10 Last-Minute Gifts for Photographers

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Time is running out to find the perfect gift for the photographer in your life. Or maybe you're the photographer and your partner, friend, spouse, or parent has just sprung the question on you: "What kind of gift should I get you?" Well, to help make things a bit easier, we've assembled a list of our top 10 last-minute gifts for photographers.

1. Mini LED Light

The best item you never knew you needed, a mini LED light is a pocketable, packable, and portable light that is perfect for a bit more illumination for your mobile photography or even your close-up work with your main camera. As an LED, it's cool-running, which makes it perfect for handheld use and, since it's constant illumination, it can be used for photo and video applications. Our pick for this is the Luxli Fiddle Pocket RGBAW LED, which has the sleek design you want in a handheld, carry-anywhere type of light along with full RGBAW (red, green, blue, amber, white) color tuning for a bit of a creative color splash when needed. It has a built-in rechargeable battery and can be controlled from a mobile device using Bluetooth.

2. Add-On Lens for Smartphone

While smartphone image quality and shooting capabilities have dramatically improved over the years, the one area they're still lacking in is lens selection, with most phones relegated to one or two focal lengths. Rather than going for the digital zoom, which can add noise and reduce sharpness, an add-on lens can give you more versatility without the reduction in image quality. Our go-to choice for an auxiliary optic is the Moment Wide Lens, which effectively doubles your field of view for capturing ultrawide perspectives. The lens attaches directly to a Moment case of your choice, available for a wide variety of current smartphones, for intuitive use and quick installation and removal.

3. Lens Wrap

When a full-sized, dedicated camera bag is just a bit too much, the humble lens wrap is there to save the day. The impressively simple padded fabric square can be used to protect your camera, lens, or other gear and effectively turn any everyday tote bag, purse, or backpack into a camera bag. There is a handful of options for lens wraps, but our choice is this Ruggard Padded Equipment Wrap, which is available in three different sizes, for various equipment needs, and five different colors, for coordinating multiple wraps. These wraps have touch-fasteners on the corners for securing in place and feature a water-resistant nylon interior and soft nylon exterior.

4. Camera Bag

For more dedicated shooting outings, a camera bag is an indispensable accessory for any photographer. Bags also happen to be one of the items you seemingly can never have too many of; photographers are always on the lookout for the next perfect bag. A solid pick for an "everyday" bag is the Peak Design Everyday Sling v2, which is versatile in terms of the amount and type of gear it can hold, as well as how it can be carried. As a sling bag, it's meant to be worn across the body, and its unique clamshell opening lends easy interior access. This 10L model is a good fit for all-day use—not too big to be a burden but still large enough to hold a camera, lenses, some accessories, and even a tablet.

5. Instant Film Camera

Bring back some of the fun to photography with an instant film camera. Any photographer will appreciate a break from the seriousness and tech-rich world of digital shooting once they settle into the fun of just going out and taking photos on film again. A great choice for an instant film camera is the INSTAX SQUARE SQ1, which is about as sleek and stylish of a camera as you can get. It takes FUJIFILM's square-format instant film, too, which gives you larger prints with the distinct square aspect ratio. Also, this true point-and-shoot features dedicated selfie elements, including a front mirror and close-focusing capabilities.

6. Tabletop/Mini Tripod

There's a decent chance the photographer you're gifting for already has a tripod, but there's a good chance they don't have a mini/tabletop tripod. Seemingly niche, surprisingly useful, these miniature stabilization devices come in handy when taking photos at home, and are great items for travel. Our choice in this arena is the GorillaPod 5K, from Joby. GorillaPods have become quite popular over the years due to their ingenious flexible leg design. This, in addition to their use as a vlogging support or as just a small tabletop camera support, make them a great gift for content creators. This specific 5K version is rated to hold up to 11 lb and measures 15.2" high.

7. Wireless Flash Trigger

Offering much greater freedom when lighting, a wireless flash trigger is one of the most useful accessories to give any aspiring shooter who is working with strobes. Besides cutting the cable and getting the flash off of your camera, wireless flash triggers make it easier to trigger multiple lights at once, control your lights wirelessly, and just work in a more creative fashion with less complexity during setup. For those working with Godox strobes, one of the company's XPro TTL Wireless Flash Triggers is a must-have accessory. Intuitive to use, just pick the one that matches the camera system and attach it to your camera's hot shoe. 

8. Camera Strap

Even though a camera strap is included with nearly all new cameras, there's nothing better than improving on that freebie strap with something a bit more comfortable, a bit sleeker, and a bit better designed. Whether it's a stylish strap to pick up for its looks or a more versatile strap with a quick-release attachment, it's a good idea to consider something beyond the manufacturer's strap. A great place to start your strap search is with the Peak Design SL-BK-3 Slide, which is a very smart strap that uses Peak Design's beloved anchor connector system for quickly taking the strap off the camera body whenever needed. 

9. External Hard Drive

A gift to be quietly appreciated, photographers can never have too many hard drives for storing all of their images. A top choice for photographers is an SSD, and specifically, we like this 1TB Extreme Pro Portable SSD, from SanDisk. This drive offers impressive transfer speeds of up to 1050 MB/s via its USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface and Type C port, and 1TB is a good all-around size for photo applications. More importantly, though, this drive has a durable design with an aluminum exterior and silicone casing to withstand impacts and is also IP55 rated for water and dust resistance. All combined, it's the perfect portable drive for the traveling photographer.

10. B&H Gift Card

Saving the best for last, there's no better last-minute gift than a B&H Gift Card. Considering its immediate availability, it's perfect for those crunched for time and it's sure to leave any photographer pleased knowing they can pick out exactly the photo gear they want.

 

With the holidays quickly approaching, it's time to jump on those last-minute gifts. Let us know if you have any other suggestions, ideas, or questions, in the Comments section, below.

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