If you’re not a photographer yourself, you might dread the whole idea of holiday shopping for the photographically - inclined. After all, cameras and gear are big-ticket items, and unless you never have a cash-flow problem or the photographer in question is someone you just love to spend a lot of money on, you probably try to steer clear of photography-related gifts. If that’s you (or if that’s someone who buys gifts for you every holiday season), here’s a list of gift ideas that should fit any budget, from $50+ to $10 and under.
Gifts Over $50
Spider Pro SCS -Single camera System Camera Holster ($135)
If your aching back and shoulder have ever made you regret bringing your DSLR, and you don’t mind looking sort of like a cowboy, this camera holster is a great alternative to a traditional shoulder strap. Your camera attaches to the holster with a small to mid-sized tripod plate, and the holster can even be used with a camera that has a full-sized pro flash attached to it. The design allows for fast, one-handed release so you won’t lose any time between spotting the photo opportunity and actually capturing it.
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer ($129)
Not everyone has the Internet — OK, most people have the Internet, but let’s face it, a print photo is just a lot more personal to give to someone than a photo attached to an email—and it’s a lot easier to display, too. This tiny, ultra-portable printer connects to your phone via Bluetooth and prints through the free HP Sprocket App onto 2x3 sticky-backed photo paper.
Lomo'Instant Camera ($139)
Just in case you want to go full retro without having to deal with the hassle of film development, this super-cool Lomography camera also uses instant film, but it’s an all-in-one camera-to-print solution with Lomography charm. It features three shooting modes, unlimited multiple exposures, infinite long exposures and comes with three lens attachments (fish-eye, close–up and portrait).
Gifts $50 and Under
The Pocket Spotlight ($30)
Even the most die-hard DSLR photographer has to admit to taking the occasional smartphone photo. After all, it’s the camera that’s always with you … but the sad truth is that even the latest smartphones don’t perform that well in low light, and the built in flash can never be anything but harsh and ugly. This portable light is soft, even and continuous, which makes it super-simple to focus and expose any low light scene. It mounts on to your headphone jack and charges via USB.
100% Energy Apple Juice Power Pack ($35)
There comes a time in every smartphonographer’s life when the battery is dead. With this 5200mAh portable charger, you can recharge your phone anywhere with any charging cable. It’s just 3.5 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches in size, and let’s face it, it’s really cute. Contains no actual apple juice, though, sorry.
Hoya 52mm RM72 Infrared Filter - $42
Professional infrared photography requires customizing a DSLR, but you can get some pretty good results with this shortcut, too. Using the Hoya R72 requires some know-how, but with a little post-processing anyone can use it to take surreal-looking infrared images. You do need a tripod and a good piece of post-processing software (a camera that shoots RAW is also recommended). Also available in 46mm, 49mm, 55mm, 58mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm (prices vary).
Gifts $25 and Under
Movo Photo MTP1000 Panaromic 360°/ 60-Minute Time Lapse Tripod Head ($19.95)
If you’ve always loved the idea of shooting time-lapse photography but felt it was out of your reach, here’s an inexpensive gadget that will prove you wrong. Attach the MTP1000 to your tripod and it will complete a 360° cycle in 60-minutes. You can use it with any camera weighing up to 4.4 lbs—it comes with a standard mounting screw for compact cameras and DSLRs, plus an adapter for GoPro cameras and Smartphones. If you prefer longer time-lapse, there’s also a 120-minute version for the same price.
Mobile macro lens ($12.99)
Smartphone cameras are really convenient, but limited. And if you protect yours with a drop-proof case, you may not love the idea of buying add-on lenses that you can’t use without removing that protection. That’s what makes this little gadget so cool—it’s a 4x magnification lens that attaches with a stretchy rubber band, which means you can use it right over your case and take it off and on in seconds.
@NatGeo: The Most Popular Instagram Photos ($10.97)
Online courses and tutorials are wonderful resources, but sometimes even great photographers need to slow down a little and just look at some pictures. National Geographic has long been known for its top-notch photography across multiple genres from macro to street photography to wildlife to landscapes. This book features “the most liked, commented on, and favorite photos from National Geographic’s iconic Instagram account.”
Gifts $10 and Under
Eggsnow Camera Cap Buckle Lens Cap Holder ($8.99)
You never lose your lens cap, of course, but if you know someone whose lens caps always seem to go missing, consider stuffing his stocking with one of these camera strap lens cap holders. It works with any brand camera with a lens size of 52mm, 58mm or 67mm, and it attaches securely and easily to your camera’s strap or to your camera bag. Plus, you don’t have to modify either the strap or the cap to make it fit.
"I shoot people" mug ($9.99)
That’s what photographers do, right? This premium class ceramic cup is stain-resistant, lead-free and chip-resistant too, for the photographer who likes to shoot people with one hand and drink coffee with the other. It’s also dishwasher and microwave-safe.
Vintage Camera Photo Album ($9.42)
Everyone loves the look of those vintage cameras, even if we don’t miss the trials and tribulations of actually having to use one. This little photo album holds 36 4x6 photos—fill it up with your favorite family photos before gifting it, or let the recipient choose her own photos instead.
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