Looking for great gifts for photographers? It can be tricky – because the best gifts for photographers are often photography gear such as lenses, camera bags, etc., yet many photographers have very specific personal wish-lists when it comes to camera equipment!
So, on this page, we’ve not only captured a list of 21 cool gift ideas for photographers – but we’ve also included plenty of great tips and advice to help you choose presents that the camera lovers in your life will be sure to appreciate!
Gifts for Photographers – General Tips and Advice
Okay, before you scroll down to check out our list of 21 gift ideas for photographers, here are 4 helpful general tips to keep in mind:
1) As we said, camera gear like lenses, bags, etc. are typically the best photographer gifts – but even a top-of-the-line Canon lens will be useless if they only have a Nikon camera! The good thing is that most photographers know exactly what photography equipment they want (or need!) Want to know what pieces of camera gear would make the best gifts for the unique photographer in your life? Just ask him or her!
2) Every photographer is different! Some love snapping photos of magnificent natural landscapes, while others prefer to capture the emotions in human expressions. They may enjoy action photography, food photography, or street photography. And different camera gear is best suited for different types of photography. So don’t believe anyone who tells you that particular items are simply the “best gifts for photographers” – because the best gifts for Ansel Adams would not be the best gifts for Annie Leibowitz! If possible, try to find out about your gift recipient’s own photographic interests and style before buying them a photography-related gift!
3) Photography gear is expensive – and photographers know how hard it is to buy good photography gifts for them! So, while we rarely recommend gift cards as gifts, this is one of the few cases where you can consider it (depending on the situation and the gift recipient, of course!) If you don’t know exactly what equipment they need, then many photographers would be glad to receive a gift card to a specialty photography shop like B&H Photo Video – which they can then use towards that specific piece of camera gear that they’ve had their eye on! (Amazon gift cards are always a useful option too, of course.)
4) Because they know how hard it is to choose great photography-related gifts, even the most passionate photographer would be glad to receive gifts related to his or her other interests. This is especially true of professional photographers, who likely already have the photography gear they need. So, is the photographer in your life a Batman fan or a Star Wars fan? An avid runner or cyclist? A coffee lover or wine enthusiast? (Check out our main menu for more gift ideas!) Many photographers might prefer to receive something related to these other interests – rather than yet another camera-themed item.
Okay – on to the gift ideas! We’ve included a broad variety of ideas below, ranging from highly practical gifts for photographers to fun inexpensive Christmas stocking stuffers that’ll bring a smile to their face. If our list helps you find a great gift for the photographer in your life, then feel free to thank us with a gift of a new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera. With, say, a 70-200 f2.8 lens. Or maybe a Nikon D810? Just kidding – here’s the list!
The GorillaPod is a uniquely versatile tripod that can be used to place a camera virtually anywhere. Not only is it great as a lightweight travel tripod in general, but the flexible joints in its legs also enable it hold a camera steady on a slope, or even to be wrapped around trees or poles! By enabling him or her to explore new angles and perspectives, the gift of a GorillaPod will make it possible for the photographer in your life to take even more great photos – which is ultimately what he or she really wants!
Various models are available – the cheapest GorillaPod is designed for small point-and-shoot cameras, but serious photographers will need a model like this one to handle their SLR.
For another very unique flexible tripod, check out the Miggo Splat:
Or for a highly recommended “traditional” lightweight travel tripod that would make a great gift, check out this one.
2) BlackRapid Ultra-Comfortable Shoulder Strap
Looking for a gift for a photographer who’s still using the cheap shoulder strap that came with their heavy camera? Get them an ultra-comfortable BlackRapid shoulder strap – they’ll thank you every time they carry their camera anywhere!
3) Camera Lens Coffee Mug & Flash Drive Gift Set
You know, we debated whether to include this item on our list – because it’s already gotten so popular among photographers that there’s a pretty good chance your photographer gift recipient already owns one! But if, for example, they’re just a beginner, then this fun mug would make an awesome Christmas stocking stuffer or small birthday gift.
Thanks to its popularity, there are tons of camera lens coffee mugs on the market by now – but this one is especially cool because it comes as a gift set with a little camera-shaped flash drive too!
4) Seagate Expansion 4TB Portable External Hard Drive
An external hard drive may seem like a boring gift compared to some of the unique items on this list – but if they’re always running out for storage space for their thousands and thousands of photos, then there’s likely nothing that they’d rather receive for Christmas or their birthday than a huge 4TB hard drive to hold them all!
5) SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB SD Card
A big hard drive is great – but if they’re stuck with a small SD card that fills up in a single photo session, then their biggest hassle is constantly having to keep transferring their photos. Save them the trouble – with a big ol’ 256GB SD card!
(The only thing better would be a 512GB SD card, of course!)
6) Life: The Classic Collection
What do photographers love most? Great photos! Life magazine is virtually synonymous with great photography – and Life: The Classic Collection brings together some of their most classic and iconic images.
This makes a surprisingly inexpensive gift – considering that it comes with 25 removable full-size classic prints, which many photography lovers would enjoy framing and displaying at home!
7) Peak Design Capture Camera Clip
This clip will attach to any belt or backpack strap, to provide easy access to their camera at all times – great for photography-loving hikers and backpackers!
8) How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
For less experienced photographers – or photographers who simply want to get better – any gift that helps them improve their skills is an excellent one!
Tony Northrup’s DSLR book, How to Create Stunning Digital Photography, is just one of the great how-to photography books out there – and also includes access to over 12 hours of online training videos and more!
9) ONA Camera Messenger Bag
Sure, we mentioned earlier that the best camera bag to gift any photographer is the one on his or her list – but if you want your present to be a surprise, then it’s hard to go wrong with an ONA camera bag.
Just one example is pictured above – but all of ONA’s camera bags are practical yet stylish. So even if the special photographer in your life already has a good camera bag, they’re sure to put this one to use whenever the occasion calls for a more fashionable choice!
10) Kattee Canvas Leather Vintage-Style Camera Messenger Bag
A less expensive alternative to the ONA bags, these roomy vintage-style bags are available in a wide range of colors. None of them look like camera bags – and the best part is that the camera insert can even be removed for use as an attractive everyday messenger bag!
11) Vintage camera photo album
A cute photo album… designed to look like a vintage camera! Perfect as an inexpensive Christmas stocking stuffer or small anytime gift for a photographer.
For a truly special gift, just develop some photos from your good times spent together – and include them inside the album when you present it to them!
12) Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame
A digital photo frame can work as a great gift on different levels. Load it with memories of your good times together – for them to be reminded always. Or simply gift it as-is – for them to display their favorite photographs at home!
There are a ton of digital picture frames out there – this one includes a motion sensor that turns the frame on only when someone enters the room, while also offering excellent high-resolution images for the price! (And you know how important image quality is to photographers!)
13) Camera Dial Cufflinks
A fun photographer gift for him on Valentine’s Day – or even on the occasion of his wedding. These cufflinks look like an actual camera dial – a stylish way for him to show off his love for photography!
14) Miniature camera jewelry
Miniature camera earrings – perfect as a Valentine’s Day, birthday, or Christmas gift for the photography-loving woman or girl in your life!
A cute pendant necklace in the shape of a miniature camera is also available, as is a bangle bracelet with a camera as a hook. (For a special present, gift her all three!)
15) Vintage Camera Pillows
Not only are real cameras very expensive – they’re also not very comfortable to sit on!
So consider gifting your favorite photographer one of these comfy vintage camera pillows as an attractive piece of camera-themed home décor!
16) Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs
This collection brings together 400 photographs from throughout his illustrious career photographing America’s beautiful landscapes.
17) National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary
National Geographic is famous for the incredible photography that it has featured throughout its long history – and Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary is just one of the many coffee-table books in which they’ve published some of their most amazing shots. Any collection of striking National Geographic photography would be a treasured gift for any photographer!
18) Helmut Newton: SUMO
It’s not cheap – but it is monumental and historic! The original version of Helmut Newton’s SUMO photography book broke records, weighing more than 65 pounds at a size of more than 2 feet long… and costing $1500! This version is much smaller and more affordable, although still oversized at more than 15 pounds – representing the fact that this book was truly a monumental achievement for the photographer. Like the massive original, this more manageable version even comes with its own acrylic bookstand, made specially for holding such a huge book!
It’s a classic – and an absolute must for the collection of any serious photography enthusiast who would enjoy owning a piece of history!
19) The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook
Here, again, the best instructional book to gift a particular photographer will depend on which areas in which they most want to improve their skills – and every photographer has at least one area that they want to improve! Before buying such books as gifts, it’s usually best to find out what aspect of their photography they most want to work on.
The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook is just one example of a great gift that will help a photographer improve a particular area of his or her skills – although there are plenty of other options for any aspect of photography that may interest him or her!
20) Professional Camera Lens Cleaning Kit
This camera lens cleaning kit is an especially useful Christmas stocking stuffer for those just getting into photography – containing everything that they’ll need to take good care of their camera lenses. A lens cleaning kit may not sound very exciting – but it can help them significantly in maintaining their expensive equipment like new, which is something that they will definitely appreciate in the long run!
21) Vintage camera desk organizer
We’ll wrap up this list with another fun (yet functional) camera-themed item – a desk organizer in the shape of a vintage camera! A small gift that will add a nice little touch to any photographer’s room or office!
Bonus Photographer Gift Idea: Travel!
The best gifts for photographers are the ones that yield great photos – so we’re sure the photographer in your family would love to take a trip someplace with wonderful new subjects for his or her camera!
Maybe a beautiful national park just a few hours away, or a cultural festival in a neighboring state or country – the best options will depend upon their own particular interests as a photographer.
In any case, though, travel to a new place with exciting photo opportunities is almost always a perfect gift for a photographer!
Okay, we hope you’ve found the perfect gifts for the photographers in your life – be sure to check out all our other lists to find great gift ideas for everyone else on your list!