Photography / Buying Guide

15 Last-Minute Photography-Related Gift Ideas

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Hey, it is the 11th hour! Are you like me (and many others), who cannot figure out what to get for all but your closest friends, family members, and romantic partners?

Well, here are a few ideas for those with the dreaded gift-giving block. These aren’t just my ideas, some of my colleagues at B&H told me what was on their last-minute wish lists, as well!

1. Freehands Men’s Stretch Thinsulate Gloves

For half of the planet, it is winter, and there are few things worse than cold hands when you’re out making winter photographs. When the option is staying indoors and missing the shot, your shutterbug will really appreciate the warmth of your generous thoughts and a pair of Freehands Gloves that have photo-awesome features like touchscreen-compatible magnetic fingertips that allow you to work your camera’s controls when needed. For other styles, click here.

Freehands Men's Stretch Thinsulate Gloves

2. Memento Smart Frame

Remember those digital picture frames you bought when you got started in digital photography? They would show a slide show of your best shots and have cool transitions between slides, right? Well, your photos are now worth more than a 3 x 5" or 4 x 6" digital display. See that bare wall over there? Put a 25" or 35" Memento Smart Frame on your holiday wish list and wow your friends and family with your art! You must see this product to believe how good it is. Your digital images will look like physical prints… right up to the moment when the image changes. Super cool!

Memento Electronics 25" Smart Frame

3. Manfrotto 190Go! Aluminum Tripod Kit with Ball Head

There are way too many photographers wandering the world with cheap tripods that, honestly, do more harm than good to their photos. And, there are a lot of photographers who haven’t experienced the true spiritual awakening of what a tripod can do for their photography. So, give the gift of support! The Manfrotto 190Go! tripod easily made our list of 12 Recommended Travel Tripods for its price and features. If you want to look at full-sized three-legged supports, check this link.

Manfrotto 190Go! Aluminum Tripod Kit with Ball Head

4. Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 Bag

Like tripods, your intrepid photographer may have set off into the wilds of the urban jungle (or the jungle jungle) with a sub-standard camera bag. How unfortunate! Maybe it is time to remedy this. There are tons of brands and tons of bags on the market, but the new Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 shoulder and/or messenger bag looks fantastic and does not scream “camera bag!” to others on the buses, subways, and streets of the city. And, don’t forget the fashion-style bags for those fashion-forward photographers.

Lowepro StreetLine SH 180 Bag

5. LaCie 4TB F.A. Porsche Designed Desktop Hard Drive

Every photographer needs more storage. Every single one. And, you can step up your gift game by giving a storage solution designed by Porsche, the LaCie 4TB Porsche Design desktop drive or the 2TB Porsche Design Mobile Drive packed with LaCie technology and features. Yes, you can give someone a Porsche for the holidays—one that is arguably more practical than the Cayman or 911 GT3 RS, and more beautiful than the Cayenne.

LaCie 4TB Porsche Design Desktop Drive for Mac

6. The Nifty 50

As you read this, many photographers, and lots of our photographer friends, are walking around the street with kit zoom lenses that give good—but not great—performance. There are expensive ways to upgrade a kit, and there is an inexpensive way—the 50mm lens. One of the best lenses any photographer can carry in their bag is the inexpensive 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. Don’t believe me? Check out this article. And, they are very inexpensive in the world of expensive gear. For the shooter who already has a 50mm f/1.8, the upgrade to a 50mm f/1.4 lens might be a holiday dream come true!

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

7. Instant Film Cameras

Fashion and design are often cyclical, but one area of photography has been extremely popular—the instant camera market. This was not predicted by the experts, since they all had their eyes bloodied by counting pixels in the digital world. Led by the Fujifilm instax, there are now a handful of brands making instant cameras that take instax and other types of instant film—including the Polaroid remakes by Impossible and even the legendary Leica brand.

Fujifilm instax mini 9 Instant Film Camera

8. Artisan Obscura Soft Shutter Release

You might think the photographer or photographers in your life have everything, but they probably don’t have a beautiful soft shutter release from Artisan Obscura. Handmade from different materials like wood, bronze, silver, and more, these beautiful soft shutter releases allow your photographer to make his or her camera truly unique.

Artisan Obscura Soft Shutter Release & Hot Shoe Cover Set

9. Light Modifiers

Here is an idea that is off the beaten path. If your photographer is a lover of artificial light and is often seen with a speedlight strobing atop his or her camera, consider giving them a light modifier. There are an infinite number of ways to shape light—softboxes, domes, diffusers, and more. Some of them are very reasonably priced to give your favorite shooter a great value gift and help them improve their flash photography.

Vello Mini Softbox

10. Carson HookUpz 2.0 Universal Optics Adapter for Smartphones

Does your favorite gift recipient already have a smartphone? Do they also have a telescope, microscope, spotting scope, or binoculars? Give them the ability to share what they see via text or social media with the Carson HookUpz 2.0 optics adapter. In today’s world, sharing images has become part of the mainstream of our social lives. Sharing photos is even cooler when you are sharing photos of things only seen through scopes! For more information, check out my review of the HookUpz.

Carson HookUpz 2.0 Universal Optics Adapter for Smartphones

 

11. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Compact Photo Printer

Printers can be big and cumbersome. This one is not. From the innards of the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Compact Photo Printer emerge beautiful (depending on your photo and the subject) prints in seconds, and it is virtually portable. Imagine bringing this to your next party or event and getting prints of everyone’s fun mobile phone photos on the spot. Make prints!

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Compact Photo Printer

12. Luxli Viola

Here is an innovative product that will change the way your photographer will do photos and video, moving forward. The Luxli Viola 5" On-Camera LED light can throw out a lot of continuous light and change colors with its onboard controls, or by using an iOS mobile application. Check out this video that shows off the Viola’s capabilities.

Luxli Viola 5" Multi-Color On-Camera LED Light

13. Apparel & Collectibles

B&H Photo is a gigantic gift shop. Right? Well, there is a section of our website that is a gift shop inside a gift shop. If you are still drawing blanks, check out the Apparel & Collectibles section of the site, and enjoy the wide variety of unique photo gifts—from T-shirts to cuff links to coffee mugs to drink coasters to pins to ball caps to miniature models of famous cameras.

FotodioX LenZcup Replica Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens Thermo Cup

14. Film

What photographer doesn’t need film? Well, the digital photographer does not, but what about that family member or close friend who has an old film camera on the closet shelf? Give them a great surprise, and a happy one, with a package of Kodak Porta 400 or Tri-X film. You could be the one that causes them to fall back in love with the type of photography they left behind, for right or wrong, years ago. If you want to give agift that has the power to change someone’s creative and photographic life and get them out of the digital dungeon: think film.

Kodak Professional Portra 400 Color Negative Film

15. B&H Gift Card

You cannot go wrong with the B&H Gift Card! I know there is a stigma associated with gift-card giving, but I firmly believe that it is one of the most thoughtful gifts one can get someone. And, if you don’t know if you should get a physical gift card or the electronic version, I have done exhaustive reviews of them here and here, respectively.

B&H Gift Card

What are your ideas for last-minute photography gifts? Let us know below, in the Comments section.

2 Comments

During the #BHWishList contest, I had Kodak Ektar 100 for outdoors, Kodak Portra 400 (general purpose color), and Kodak Tri-X (B&W general purpose). IN 2012, I shot B&W film exclusively. Our friend, Bert, wasn't interested in B&W; if it's not in color, she's not interested. But B&W has a classic look about it.

I'll be placing an order for film from B&H for 2017. I didn't think there was a ISO 1600 color film, but Fuji has it. Paula and I plan on visiting Kennedy Space Center again and the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum Udvar-Haxy again in October. Then, there's the solar eclipse; I wonder about using infrared film for my A-1; the F-1 will be loaded with color.

You are keeping film alive, Ralph!

Let me know if you ever make it to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinville, Oregon. The UH-3H Sea King hanging from the overhead was flown to the museum by yours truly!

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