Finding the right gifts for photographers can be a challenge. Having been a professional travel photographer for 15 years, I’ve tested my fair share of photography equipment from cameras to accessories. To help you choose a gift for the photographer in your life, I’ve rounded up the best photography gifts to suit every budget.
Best Gifts for Photography Lovers
Let’s face it, photographers can be a picky bunch. We know the brands we like and tend to use the same gear over and over. That can make it really difficult for someone who is not into photography to come up with the perfect holiday gift that they will like. But I’ve made it easier for you.
I have broken down these photography gifts into different categories from photo gifts under $25 dollars to gifts over $100 dollars. I’ve created a list of accessories that photographers will love and fun gifts for the office and home. So are you ready to get shopping? Let’s go!
Best Gifts for Photographers under $25
After years of being a professional photographer, I know I am always looking for photography gear that will help me take better photos, be lightweight, and make my job of capturing beautiful images easier.
These are some of my best photography gift ideas that will help you get the right gift for those photographer friends in your life. If you are looking for photo gifts that are practical and can be used right away, the items below are where you want to start.
1: Memory Card Holder
In today’s world, we need to carry multiple memory cards with us. A good way to keep them safe from the elements and organized is with a dedicated memory card holder. This is one of those great gift ideas that you will thank me for. They are economical, useful and every photographer needs them.
I like to go with the hard case myself as I am usually photographing in all different types of weather situations and it is important to me to keep what I have shot safe after I take it out of the camera. This is one we recommend.
2: Lens cleaning kit
One thing that every photographer knows is how important it is to keep your camera lens clean. So getting this inexpensive lens kit is the perfect gift that every photographer will love.
I use this one from LensPen forever as it includes a blower, a microfiber cleaning cloth as well as the LensPen itself. If you are looking for a great gift that will be appreciated and not break the bank this is a great choice.
You can also get a complete camera cleaning kit that includes Cleaning Solution, Cleaning Swabs, a Cleaning Cloth and the Lens Pen and Air Blower for DSLR Cameras.
3. Lens Sensor Cleaning Kit
Having dust in your sensor can ruin a shot. Great care is needed when cleaning your sensor, that is why a specialized brush and kit are important. Photographers can never have enough cleaning swabs and will appreciate this lens sensor cleaning kit.
The package includes 14 sensor cleaning swabs for full-frame sensors. They are made in a dust-free environment and each package is individually vacuum-sealed. The design was made to cause no damage to the sensor and won’t leave any streaks. This is a great gift under $25
4: Memory Cards
It doesn’t matter if they are into landscape photography, macro photography, travel photography or you are a wildlife photographer, you always need memory cards. These are one of the best gifts for photographers because you always need more!
This is what makes them one of those perfect gifts. Most cameras nowadays use SD cards, unless it is a drone then they actually use micro SD cards. I use the Sandisk Extreme cards as they are fast and come in high capacities. If this is your first time buying an SD card then I would suggest you look at something like this 64GB Class 10. It will work in almost any camera and is fast as well.
5: Microfiber Cloths
You can never have enough Microfiber Cloths in your bag. I use them to keep my camera lens clean as well as my viewfinder. You don’t want smudges and fingerprints ruining your images.
These make the perfect gift for a photographer because they work for any type of digital camera, phone camera, DSLR camera.
6. Lens Cap Holder
I’ve lost a lot of lens caps over the years. I’ve talked to some photographers who have given up and don’t even bother with a lens cap. That in my opinion is nuts. We spend a lot of money on lenses and keeping them safe is my number 1 priority. A lens cap holder is an excellent accessory that works for Sony and Canon lenses.
Lens Cap Keeper is a leash that prevents your lens cap from getting lost and is one of the more unique gifts for photographers as I hadn’t really thought of this before myself. So, if you are looking for a stocking stuffer, consider a lens keeper.
Gift Ideas for Photographers under $100
7: Camera Accessory Pouch
Most photographers I know like to keep organized. Knowing where everything is in your camera bag and how to get to it can make the difference between getting the shot or not. I use these pouches to keep all my charging cords, battery chargers, spare batteries, and other camera accessories nice and organized.
This organizer is a wonderful gift for a photographer because it is something they probably wouldn’t purchase themselves. I love the clear windows in these ones as I can quickly see what is inside.
8: Portable Tripod
Any photographer would be happy to get a tripod as a gift. They come in all different sizes and materials, it just depends on how serious your photographer friend is. I don’t recommend buying full-size tripods as gifts for photographers because they usually know exactly what they want when it comes to tripod heads and stands, but a small portable tripod is always a good idea.
When considering portable tripods, my favorite is the Jobi flexible tripod. It’s perfect in a pinch if you want to take group shots without setting up a tripod and you can mount it to nearly everything.
For someone who travels light and uses mainly a point and shoot or phone, something like this mini tripod would be perfect. If they are more on the professional photographer end of things then you will want to lean more toward a higher-end model like this one. It comes with a ball head, has a numbered scale on the base that lets you accurately repeat 360 Degree pans and holds DSLR cameras with lenses up to 5k (11 pounds).
9: A Functional Camera Strap
Camera straps have come a long way from the basic neck strap. In recent years and there actually 2 brands that I recommend. There is the Cross Body Camera Strap by Black Rapid, which I have used for years and love, or there is the quick-release camera neck strap from Peak Design, which is innovative and convenient.
The benefit of the Peak Design strap is if you use that system of mounts, packs, and accessories then it works seamlessly with it. I do find that if you are walking all day and are not using that system then the Black Rapid Camera Strap is much more comfortable.
10: Waterproof Camera Cover
Most cameras nowadays are at least water-resistant, but not many are truly water-proof. If you have a photographer friend that likes to spend a lot of time photographing outdoors (wildlife photographers), then this is the perfect gift for them.
Sizing them can be a little of a challenge, but my suggestion is if they are using a DSLR camera then go for the larger size and if they are using a Mirrorless digital camera then you can usually get away with a smaller size.
11: Peak Design Capture clip
I have a lot of photographer friends that love their Peak Design Bags and accessories. Peak Design has done such a great job at thinking about little details that make capturing great images a little easier.
The Peak Design Capture clip is one of those accessories. It attaches to any backpack strap, belt, or bag, and has an Arca tripod-compatible plate that screws into the bottom of your camera. It can be attached to any camera that has a tripod mount.
It keeps your camera secure while hiking, walking, or any other activity. You won’t have to worry about missing shots while trying to get your camera out of your bag in time. I think I might get myself one this year.
12: Remote Shutter Release
Does that photographer in your life enjoy taking photos of themselves in a destinations? If they do then a wireless remote would be a great gift for them. It works through Bluetooth technology to release the shutter button remotely. No more handing off your camera to someone else to take a photo.
Just throw your camera on a tripod, frame it up, and shoot away. It also helps eliminate camera shake when shooting in low-light situations. These are camera-specific, so you will have to know what brand of camera you are buying it for. Here is one for Canon Cameras, Nikon Cameras, and Sony Cameras.
13: Spare Batteries
Spare batteries are an essential piece of photography equipment. The last thing you want to do is miss shots because your battery ran out. We never head out in the field without them. A photographer needs extra batteries all the time. Batteries can be very expensive, so they will appreciate this practical gift.
Batteries are something that is also camera-specific, so when looking for a gift for photographers, make sure to know the brand and camera your photographer friend has will be needed. You can check out this list of batteries to get started.
Photography Gifts Over $100
If you are looking to spend a bit more when looking for gifts for photographers, I have some ideas for splurge items and much-needed equipment. Enjoy these luxury items for your photography friend or loved one.
14: Digital picture frame
Everyone loves to display their digital photography and the best way to do this is with a digital picture frame. You can load as many photos as you like on this one and it is a great way to show off your images regardless of whether you are an amateur photographer or a professional.
If you are looking for a gift for a photographer that will let them show off their work, this is it. You can control what photos are displayed using their smartphone app via Wi Fi. I bought one last year, loaded some of my images on it, and gave it as a gift.
It’s much more practical than a photo book as they can load their own photos into the frame down the line. This is also the perfect gift for travelers as well to store their memories. Check it out here
15: Sandisk Portable SSD
Having enough storage to put all of your digital photos is always a challenge. A photographer needs external storage and they can always use more. That is why this portable SSD hard drive is perfect for any photographer that travels. It is rugged and small and it is reliable. It’s not much bigger than a business card, so it’s perfect for travel photographers.
I never leave home without at least one of these to back up my photos on the road. They come in different capacities from 500GB up to 4 TB, it just depends on how much you want to spend.
16: Camera Bag
Photographers who want to up their game and look more professional and organized will eventually want to splurge on an expensive camera bag. But bags can be a personal choice and come in many different sizes depending on how much camera gear you want to carry. So choose wisely.
If you are looking for a camera bag that can carry a lot of camera equipment, check out this bag from Shimoda. It can carry 2 DSL Cameras, extra camera lenses, and photography accessories and it is weatherproof as well. I have used it for years and love it. Plus the new version now has a water bottle holder. This is something I find invaluable if I photograph outdoors, go on an adventure or even want to have water handy while taking street art photography.
17: Photography Magazine subscription
If you are looking for a unique gift that won’t break the bank but will be appreciated by all photography lovers out there then a photography magazine subscription to Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography or even National Geographic will inspire everyone.
It is where I got a lot of my motivation and inspiration as well. Learning from the masters will always help you elevate your photography.
18: Storage Subscription
After you take your photos you have to store them somewhere right? Nowadays a cloud system like Smugmug or Backblaze is a great way to back-up your photos and not worry if something happens to your cards or hard drives.
You can simply pay a monthly or yearly fee and have the upload automatically to the cloud. It is a worry-free backup option that all photographers should take advantage of.
If you don’t want to purchase a subscription, a great alternative is a portable hard drive. Depending on your budget you can purchase a small portable flash drive or an iPhone to put in a stocking stuffer, or you can splurge on a portable drive with a lot of space.
This Sandisk Extreme Pro flash drive offers 1TB of storage letting the photographer in your life safely transfer photos to have as a backup system.
20. Photography Course
For photographers who want to keep learning, this photography course is an excellent addition. I always take new courses to keep on top of the latest technology and this course by Elia Locardi really upped my photography skills. It is a very extensive course packed full of information and education you can buy it right now here.
This is a unique photography gift that will keep on giving. Read all about it here.
Fun Photo Gifts
Sometimes the best gift for a photographer doesn’t have anything to do with business and simply can be a lot of fun. These are some fun and quirky photo gifts to help you start thinking outside the box.
21. Film Camera
Retro is all the rage these days and some photographers are getting back to their roots. While you may not want to splurge on a vintage SLR film camera, a Fujumax or Polaroid instant camera is a lot of fun.
I love displaying my old cameras around the house and these cameras offer that vintage look, that can be used for parties or during your travels. This is a fun gift for photographers who like to share the photography experience with their friends.
We love to give people a copy of our instant prints when taking photos in villages and at a party, fill a camera with film and let friends snap some memories that are safe from being plastered up on social media
This polaroid is as vintage as it gets or you can purchase this retro-feeling FujiFilm Instamax Camera on Amazon that has a vintage camera design with a mondern twist
22. Camera Lens Coffee Mug
This coffee mug is perfect for photo geeks that need everything photography in their lives. It is a stainless steel vacuum thermos mug is perfect for photo shoots and events. It comes complete with a lens cap and coffee spoon. Whether the one you love is out shooting street photography, wildlife or simply editing photos at home, this is the perfect companion for photo buffs.
Ths lens mug is a gift for photographers who want to look cool at a photo shoot. Check it out here.
23. Fun Neon Camera Sign
For the home office, this Neon lights camera sign is a great addition to create a photography space in the office. The sign is 30 cm / 30 cm (12×12) so it’s not too big but will add enough zing to the room making it playful and fun.
Photographers will love this gift. It’s the ultimate gift for photographers with style.
24. Photo Printer
When it comes to printing, photographers will want to go through a professional lab, however, a fun gift is a pocket photo printer to be able to create art with the flick of a switch.
Sometimes you just want a hard copy to be able to give someone or to frame and put on your nightstand. All photographers will appreciate this gift to add a little fun to their photography. It’s also perfect for holiday parties.
24. LED Panel Lights
If you know a food photographer this is an excellent addition to their camera gear. The LED Panel light transports a mini studio light to the palm of your hand. The adjustable LED lights are dimmable and come with light filters. It works with Sony, Canon, Nikon, and other cameras. This also helps to take travel photos and people portraits in dim light without needing to use your flash or a tripod.
25. Photography Gloves
Even if you live in a warm climate, you may be traveling to cold places. I’ve used gloves from the Arctic to Antarctica. Taking gloves on and off when photographing can be a pain, but these photography gloves let you be ready to shoot in seconds. Keep your hands warm while exposing only your shooting fingers and thumbs. They are made with merino wool and Thinsulate insulation keeping your hands warm while you shoot.
I’ve tried smart gloves and after a couple of uses, they really don’t work. I need dexterity in my fingers and these gloves are a good option. When traveling anywhere from Yellowstone National Park to the mountains of Switzerland, the Vallerret Markhof Pro V3 gloves do the trick.
So there you have it, my recommendations for cool gifts for a photographer that they will truly love to use in 2023. These make for excellent holiday gifts for photography lovers. If you would like some more ideas you can check out my Photography Gear list, which includes a lot of these items as well as a more detailed breakdown of the camera gear that I use as a professional photographer.
Check out our Amazon store for more gifts for travel and gear. The Planet D’s Amazon Store
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