What are nice gifts for photographers? Whether it’s a Christmas gift or a birthday present, I’ll give you 11 recommendations!
Gifts for photographers – My 11 gift ideas
If you have a photographer in your family or circle of friends, then there are a few gifts with which you can make a real joy. It really doesn’t have to be a new camera or lens, because you would have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. I have picked out some useful little helpers, creative extras and accessories for photo freaks, which provide enthusiasm. Many of these things I use myself.
These gifts for photographers are of course not only for Christmas or Easter, also for birthdays such things are always welcome.
1. a cleaning pen for the lens
My recommendation: Hama Lenspen
Price: approx. 10 Euro
The Hama Lenspen is a small pen that you can use to clean your lenses. On one end there is a brush that you use to wipe away dust. On the other side, under a cover, there is a small felt pad that is moistened with a cleaning fluid. This can be used to remove impurities on the lens that the brush can’t grab.
Unfortunately, every now and then you get a fingerprint on the front lens, but with this pad that’s no longer a problem. I use the Hama Lenspen now for 8 years. Meanwhile, I have the third of it, because especially the pad naturally picks up the dirt over time. The Lenspens, which I no longer use for my photo equipment, are used when cleaning the computer.
I have already bought the Hama Lenspen for the third time and it is always with me in my photo backpack. For lens cleaning I also use these tools.
2. a polarizing filter
My recommendation: Hoya Pro 1 polarizing filter
Price: about 50 Euro
A polarizing filter reduces reflections and enhances colors. For everyone to whom I have recommended a polarizing filter so far, this was a real aha effect. Certainly, this filter is mostly used in landscape photography to enhance the blue of the sky and colors in general. However, the filter is just as useful for architectural photographers or, for example, portrait photographers who want to photograph someone with glasses. This is because you can use it to make the reflections on the lenses of the glasses disappear.
A little tricky here is that you need to know what lens the person you’re giving the gift to works with, since you have to know the filter diameter. Perhaps you can ask cleverly or have your partner look. But for sure you will make the photographer very happy.
3. a book about image composition
My recommendation: Michael Freeman – The Photographic Gaze
Price: approx. 30 Euro
A good photo book is always a good investment in your own development. I have had about 40 photo books in the last 15 years, regularly sorting them out and selling them. There are currently 6 left. 3 of them are photo books. If I could buy only one book on photography, it would be Michael Freeman – the photographic gaze.
I know of no other book that conveys the ideas behind image composition so well. At the same time, the book is not tied to any particular genre of photography. What you learn there can be applied to all areas of photography.
4. a spirit level for the flash shoe
My recommendation: Hama spirit level
Price: approx. 20 Euro
This small accessory is especially interesting for people who work a lot with a tripod. It helps you to align the camera straight. Good tripods already have an integrated spirit level, but I work with a ball head and can align my camera much better with this spirit level for the hot shoe.
I did not have good experiences with the spirit levels with 3 bubbles, because they were not exactly aligned. I therefore strongly recommend the one with 2 spirit levels, which can be inserted vertically or horizontally depending on the format. The one from Hama has also been in use with me for 12 years.
Although most cameras today come with an internal spirit level, I personally find that with such a clip-on spirit level I can see much faster whether the camera is aligned straight. It’s especially worthwhile for landscape and architectural photography.
5. a bellows against dust
My recommendation: Giotto’s Super Rocket-Air
Price: 15 Euro
The Rocketblower from Giottos is also responsible for cleaning. It’s no use if you buy a photo equipment for 2000 Euro and the pictures are blurred at the end because the lens was dirty. With this bellows you can blow the dust off the front lens without having to wipe over the lens. Especially my colleagues in long exposure use this device a lot.
6. a book for new ideas
My recommendation: Cyrill Harnischmacher – The Wild Side of Photography
Price: approx. 30 Euro
Sometimes you are a bit stuck in your own photography. You’ve been doing the subjects and style for years and wish for some variety. Every now and then you find the one or other new suggestion on the Internet. In this book you will find 17 new ideas to try something new photographically. It invites you to try out and develop further.
This book is especially worthwhile if the recipient has been taking photographs for a while.
7. a book for the own photographic development
My recommendation: Bruce Barnbaum – The Art of Photography
Price: approx. 50 Euro
In this book Bruce Barnbaum looks deep behind one’s own drive, why one takes photographs in the first place. Why does one choose exactly this photographic direction? Why are you interested in these motifs? How do I find my own style? What is style anyway? Is there a certain way to clarify all these questions for myself? A very profound book, which deals less with the technical side of photography, but much more with the own thoughts and feelings behind it. It is now published in the new edition, which I have of course also linked.
8. a notebook
My recommendation: Leitz Complete
Price: about 10 Euro
It may seem strange that I recommend a notebook in connection with photography. The reason is as follows. Photography is based on your own ideas. Sometimes you get these ideas when you take pictures. But often you get ideas in situations where you don’t even think about photography. Literally in any everyday situations. It’s important to keep a record of these ideas.
For this I can highly recommend a notebook. Of course, I also use a smartphone, but I find a notebook much better for photo ideas. You should always have it with you. Accordingly, the booklet should be small. I use one in size A6.
When you buy it, you should make sure that it comes with a ribbon and a pen holder. If you give a photographer a notebook, you can not only encourage him to write down his own ideas, but also use the book to develop entire photo projects. Something like this promotes one’s own photographic development immensely. I also use my notebook for annual planning in photography.
9. a coffee mug
My recommendation: Canon 24-105 mug
Price: about 10 Euro
This gimmick has of course very little to do with photography itself. But still, it is a fun must have gift for amateur photographers. It is a mug whose exterior is modeled after a lens. The level of detail of the imitation is even shockingly high. Even the font has been taken into account. The mug is always worth a laugh among friends and colleagues and, of course, can be used for tea. On the market there are several mugs of this type, I recommend the one with metal inner wall.
10. a cheap lens
My recommendation: Canon 50mm or Nikon 50mm or Sony 50mm
Price: about 120 Euro, depending on the manufacturer
Now I do recommend a lens. Is such a cheap lens any good? A clear yes. If you have someone among your loved ones who has been shooting with the standard zoom on their SLR for a while, a 50mm lens is a true enlightenment. Sharp, small, light and you can finally blur the background. At around 120 euros, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket, but you’ll sweeten someone’s next few months with it. Caution: it may happen that the recipient is only photographing in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 🙂
11. the Peak Design Anchor Links
My recommendation: Peak Design Anchor Links
Price: approx. 25 €
If the person you want to give a present to takes pictures from a tripod from time to time, the following accessory might be a good idea. I’ve been using it for several months and I’m very satisfied with it. We are talking about the Peak Design Anchor Links. They are small clips that attach between the camera strap and the camera. This way you can very quickly remove the camera strap from the camera without having to awkwardly undo it. This is especially helpful if you are shooting from a tripod and don’t want to have your picture blurred by wind.
I hope these were some interesting recommendations if you are looking for gifts for photographers. There should be something here for every budget. If you have any questions or suggestions about what else to get as a gift, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.