Christmas Gift Ideas and Stocking Stuffers for Photographers

Posted by Gary Ramey on November 26th, 2012
My Take: I found this article by Mark Laurie from 2011. Most of it still applies for 2012 so I decided to share it with you. I deleted a few suggestions and added some links to help you shop for the items.

A Master Photographer shares his popular annual list of gift ideas to help give you some ideas for the photographer on your holiday shopping list. These aren’t just the normal things, though, but cool stuff that they will ask, “Wow, where did you find this?” Finding a gift for a photographer can be tricky – where does the non-photographer look? Well, here you go, from the fun to the serious, along with the obscure. This will make it easy for you.

1. Canon/Nikon Mugs store. Not really a camera accessory but I think these are just fun. Just be careful you don’t grab the real lens and pour coffee into it.

2. Wacom tablet. They come in different sizes with the Bamboo line for the starters, and the Intous line for the real creative types. Once they start using this to work on their images, the mouse will feel like a puck! Starts at $125. Most camera stores carry this.

3. Exotic lens. Bigger budget? Buy an exotic lens, super wide angle Fisheye, long telephoto or a macro lens. If you aren’t knowledgable about what you are buying, always buy the same brand lens as the camera.

4. The Eye-Fi. It’s not just a memory card, but a wireless transmitter so you can upload your images to the computer or your favorite photo sharing site. You can also get cards to work with smart phones and the iPad. $99

5. Joby Gorillapods. They have evolved. They have pods that will hold SLRs with zoom lenses, down to pocket cameras. Even ones for iPads and iPhones. Don’t they just look wild? Priced well, too, from $20 to $60.

6. Pop up reflectors. Every photographer can use a reflector. They come in all sizes with choices of silver, gold and white. Go for the silver or white. Lastolite is a great brand with a huge range of options. Westcott is another. Most camera stores carry this product. They range in price from $20 to $300 with the large or exotic ones going for more.

7. The Shootsac. This is a clever idea. It’s a lens bag designed to hug your body. The lenses are quick to access without the usual bulk of a camera case. Designed for both men and all pretty for women. $180.

8. Lens Baby. This is a wildly creative series of lenses for any camera; they change the focus spot with unexpected soft focus spots. $200 starting to $500 for the kit.

9. Black Rapid Camera strap. It’s like a gunslinger strap, puts the camera at your bum or side for easy access, but out of the way if you don’t need it. They were the first. $50 to $60.

10. Aquapac waterproof cases. Good to 12 feet underwater, they have cases for very nearly everything. For all those vacationing photographers. $140.

11. Ray Flash – Ring Flash Adaptor. This fits over the camera’s Flash Head to create those fantastic ring flash fashion shot images. A near shadowless light. $200.

Bonus ideas for stocking stuffers

1. Memory cards – Get Sandisk or Lexar, get the fast transfer speeds. ($60 and up)

2. Mini HDMI cable – Connects new cameras to the big screen. Ask your camera store which cable will be best for your photographer’s camera. ($2)

3. Rechargeable batteries with charger. ($10 to $35)

4. Lens cleaner – Either the cloth, or the fancier Lenspen. ($15)

5. Gary Fong Puffer – Pop up flash diffuser. Most camera stores. Softens the flash from pop up flash so no harsh shadows. ($16 to $25)

6. Bokeh Kits – These are arty filters that shape the out of focus highlights into hearts, stars, happy faces and much more. ($25)

This should get you well on your way through your Christmas list. It was a lot fun searching these out. I came across so many cool things, like an inflatable studio, a projector the size of a smart phone, plus so much more I will share later. For now, happy Christmas shopping!

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