18 Awesome Gift Ideas for Photographers

Wondering what to gift the photographer in your life? Need ideas to pass along your favorite shopper?

Gifts are only one way people like to feel loved. Don’t forget homemade coupon books good for acts of service like organizing the garage or quality time like a movie date make gifts that are just as great. Of course, if you are a photographer, know your photographs mounted and ready to hang make a wonderful gift to a loved one!

With last-minute holiday shopping in the works, here a list of 17 awesome holiday gifts I use and recommend in my photography business:wpid-17_Awesome_Holiday_Gifts_for_Photographers-2011-12-16-01-00.jpg

1. Beats Studio by Dr. Dre {$299}
These hi-def noise canceling headphones keep my sanity during trips through noisy airports. They also allow me my space if I need to tune out while at home, or just listen to my music loud without waking the neighbors. I’ve had mine for about 3 years and they still work wonders!

2. Rosco The Strobist Collection, 55 Piece Filter Kit {$8}
A creative box of crayons from those who like to use off-camera flashes. I love to experiment with these during engagement sessions and ring shots.

3. LumiQuest Gel Holder {$13}
Use this to hold the gel holder’s on the front of your flash.

4. ThinkTank International Roller v2.0 Roller {$350}
This camera bag joined me in Summer 2012 and now follows where ever I go. I can stuff my 17” laptop in the sleeve and it counts as one carry-on. It fits in all major international airline overhead compartments (despite what they say). I stack things on top of it when lugging through the airport (read… very sturdy!).

5. Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 7S Camera and 10 rolls of film {$145}
This is a great little toy that packs a punch to preserve memories and share with friends immediately. Kids love these as much as adults. Shake it like a polaroid! I gave a parking guard in Santorini a photo of himself in exchange for parking in his lot since I didn’t have cash…. makes people smile in all languages and may get you out of a predicament in a pinch.

6. Moleskine Classic Pocket Notebook {$8}
These ruled notebooks rule! I have been known to fill an entire book with notes from conferences and workshops, turing them into pricelss nuggets! I seem to never have enough.

7. Eneloop AAA Rechargeable NiMH Batteries {$10}
These keep on going and going and going long past the Energizer bunny. You can’t have enough of these around when shooting with small flashes. I prefer using the Energizer quick chargers instead of the charger that is bundled when you get them at Costco.

8. Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini Lithium {$240}
The cheapest option to power studio lights or anything else while off the grid shooting on location. Just got two of these bad boys. They charge quick, travel through TSA security, and are far lighter than previous versions. You can even charge your iPhone in the USB port. These will come in handy at Burning Man for sure.

9. Holga Medium Format Camera {$30}
Seriously the most fun you can have with a medium format camera. Just don’t get your feelings hurt when you point it at a bride and they are worried about it squirting out water!

10. Think Tank Pixel Rocket {$19}
This puppy stores 10 cards, where most only store 4 or 6. The leash attaches to a belt loop, camera case, or laptop sleeve to ensure you don’t loose it.

11. LumoPro MF613 Background Stand Kit {$150}
This is one product I jumped on and ordered after the Strobist called it his fave. I use it from now on for all my white seamless work. Everything is super high quality and easy to setup. It can be checked this skis while traveling and even doubles as two light stands if I choose not to use the backdrop. Best deal going for this kind of quality.

12. Creative Light – Shoot Through Umbrella {$53}
Directional quality of light from an umbrella but softness and control of a softbox. Easy to setup. This is an easier setup with very similar light than a 5’ octabank and runs about $200 less. Check out more on my post on shooting family photos at weddings.

13. Lacie 500GB Hard Drive {$144}
Wonderful for backing up work while on the road. I use one of these in conjunction with SuperDuper {$25} to back up my work before heading home. They are durable, fast, and the firewire speed is awesome if you have a Mac.

14. Apple 27” Thunderbolt Display {$950}
Turn your laptop into the ultimate docking station with one-cable connection with versatility of Thunderbolt. You’ll need a Thunderbolt computer (latest MacBook Pros and Macbook Airs). Sporting dual monitors will make your editing environment far more pleasurable and tech geek fun!

15. Macbook Decal on Etsy {$18}
Dovetail your love of Apple and Nikon (or Canon/Leica) into one. All you single folks, this might be a great conversation starter at the coffee shop and you never know what might follow!

16. Nikon D700 {$2700}
My workhorse I’ve had for over 3 years and hasn’t let me down and won’t weigh you down. It has the same sensor and resolution as the D3, plus a pop-up flash to trigger wireless flashes.

17. Susan Stripling’s Think Books {$25}
I have most of these issues and love reading and re-reading them. They offer polished insight from a photographer who is doing great things these days. My favorite issue: Issue 8 / Business. She’s running a sale until Dec 18 with each issue for $25 (with issues one through nine together for $225)

18. Bescor LED-70 Dimmable Video Light {$60 w/ $40 savings until Dec 31}
When Sunpak stopped making the RL-30, my lightpainting heart was crushed. Luckily, I found a new source of light to paint ribbons of glory with lasts longer and takes AA batteries.

Of course, I offer private lightpainting mentoring discounted for $50 for a 45 minute session until Dec 31, 2011. Email me to lock in the deal (must use by March 31, 2012). Either in-person or via Facetime/skype.

*** BLOG READERS: Have some great stocking stuffer ideas? Add them to the comments below by midnight Dec 22, 2011  for a chance to win a $10 iTunes gift card… so you can stay cool on the latest holiday tunes.

5 Responses to “18 Awesome Gift Ideas for Photographers”

  1. Eric Nicastro — December 16, 2011 @ 11:15 am (#)

    This is for after that long day of taking photos when we need to unwind…

    Buy the The Shot Glass Lens Set at the Photojojo Store!

    And don’t worry, they make Nikon ones as well.

  2. Katie Lyon — December 16, 2011 @ 1:47 pm (#)

    I’ll take one of each!

  3. Alix — September 20, 2012 @ 11:56 pm (#)

    Hello RJ!

    I just wanted to add another one to the gift list and tell you about our awesome gadget that is for photographers of every level. 🙂 The Hufa Holder lens cap clip was designed by photographers after they had, like many other photographers do, lost a TON of lens caps. The nifty little device just clips right on your strap and keeps your cap in place while you’re shooting! Turns out, we lose a whole lot less lens caps this way! 🙂 This also works no matter what camera you are using. Here is a video for you to check it out http://bit.ly/Nu7FPx. Thanks again for sharing your ideas! Hope you’ll check out our gadget when you get a chance.

    Have a great day,


  4. Pingback: ‘The best day of the year’ | Kern-Photo

  5. Becky Gawin — November 27, 2012 @ 8:15 am (#)

    I’d add a graduated neutral density filter kit to the list! Prices range from ~$75-300, which might make Santa want to get a gift certificate instead! 🙂

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