Perfect Holiday Gifts for the Photographer On Your List

3 years ago

Still need ideas for family, friends, teachers, coworkers, bloggers, zombie lovers, special needs kids, app addicts, photographers, style mavens, or foodies? We've got you covered and then some with our gift guides, chosen by BlogHer staff, contributing editors and members. We wouldn't steer you wrong.


From the hobbyist snapshooter to the hardcore photography nut, one thing is for sure: It's hard to go wrong with a gift of gear, gadgets and accessories related to what can be a time-consuming, expensive and utterly addictive activity.

Seriously, trust me on this.

So now that it's time for holiday gifting, what to buy for the photographer in your life?

Honestly, lot depends on their level of interest in taking pictures and acquiring the gear to do it, and also your budget, of course. So I don't really know a better way to decide what to buy than to tell you what would be on my dream gift list this year. (And hope someone close to me is reading, I guess. A girl can dream.)

1. Epiphanie Paris Bag. This is my must-have item this season. Designer Maile Wilson has outdone herself in this new addition to the collection (Clover is the other new design), that holds not only a DSLR and lenses... but a laptop. Carry-on item problem for this geek who goes nowhere without either of those things? Solved. The Paris costs $184.99, which sounds like the right price point for my 40th December birthday gift to myself, don't you think?

I have an Epiphanie Ginger bag that Maile was kind enough to send me, and I love the products so much that I will happily purchase this one for myself and recommend them far and wide. I've simply found no better way to protect my Digital Rebel and still maintain my fashion sense.

2. A higher-end point and shoot. I'm a Canon PowerShot loyalist and will own them as long as they make them. This year, the PowerShot G12 is on my wishlist. It's got a 10 megapixel sensor (plenty for prints up to 8x10) and HD video capability, if you like to mix your still chocolate with your video peanut butter. It's more powerful than a

This camera will be perfect for in-between situations like concerts or the beach, where my shots really count but I don't want to or can't take the DSLR.

3. An anytime Point and Shoot. There's never been a better time to pick up a point and shoot camera that will take great photos and slip into a pocket. Yes, I will go on and on about Canon, but Nikon and Sony have lots of reasonably-priced, solid models too. This comprehensive MacWorld buying guide explains the differences between typical cameras, and the National Association for Professional Child Photographers' blog picks their top five point and shoots for moms. I'm interested in their number one choice, the Olympus PEN-EPL1, that has features typically found in bulkier cameras, including a DSLR-quality four thirds sensor, live view and art filters like Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film and Pinhole. It's pricey at about $550, but sounds like a lot of fun.

4. Fun things from the Photojojo Store. I'm a sucker for Photojojo, but I never buy myself anything because it always feels like too much of a splurge (even though there are some very inexpensive items.) I need to remedy that in the new year, but in the meantime you can hook up your best loved photographers with treats like the Chalkboard Speech Bubble, a fun prop for party photos that guests can write or draw a message on, or the $25 Juice Box Camera with a straw for a shutter. (I will be acquiring one of these for myself, no question.) Thanks, Photojojo, for making photography more fun.

5. Fuji Instax Camera I'm very jealous of my blog and photo friends who have this fun camera that cranks out mini-images instantly. I admit it.


Check out the Fuji Instax room on Flickr for a peek at the credit card-sized images that this little camera produces.

6. Memory cards. Need stocking stuffer ideas? Everyone can use an extra and larger memory cards for all of this increased photo and video power in 2010 cameras. Plus, you can never have too much memory (says the compulsive shooter). Check the web for deals on the typical SD cards from 2 gb up to 32 gb, and never be camera-forgetful again.

7. A prime lens for better portraiture. I recommended this last year, but it's a perennial perfect gift item for a DSLR shooter who likes to shoot faces, in particular. For a reasonable option I'd suggest a 50 lens if your photographer doesn't have one yet. The Canon "nifty 50" -- a prime, 50mm/f1.8 lens that retails around $100 most places -- is a popular choice that won't break most budgets while it helps to create beautiful portraits. The Nikon version is just a bit more expensive. And Wikipedia still does my favorite job of explaining what a prime lens does, anyway.

8. Printing Gift Cards I never print my photos for two reasons -- time and money. It's mostly time, admittedly -- going through my shots takes hours in the day I lack with a full-time job and paid gigs. But if I have a gift card to a place like Ritz Camera, Snapfish (pick up prints at Walgreens, WalMart, Meijer or Duane Read), Shutterfly (pick up at Walgreens, Target or CVS) or a place near me like Chrome where I like to get more important prints finished, I'm more likely to actually get them printed.

9. Make a Photo Book. I made a photo book for my sister last year from Blurb to commemorate her years living in California, and it turned out beautifully. It took me an evening to choose and layout the photos in the book design I chose, and the book was at my doorstep by Christmas Eve with rush shipping. (I'm the queen of the last-minute brainstorm.) This was absolutely something I could not have purchased in a store without the photos I'd taken on my visits, and she will be able to keep it forever. I highly recommend this option for older scanned and/or restored photos or those that live on a hard drive.

Shutterfly and Snapfish offer photo book options too, as does Lulu. Here are some photo book ideas from the Shutterfly blog.

10. Send them to school. I've taught photo classes specifically for women learning how to use their cameras, and I'm always amazed at how much they haven't put them through their paces. I highly recommend a digital photo class at a local studio, community center, college or camera shop. Courses can range in difficulty and scope from how to turn the camera on and start shooting to how to store and process digital images.

11. iPhone add-on lenses. I am very enamored of these -- wide-angle, fisheye and telescope lenses that pop onto an iPhone 3G and increase its photo power. Fun!

12. Everything else. The list can go on and on. Check with your person -- would they like a light photo editing program like Photoshop Elements? Do they take lots of pictures on the go and could use something fun and functional like a GorillaPod tripod or even something fun like a water bottle tripod for a point and shoot? Do they need gift cards at their store of choice to put towards a higher-end camera than they can afford on their own?

One of everything? Yes, please.

Photography is fun and a fantastic focus for gifts at the holidays and any time. Again, on behalf of all of us who do this crazy thing, I thank you. May we always make you look beautiful from any angle.

Contributing Editor Laurie White writes at LaurieWrites, and posts photos on Flickr.

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