Whether the photographer in your life likes snapping summit selfies or uses a DSLR camera professionally, we’ve found the best gifts for photographers.
Technology has made it easier to capture images, but it still takes a good eye, practice, and the right gear to make an image worth hanging on the wall. From shooting car interiors to portraits and action adventure shots, I’ve spent years working as a photographer and have tested camera gear along the way.
Here are a few pieces of equipment that every photographer should consider. And they make for great gifts!
Photography is all about light. A reflector is great for both natural light and flash photography, and especially useful for portraiture work. A multidisk unit like this one is small, lightweight, and versatile.
Kogalla RA Adventure Light: Starting at $160
When defeating darkness is the goal, Kogalla RA lights are ready to provide unmatched brightness. Putting out 800 lumens of warm, natural light, these light strips could change the way you get outside. Attach a light to each backpack strap and never again fumble for your headlamp when darkness falls on the trail. They’re perfect for getting adventure photography and twilight photoshoots.
If you use an off-camera, speedlight-style flash, this little light-shaping tool will instantly up your game. It softens the light and gives it nice, even dispersion. I’ve used this tool for everything from weddings and portraits to vehicle interior photos. It’s also crazy-lightweight and compact, which makes it perfect for travel.
BURNOUT Mug: $80-100
Designed by rocket scientists, the BURNOUT Mug brings your coffee to a drinkable temperature and then holds it there for hours. BURNOUT’s dual-chamber design absorbs heat from the drink and brings it to a drinkable temperature quickly. The HeatZorb technology keeps it perfectly warm for hours — no more burned tongue or constant reheating. This made-in-the-USA travel mug is perfect for long photoshoots and all-night editing sessions.
I’ve tried out so many camera carry systems and always return to my trusty Peak Design setup. This package deal has all the key ingredients for carrying your camera efficiently, comfortably, and stylishly. The Peak Design Bread-N-Butter Bundle includes a Capture clip, slide strap, and clutch. Any of these items would be great on their own as well and can easily be built up as a system over time.
Stay focused on chasing the light with the Terrebonne II OutDry Extreme Shoes from Columbia. With the performance of a trail shoe and the protection of a boot, these hikers are ready for all manner of photo-focused expeditions. The cushion gives all-day comfort on long shoots, and the OmniGrip advanced traction is rugged enough to handle any adventure. And with a breathable waterproof upper, you never again have to worry about wet feet ruining your day.
There are few pieces of camera kit that are as versatile as the JOBY GorillaPod. Whether you just need a portable tripod or a stabilizer that will allow you to get those super-unique angles, the GorillaPod is your answer. There is a wide range of GorillaPods for every type of camera. But no matter which size you get, be sure to get the ball head mount to maximize the versatility of the product. This GorillaPod 3K kit is best suited for small DSLR cameras.
This tripod is perfect for travel and active adventures. It weighs only 3.86 pounds, folds down to only 13.67 inches long, and expands to a height of 55 inches. Somehow, this little carbon and aluminum wonder can also handle loads up to 66 pounds! A detachable monopod and super high-quality ball head make this a great value and professional-level product.
Dust on your lens or on your digital camera’s sensor is sure to wreck what might have been an amazing image. Touching the lens glass or sensor is dangerous, as it can scratch easily. This little tool blasts air across the surface and allows for touch-free cleaning. Every photographer needs to have one of these in their bag, and it’s a great stocking stuffer for the holidays.
If you plan to take your camera gear out into remote places to get the shot, the Lowepro Whistler backpack is what you want. I’ve taken this pack traveling around the globe and use it on a regular basis for photoshoots of dusty deserts, cold mountains, and everything in between. This bag protects your gear, gives you easy access, and has enough room for other adventure essentials. It’s a crazy-comfortable backpack with unmatched durability.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan: $10/month
The industry standard in digital photo processing is Photoshop and Lightroom. They have immense power to control the final look and feel of your images and provide a professional way to organize them all. This is a must for all serious photographers.
Sole Footbeds: $24-50
My feet, knees, and back swear by the comfort benefits of fitting quality footbeds into my adventure shoes, especially for long days behind the camera. Sole makes really high-quality and ergonomic footbeds that work for a wide range of foot shapes and shoe types.
Photoshoots can easily spill into the night. A headlamp is something that permanently lives in my camera bag. Not only is it good for checking camera settings, setting up gear, and digging through your camera bag after dark, but it’s also great for light painting in a pinch. The new Princeton Tec SNAP headlamp is a great value and extremely versatile.