18 Best Gifts for Photographers this Year
Photography buffs have had a bit of a hard life this year with the quarantine and social isolation policies in place. However, it does not mean they will or should give up on their passion or profession. On the contrary, we know they can't wait for better, safer times to resume things from where they left them off and continue their work. It is where you come in! The holidays are upon us, and you can cheer up your friends and family members with some of the best gifts for photographers to put a smile on their faces. Don't let your loved ones forget about their favorite hobby, and get them some presents to remind them why they love photography so much. Let's see 11 best gifts for photographers that they will love, use, and enjoy!
1. Funny Photography-Centered Printed Tote Bag
If you have friends or family members loving to wear tote bags for shopping, casual outings, and photography sessions, then your job is easy. All you have to do is get a sizeable premium canvas tote bag and request a screen printing service to decorate it with a funny message, image, or quote related to photography.
Alternatively, you could get a polyester white tote bag (that resists wearing, tearing, lousy weather, and the carrying of heavy loads) and use a sublimation printing service to print an image on it from seam to seam. It will make a terrific gift for photographers if you use one of their favorite pictures or one they took in the past and loved. It is one way to make them proud of their work and carry a product they created to showcase their talent.
In any case, tote bag fans will love your printed bag idea and will wear your gift with pride and joy. For more ideas on tote bags that make some of the best gifts for photographers this year, please browse our collection!
2. Sensory Gloves for Photographers
Photographers have a hard time shooting the best pictures in winter because regular gloves don't work great with phone touch screens or camera controls. On the other hand, fingerless gloves are useful with the amendment that they still allow for peoples' fingers to freeze when exposed for long times to the cold. So why don't you bring in the best of both worlds?
Get a photography buff in your life with a pair of sensory gloves that can become fingerless when the situation demands it. The high-tech fleece lining provides exceptional protection against low temperatures, while the silicone nubs cover the palm and fingers offer superior gripping. The best part about these gloves is that they feature a neoprene layer with a small hole for the thumb and index finger. The photographer can push the fingers through these holes when using the camera or the smartphone and retract them to stay safe from the cold.
You have to admit that outdoor photography gear is something to consider for yourself, even if you do not spend hours outside with a camera trying to get the perfect shot.
3. A Tech Backpack for the Photography Freelancer
Photographers usually wear highly specialized camera backpacks with compartments for all their accessories. However, some freelancers and pro photographers only carry their cameras and a few gadgets on a job. Moreover, many also take laptops, power banks, tablets, documents, and more.
For this reason, an urban tech backpack with a laptop sleeve and enough space to host not only a camera but also photography accessories. This backpack also features waist, chest, and side compression straps for hiking, so your friend who is into nature photography will enjoy the comfort it brings. Given the presence of waist and chest straps, you can consider this item to be more a rucksack than a backpack – but your friends will not mind. The larger, more spacious, and safer a bag is, the happier they will be.
In case you need more inspiration when it comes to the best backpacks to offer as gifts, here is a guide on choosing tech backpacks depending on the wearer's needs!
4. Camera Lens Shaped Mug
Don't let your friends forget how important photography is for them! The next entry on our list of best gifts for photographers is the famous camera lens-shaped coffee mug. Looking like a genuine Canon SLR lens, the cup is a perfect casual gift for anybody who loves photography.
You could buy such mugs from online stores and specialized gift shops. They make excellent Christmas stocking stuffers in case you have many photography loving friends or relatives. And speaking of stockings, don't forget to buy them in bulk to make sure you have one for all the people you want to offer gifts to this year.
Santa sacks and bulk cheap gift bags should be a priority for you, especially if you have dozens of presents to prepare for work colleagues, employees, friends, family, collaborators, etc.
5. Photography-Inspired Jewelry
Nothing says, "I appreciate your art" and "Keep doing what you love" than a necklace, a charm bracelet, or another piece of jewelry drawing its inspiration from photography. Tiny camera pendants with Zirconium lens or rhinestone decorations, vintage leather-and-brass handmade lockets, designer jewelry creations in precious metals, the choice is all yours.
A photography-inspired piece of jewelry is the best gift for photographers on any number of occasions. Christmas is coming soon, but you can put this gift idea on the list for birthdays, celebrations, Women's Day, and more.
Such a delicate, beautiful, and thoughtful gift cannot work in the absence of an equally tasteful gift pouch. Check out our collection and pick the gift bags that you love the most! For a vintage-looking camera pendant, we recommend the mini jute pouches. For a silver or gold necklace, you should go for the mini natural muslin favor bags. In case you plan to buy accessories, watches, and other refined jewelry for your family and friends this year, you are in luck because you can get these great gift bags in bulk!
6. A Stylish Duffel Bag for the Traveling Photographer
Photographers tend to travel a lot, especially if their specialization is nature, sports, or events photography. While this year's travel was not a good idea, it does not mean a friend or relative of yours could not enjoy a brand new travel duffel bag.
On the contrary! Hence, our next entry on the list of best gifts for photographers this year is a stylish rolling duffel bag featuring a lightweight internal retractable handle. It doubles as a sports duffel bag for short trips and a rolling bag for heavy items' carry.The main compartment is large enough to hold clothes and personal items for a weekend trip together with camera accessories and gear. It is the perfect gift for a photographer who is always on the run, shooting events, competitions, nature, personal/corporate events, or urban scenes in different cities. If you want more ideas on duffel bags and gym bags, feel free to check out our collection and pick the items that serve best the needs and wishes of your family, friends, co-workers, etc.!
7. A Flexible Mini-Tripod with a Twist
Speaking about traveling photographers, the next gift idea for them is a mini tripod that is all the rage right now. The legs feature several joints that allow the photographer to wrap the legs around objects and adapt them to uneven terrain. According to the experts, this tripod can reliably hold the most compact point-and-shoot cameras and video lights. It is so versatile one can carry it in a bag or even in a pocket!
This tripod is on many pro photographers' wish list, so that you can put it on your list of gift ideas for your friends, co-workers, or relatives, as well!
8. The Photo-Opoly Board Game
Who doesn't love a good game of Monopoly? Well, if your friends are into trading board games, this one is an excellent choice, especially if it is common for you to gather and play together. This game, dedicated to photographers and photography buffs, comes with some twists, a lot of fun, and plenty of pictures to use.
Offering board games for your friends and family members is an excellent idea because such items match all occasions, interests, and tastes. If your photography-loving friends are also into geek stuff and gaming, you should also check our guide on the best gifts for gamers to pick this year!
A board game is also a fantastic gift for couples who love to play together! Instead of buying a little something for each of the two, you can make their winter holidays more enjoyable by bringing them a competitive game that can keep them entertained for hours! For more couples gift ideas, don't forget to check out this list as well!
9. Photography Books and Educational Materials
Next on our list of best gifts for photographers is books – a gift we recommend for all occasions, celebrations, and holidays. Your photo-loving friends or relatives probably have a personal collection of books dedicated to their art, but it doesn't mean they will not appreciate a couple more.
You can go for technical books, teaching them new skills, or for art books displaying the works of a famous photo-artist, image collections gathered by themes. Such fancy books make excellent coffee table delights and conversation starters.
We also recommend searching and picking a couple of premium book bags or gift bags to put the book into for a memorable present this year. Since you will choose quality hardcover books with premium paper and printing, it would be a shame to forget about equally high-quality book gift bags.
Alternatively, you can get your hands on other teaching materials related to photography. Here are a few ideas if you want to help out a beginner photographer:
- E-books on photography techniques or photo editors' tutorials;
- An online course/webinar in a photography area that a friend loves;
- A paid photography workshop.
10. Tech Accessories
If you are not into the technical part of photography, it is probably hard for you to pick accessories that match your friend's gear or needs. Buying a person a new camera lens without you knowing anything about optics and gear can backfire. However, you could buy different types of stocking stuffers that all beginner and pro photographers will enjoy: tech accessories.
By this, we mean memory cards for their camera (because one cannot have too many), external power banks (crucial for any photographer), external hard drive, USB memory sticks, etc. If you want to go the extra mile, a leather SD cardholder (or wallet) will make a memorable impression.
11. A Funky Fanny Pack
You know fanny packs are the best gifts and accessories for travelers, but we bet your photography buffs will enjoy them too. Versatile and back in fashion, the fanny pack allows all shutterbugs to keep the essential items at their fingertips. A fanny pack can hold extra SD cards, screen touch winter gloves, the mini tripod we mentioned before, the lens cleaning kit, ID, cash, and even snacks. Some waist bags are roomy enough to hold a water bottle and other accessories for the photographers who spend most of their time in one place, waiting to capture the perfect shot.
12. A Camera-Shaped Multitool
This clever little product is the perfect tool for photographers who want to do a multitude of stuff, including surviving in the wild. It's easy to carry and it won't occupy a lot of space in your backpack. Even better, it's as stylish as such a useful thing can get. The camera-shaped product is made of stainless steel and measures 3 × 1.26 × 0.08 inches.
On top of that, you get all of the nifty things that you would want from a multitool. These include a blade, flat head, Phillips screw driver, two wrenches, a saw blade, a prybar nail puller, direction auxiliary, bottle opener, butterfly screw wrench, ruler, Sunny 16 rule guide, and a keyhole. That's quite impressive!
13. Custom Film Roll Keychain
What a lovely way to show a photographer that you truly care about their interest. There are many online shops that sell such a novelty item, and many of them allow you to customize the design with your personal photos. If you're going to gift this to a photographer friend, then you should really think about some of the best selfies that you have together. Otherwise, a personalized film keychain with some of your friend's best captures could also work wonders for them.
14. Haida Anti-Fog Belt
Don't photographers just hate it when they have the opportunity of taking the photo of a lifetime and then the weather happens to screw them over? Yeah, you've probably heard about that as well. No worries because we have searched far and wide on the web and we seem to have found the perfect solution.
This nifty product warms up the lens and it's powered through USB, so it doesn't consume a lot of energy. By warming up the lens, it practically prevents fog from building up, and thus it will give your photographer friends that extra kick they need to take the perfect picture. Who knows, it might come in handy if your photographer friend wants to go to extreme climates and try their luck at having their picture featured in National Geographic or other similar publications.
15. Photography Cheat Sheet Playing Cards
Well, it might not look like the most useful thing at first glance, but it sure as heck is a neat gift for a photographer. However, once you look closer, you'll notice something strange. Each playing card comes with a little extra - namely a photography tip or trick that will surely come in handy for beginners, or even as a reminder for seasoned photographers. Because we all need a little refresher from time to time.
Spades feature camera basics, hearts are about composition, clubs pack technical information, and diamonds discuss shooting styles. In any case, this is one of the best gift for photographers not just because it looks neat but because of its usefulness out in the (playing) field. Did you ever think about such a thing before seeing this? Well, we sure didn't, but we're glad we've stumbled upon it.
16. Camera Bangle Bracelet
Aren't these gorgeous? Made completely by hand in the USA, these bracelets are a fashionable and fancy way of showing off your love for photography. One could argue that they're probably the best gift for photographers, but then again, it depends on the person's style. Sure, they might love photography, but consider if they're the type of person to wear a bracelet or not.
In any case, even if you find out that a bracelet isn't exactly what they want, they will still appreciate the care and the detail that went into these. Not to mention the fact that they will cherish your attention toward them, as you clearly know what their favorite hobby is. In any case, we hope that these bracelets will at least inspire you to make your own in case you can't afford the available options.
17. 35mm Pint Glass
Okay, these might not seem like much, but you have to admit that the idea itself might make a friend chuckle. Although simple, the idea is what turns these mere beer drinking glasses into some of the best gifts for photographers out there. Not only that, but the design itself is quite attractive, in the sense that the films seem to blend into the glass naturally instead of striking it with force.
It's as if there's some symbolism behind this idea. And we're pretty sure the original artist thought about this as well. You could interpret this thing as a photo idea hitting you in the head when you're jolly on the drink of your choice. Or, alternatively, you could view it as a film that's distorted by the alcohol. Cause and effect, basically. Whatever the case might be, you can't go wrong with this gift if your photographer friend also happens to love a cold pint of beer.
18. Camera LED Neon Light
Well, this one is big. However, if your budget is just as big and you want to impress a photographer, then there are few gifts that can match this one. It's stylish, it's flashy, and it's a representation of their favorite hobby. Anyone, even those living in very tiny apartment, can find a place to put this bad boy and turn their room into a much more attractive ordeal.
What Gifts to Avoid Getting For a Photographer
Well, we've just about peaked regarding the best gifts for photographers out there. However, as you might imagine, there are also a few things that you might want to avoid getting for a photographer's birthday party. Well, we've got you covered regarding this subject as well, so you don't have to make a fool of yourself.
These are not necessarily bad gifts in of themselves, but they might be a bit overused, so your friend might already have a few of these. And they clearly don't need more. Just look:
People love wearing t-shirt with all sorts of creative designs. However, most of the time when you're going to find a photography-related t-shirt, it will most likely already be cliché. Not only that, but most photographers that you know probably don't want to be walking around flaunting their favorite hobby in this manner. It seems forced. A little too forced. See the point? Well, avoid getting photography-themed t-shirts unless it's something truly creative and unique.
Smartphone Camera Accessories
Just stop. A smartphone is a smartphone and a professional camera is a professional camera. Sure, some lenses or grips that are tailor-made for certain smartphones might have a certain appeal, but they'll never replace the real thing. Not only that, but the smartphone camera's main selling point is that it's pocketable. If you're going to use accessories, you'll be defeating the whole purpose.
Thrift Store Film Cameras
Some photographers happen to use or at least collect classic film cameras. However, not all photographers appreciate having a vintage camera necessarily. And those who do will most likely be much more knowledgeable about this subject than you are.
Not only that, but thrift store film cameras aren't all that good either - at least not usually. Plus, think about it this way. You're getting a photographer a gift, and once they open it up and ask you what it is, you're like "I found it at the Salvation Army and thought that you'd like it." Yeah, not the most flattering of gifts...
Overly Complicated Camera Straps and Accessories
As stated earlier, it's better to leave equipment selection to professional, at least in most cases. If you want to offer your friend something photography-related, go with something simple and easy to use instead of something complicated that you don't even know if they'll like or use.
Someone said it far better than we could have: "Photographers are very particular about their straps and trying to pick one out for that special someone is not unlike buying them a pair of pants - only they can tell whether the fit and feel are right."
The easy way out when it comes to picking the best gifts for photographers is to offer them a substantial voucher for their favorite photo store so they can buy the gear and accessories they want. However, picking a gift yourself shows your loved ones how much you care.
In any case, this list should help you find the necessary inspiration for finding the right gift and avoiding the ones that photographers already have, hate, or that they simply won't use.
So, we hope this list helped you make a shortlist of presents that your people will genuinely enjoy! In case you have other ideas and suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comment section below!