The holiday season is here, and if you haven’t bought the photographer in your life a present, you’re way behind. As always, I’ve got your back with a personally curated list of ten great last-minute gifts sure to please any photo nerd.
For a product to make my list, they must be reasonably priced and readily available, and if ordered in the next few days, they should arrive just in time. All of the products shared here have been tested and approved by me or another of my writers. On with the list!
1. A Film Camera: I’ve owned hundreds of film cameras, and yet I’d still be thrilled to unwrap another on Christmas morning. I bet the camera-liker in your life would feel the same way.
There’s no shortage of places to buy film cameras these days, but I always recommend buying a camera from a reputable shop so that you know the camera has been tested, cleaned, is fully functional and guaranteed. I run a camera shop myself (purchases made there help support this site, if that means anything to you). But other great shops exist, too. Brooklyn Film Camera, Blue Moon Camera, and Retrospekt are all friends of the site, and I recommend them happily!
If you don’t know what sort of camera your friend or loved one might like, try a point-and-shoot. They’re inexpensive, make excellent images, and have a very low barrier to entry (no learning curve – just point and shoot!).
2. A Nice Camera Strap: A comfortable and stylish camera strap can make a world of difference during long photo sessions. Look for one with padded shoulders, adjustable length, and a quick-release mechanism for convenience.
3. Lens Cleaning Kit: Every photographer knows the struggle of keeping lenses clean and free from smudges. A high-quality lens cleaning kit, complete with a microfiber cloth, cleaning solution, and a brush, is a practical and thoughtful gift that will help them maintain crystal-clear shots. I’ve been using this one for years.
4. Photography Coffee Table Books: Above all else, photographers love photos. We love to make them, and we love to look at them. There are a number of amazing photo books that I’ve collected over the years. Here are just a few that are simply stunning.
5. Photography Workshop or Course: Investing in education is always a valuable gift. Many photography workshops and online courses cater to various skill levels and interests. Choose a course that aligns with their specific interests, whether it’s portrait photography, landscape photography, or mastering the art of post-processing. Masterclass is a good place to start, generally.
6. A Stylish Camera Bag : Help your photographer friend stay organized with a camera bag. Look for options with customizable dividers for added flexibility. My personal favorites follow.
7. RETO Kodak Film Case: If your photo nerd is a film photographer, chances are high that they’ve got rolls of film flopping or lying around everywhere. Help them get organized with a retro-styled Kodak film case. They’re made of metal, available for 35mm and medium format film, and look lovely on a shelf or desk. Priced at $24.99.
8. Photo Editing Software Subscription: Subscription services for popular photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One can be a thoughtful and practical gift. These tools provide powerful editing capabilities, allowing photographers to enhance and refine their images with professional-grade features. Receiving a free subscription to a pro-level photo editing suite might be the push that someone needs to really take their photography to the next level.
9. Kodak M35 Reusable Film Camera: The Kodak M35 is a cheap, compact, and super cute 35mm film camera, which all makes it perfect for first time film photographers or people who are new to the hobby. They come in a number of cute colors, work with any type of 35mm film, and are dead simple to use. Currently priced at just $17, these are an amazing value and a perfect gift.
10. An Instant Camera: My wife has bought me an instant camera for three of the last ten Christmases. I still have all three. I love them and shoot them often, and even though instant photography is not my primary medium, I absolutely adore it.
If the photo nerd on your list loves retro stuff, get them an old Polaroid camera (my shop sells them). If they’re into new gadgets, get the latest brand new Polaroid or a Fujifilm Instax camera. If you’re having trouble choosing, here’s a buyer’s guide specifically dealing with instant cameras. Just don’t forget to buy some film!
Did you notice that my list of ten gifts stretched to almost thirty items? You’re welcome!
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