The holiday season is here and, once again, I have created a curated guide of gift ideas for photographers.
The motivation behind creating a Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers came after I realized that, as a photographer, I do not expect to receive meaningful photography gifts from my family or friends because, while thoughtful, the gifts are usually wrong or impractical for what I do.
In this list, you will find gift ideas in a variety of categories from photography gear and books to software tools, all of which offer different price points. As a whole, I have tried to keep the price range for most gifts on the list under $100.
For those not looking for gifts but for holiday sales and promotions, this list will give you a few ideas as well!
Fun and Inexpensive Gifts for Photographers
During a recent workout at the gym, I was listening to a photography podcast where an L-Bracket was recommended as a holiday gift for photographers. I couldn’t help but think that I would be greatly disappointed if I received an L-Bracket as a gift—what a boring gift! Instead of a holiday guide of L-Brackets and other boring items, I put together a list of gifts that range from useful to fun.
I never recommend buying expensive photography gear as a holiday gift because there is a high chance that you might get it wrong. But, if you are a photographer looking for a gift for yourself, it is the perfect time to save by taking advantage of many holiday promotions.
The holiday season is here and it is the perfect time of the year for buying a new lens.
This year I am shopping for a new lens, Fuji 16-80mm with the hope to make it my primary travel lens.
But since I understand that selecting the right lens is not an easy proposition I created the Lens Finder Quiz, where by answering a couple of questions about your camera and type of photography you do, you receive my lens recommendations.
This is the third year in a row that the Sony a6000 is the most sold camera on Amazon. Although the Sony a6000 is a few years old, it still offers the best ratio between features, quality and price. I still consider it the best entry-level camera on the market.
To help you better understand what camera model is right for you, I compared the most popular cameras on the market today.
If you are looking for a compact camera for your travels, I have a dedicated in-depth guide on how to choose the best compact camera that includes a list of my personal recommendations. Best Compact Camera for Travel.
You can also learn more about the compact camera that I use for my travel photography.
After my camera and lens, I consider my tripod to be the most important piece of photography equipment I own. However, it is not an easy task to select the right tripod from thousands of models.
External Hard Drives
Also, if you travel frequently or have a traveling photographer in your life, I also have another piece of equipment that I strongly recommend—My Passport Wireless external hard drive. This hard drive changed the way I travel and take photos on the road because it allows me to back-up my photos without using a computer. It is small, inexpensive and allows me to travel without a laptop. It is truly priceless. WD My Passport Wireless Pro Review.
Book as a Best Gift
Also, I encourage you to check out the Creative Photography Series on my website where I feature the most distinctive photographers from different genres. You can find multiple book recommendations there: Creative Photography Series
Gift of Education
It is always puzzling to me that many beginning photographers have no problem spending thousands of dollars on photography equipment but are hesitant to invest a fraction of the cost of their gear into education.
An expensive piece of equipment does not automatically make you a better photographer. It makes you a guy with a fancy camera and uninspiring photos.
I also use Jimmy McIntyre’s Raya Pro the Digital Blending Panel for Photoshop and highly recommend it. Review: Raya Pro – the Digital Blending Panel for Photoshop
Last year was eventful for the field of photography software. Only 12 months ago, it seemed almost impossible for any company to challenge Adobe’s domination with its combination of Lightroom and Photoshop. But, suddenly, we have multiple companies that have released a handful of innovative photography programs that are now contenders in a space once occupied solely by Adobe.
Here is a list of the three programs I currently use, all of which would make great gifts. What’s even better is that none of them offer the most hated phrase: “the subscription.”
Finally, Windows users can benefit from using Skylum photo editing tools including Luminar 4 and the upcoming Luminar AI.
Luminar offers everything a modern photographer needs for photo editing, including new filters powered by artificial intelligence, major speed improvements, a dedicated RAW develop module, and a digital asset management platform.
Aurora HDR is not just a tool for merging bracketed images, it also provides numerous tools and countless options to create perfect HDR photos for every taste – from one-click presets and advanced tone-mapping, to layers, noise reduction, and luminosity masking controls.
With the release of the Windows version of Aurora, it quickly became my go-to tool for all my HDR Photography needs. You can read my review here: Aurora HDR Review – First Impressions
Finally, with the release of Photo RAW 2020 and now a brand new 2021version from ON1, we have a real competitor to Adobe Lightroom. Photo RAW is positioned not only as a solid alternative to Lightroom but to Photoshop as well.