor focusing points, and for the first time in the X-T line, in-body image stabilization (IBIS) giving you up to 8 stops of IBIS (when paired with a stabilized lens).
The XF16-80mm has been on the wish list since it was announced as the only zoom lens that I’ve considered for the system. It’s not the fastest, brightest zoom lens in the lineup but it offers every possible field of view that I’m looking for, all at a decent price.
Once upon a time, I was a DJ and musician and one of my favorite “gadgets” was the MPC1000. During this period, many home producers were using software-based sampling tools and while they worked just fine (in the right hands), there was something about the tactile experience of editing. Enter the Loupedeck + photo and video editing console.
Basically, the Loupedeck + works with your editing software to give hardware controls to various editing options. Loupedeck touts cutting down editing time which is great for a photographer like me who despises the post-process/editing part of photography.
You can grab the Loupedeck+ here on Amazon.
Did I miss anything above? Have a better idea? Let us know in the comments or on social.