Whether we’re ready to admit it or not, the holidays are upon us. I tried as long as I could to ignore the names of the months passing by on the calendar, but, well, once Daylight Savings Time hit, denial turned to grief turned to acceptance turned to ‘ok, fine, let’s do this thing!’ Anyhow, chances are there’s a photographer in your family or group of friends that you’ll have to shop for, and while we're certainly a famously finicky bunch, I guarantee you, there’s still something that photographer “needs.” So here’s a list of things that will help turn that psychosis-inducing task of figuring it out into the easiest checkmark on your shopping list. Here are 10 fail-proof gifts for photographers in your circles.
1. GIFT CARD!!! While so many might say this is the lazy, impersonal way to go, trust me, this is the number one gift any photographer will want. While we’re an extremely picky species, there is always something that we want. And that's not limited to photography gear...we need hard drives, memory cards, batteries, light modifiers, sand bags, cables, a myriad of stuff, so a gift card to an outlet that sells everything from electronic to photography gear is an insanely valuable asset. You can’t go wrong with Amazon, B&H Photo, or Adorama.
2. Airline Miles - Just about every photographer dreams to have fresh new exciting unfamiliar things and places to photograph, and every one of those photographers has a destination (or two, or three, or fifty) that they dream to visit, but just about every one of those photographers frets over the price of that plane ticket to get there. Miles are a HUGE help. Whether you have enough to hand over enough for a full flight, or a few thousand that can help alleviate part of the financial burden, miles are a gift that will never be unappreciated by the photographer in the family.
3. iPad Mini - This is quickly becoming a must-have item for photographers, especially those that work in the field. From the tethering capabilities to just about every camera to the increased focus by major image software companies like Adobe, an iPad mini is something that will definitely get used. And if you’ve got the budget, AppleCare would help. Just sayin’.
4. Craft & Vision Gift Certificate - Guaranteed there will be at least 2 books that come out this year that the photographer in your family will want. And as they’re all written by respected photographers in the industry, they will be coveted. David duChemin's Craft & Vision almost has a lock on the best photography books in the publishing world. Best of all, most of them are less than 10 bucks, so 20 bucks will go a long way. 50 bucks? Fuggedabbadit!
5. KelbyOne Gift Certificate - Scott Kelby and KelbyOne are perhaps the go-to in photography training, seminars, and workshops. The Photoshop master has built quite the machine, offering everything from video tutorials from the industry’s biggest draws, to live seminars and conferences taught by everyone from himself to National Geographic superstar Joe McNally. If you don’t know Joe, trust me, the photographer you’re aiming for does. I would recommend getting a membership, but there’s a good chance the photographer you're shopping for already has one, but a gift certificate can be used for the seminars or workshops or various products as well. Can’t go wrong with this one.
6. BorrowLenses.com Gift Certificate - BorrowLenses.com is awesome! Every photographer you've ever known and will know, will spend hours, days, weeks, months, researching gear, lenses, camera bags, bodies, you name it, before they finally make their decision. A lot of times, the only way to know, is to touch, feel, use, and marinate with a piece of gear, and BorrowLenses.com makes that incredibly affordable and awesome. You can rent, Netflix-style, everything from camera bodies, lenses, and even lighting gear, so you can test it out before you buy. You'd be helping make the photographer's research a hands-on experience. They'll never forget that!
7. Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription - Because we hated the fact that we had to pay for a subscription to use the software that is our bread & butter, that charge on our credit card still irks us each month, and by paying for it for a year for us, it’ll help us forget it for that much longer. Ah…the good ol’ days...
8. Leatherman - Because we love cool things and Leathermans are cool things! And we can have a hundred Leathermans and love each one of them. Like children. Sort of. Not really. But you know what I mean.
9. Swatchmate - Ok, this is pretty sweet stuff. This might apply more to digital artists than to strictly photographers, but, well, the line does seem to be blurring, so here’s one for color freaks. This device allows you to capture ANY color anywhere you are from any surface of anything at all and be able to save it as a swatch to use later. It can even save it directly to Photoshop for you.
10. Their own Prints - Not for them, but for other people. There is NOTHING that tickle’s a photographer’s fancy more than that notification on their phone that they sold a print. And if you buy several after another for different people, that means more notifications. That means more love.
Additionally, if you've got a budding photographer in the family, and you're looking to get them their first camera or upgrade their shooting experience, here are the 6 Best Cameras For Budding Photographers.
And please remember, if you use Amazon, use this link or the one right there in the right column on this site. There’s no difference to you at all, but by using this affiliate link, I get a bit of a kickback from Amazon which helps me cover the costs of running and maintaining this site and creating content like this that is hopefully of some value to you.