As we sit around dining room tables and living room couches telling family and friends we are thankful for them in our lives, there is that slight panic that resides in the back of our minds with the burning question, “What do I get them for the holidays?”
The holidays bring with them a wave of merriment and joy, but also a deluge of panic and anxiety to get loved ones the perfect gift. Photographers, in general, are notoriously difficult when it comes to gift giving. The pre-made lists that tend to float around Pinterest boards and Buzzfeed columns offer no oasis to the anxiety, as the ‘Perfect Gifts for Photographers’ list is usually filled with novelty trinkets, because, like, I know photographers who need another mug shaped like a lens like then need another microfiber cleaning cloth.
Sure enough, the Sony A7R III and the Nikon D850 are among the top of most lists, when it comes to the perfect gift, however, usually, it’s the simplest things that mean the most. Below is a list of non-tech, non-kitschy, gifts for the photographers in your lives.
Popularized by Victorinox and their ‘Swiss Army Knife’, multi-tools have been a staple of the everyday carry of soldiers, adventures, and artisans the World over. The pocket-sized jack-of-all-trades reveled in movie sets, production houses, and photography studios as an indispensable ‘always-on’ tool.
Every situation may not always need a ruler, knife, pliers, and a pry bar, but in a world where time is money having a simple toolset at the ready can keep production moving. Multi-tools are utilitarian at their foundation and are considered a must-have for their for their ability fix problems both photo and everyday related. I have personally have used mine to fix light-stands, adjust the plates of a Spider Holster, tighten tripod legs, open suit pockets that were sewn shut, and the list goes on.
Multi-Tools to Consider:
- SOG PowerAssist
- Victorinox SwissTool X
- Leatherman Skeletool CX
- Leatherman Wingman
- Leatherman Wave
- Leatherman Squirt PS4
- Gerber Suspension
- Gerber Dime
- Bondhus 12550 GorillaGrip
A good Notebook
Cell phones are great for many things, but there is a certain stigma that comes with them, especially in a professional setting. Writing notes or viewing times lines can look like the client like you are texting or checking your Instagram feed. For certain production houses, pulling out a cell phone on a job is a good ay not to be invited back. A good notebook is a worth-while investment for any photographer.
Unhackable, incorruptible, and requiring no batteries, paper continues to be the superior medium over its digital counterpart. For years artist and artisans have trusted leather-bound to contain their ideas, thoughts, and designs. There is an old-world aesthetic of inking your ideas into parchment that will remain timeless.
Notebooks to consider:
Quality Camera Bag
There is an old adage that photographers tend to have more camera bags than a fashionista has shoes, but over the last few years, photographers tending to stick with one camera bag until it can no longer serve its intended purpose.
The attention to detail and style has pushed aside the outdated designs of the past. The tacky nylon shells have made way for better materials such as waxed canvas, leather, and have better weather sealing than most mid-range DSLRs.
No longer are camera bag just for cameras. You will tend to find bags made from ONA, Kelly Moore, and Peak Design as part of non-photographers every day carry. A good quality stylish camera bag will serve the user for years in situations both photo and non-photo related.
Camera bags to consider:
- Black Forest RIMO 1
- Hawkesmill Camera Messenger
- Kelly Moore Followell
- WANDRD PRVKE 21
- Tenba DNA 15
- ONA Brixton
- Peak Design Everyday Messenger