Oh what a wonderful time of year with all the holiday trimmings; “Presents, a tree, decorations, agents sliding down the chimney…”. whether there’s a photographer in your life or it’s you you’re shopping for, the world of photography is littered with a litany of options to the point of being overwhelming. But that’s why we’re here – to sort the wheat from the chaff for you.
We’ve had a year to look at, test, play with, and ponder about many of the best (and worst) photography products available, and we’ve filtered them all through our collective experience to make the holidays just that little bit easier, better, and more successful by bringing you the best photography gifts regardless of your budget.
Bookmark this page and keep checking back as we’ll be continually updating these lists as more and better products and deals surface for the season.
Holiday Gift Guides:
- The Holiday Gift Guide For Photographers | $100-$500
- The Holiday Gift Guide For Photographers | $500 +
Polaroid Originals OneStep2 Instant Film Camera $99
Based on the original Polaroid OneStep from 1977, the OneStep2 from Polaroid Originals is a contemporary take on the classic instant film camera. Designed to be simple and easy to use, this camera accepts both i-Type and 600 instant films to produce 3.1 x 3.1″ prints, and has true point and shoot functionality. The recognizable form factor of the camera recalls its predecessor, but has an updated white polycarbonate shell with an integrated optical viewfinder, built-in flash, self-timer function, and a familiar bright red shutter release. The fixed 106mm lens offers a comfortable field of view for everyday shooting
- Get it here.
Affinity Photo (Desktop + iPad)
Affinity Photo both for desktop and iPad are what we think are the breakout apps of the past year. If you’ve ever wanted a Photoshop alternative this is it. It’s professional whilst solving the UX issues of Photoshop, and the mobile version on iPad is the most robust of its type and essentially is 90% of the desktop version. These are full-fledged pieces of software and many of the SLR Lounge staff have adopted them into their workflow. In addition their price points are significantly better than Photoshop’s coming in at $49.99 for the desktop and only $19.99 for the iPad app. We highly recommend and would make a brilliant gift for any budding or established photographer.
- Get them here.
Nifty Fifty – A Fast 50mm Lens
There are few lenses if any that have reached the same level of reverence as the fast 50mm, and for good reason. They are small, with a 1.8 aperture they are fast and bright, and usually very sharp. While the nifty-fifty lenses from Nikon and Canon are just a nudge over $100 and are the ones we typically recommend, for those starting out, the Yongnuo varieties are hard to argue with for the price. For any beginner it will likely become one of their favorite pieces of kit.
Atmosphere Aerosol $12
We’ve sung the virtues of this ‘smoke machine in a can’ for some time now, and will continue to do so. When it comes time to add a particular amount of flare or drama to a scene, adding a big of ‘fog’ to the environment can change the entire dynamic of something bland, into something special, but fog machines can be expensive, and certianly cumbersome. Atmosphere Aerosol dispels with the inconvenience and cost to bring a lightweight solution that’s easy to use, and truly effective. Right now you can buy 3 cans and get one free.
- Get It Here
Moment Lenses For iPhone $89-$99
Moment iPhone lenses are likely your best option for upgrading your iPhone’s photo-taking capability as they continuously rank right up top. There are currently an assortment of lenses in production that will fit most iPhones including the iPhoneX: Macro, Wide, Tele, Superfish, and many are new versions that are better in every way. This isn’t a lens set you’ll find in the gift aisle at a pharmacy, as the results they render are grin-worthy good, and their pricing is better than other high-end phone lens systems. Each can be bought separately so if you really just want to get some portrait length for your phone, well the tele has your name written on it.
- Get them Here
Fujifilm Instax Monochrome $12
Last Holiday Season was dominated by Fuji Instax sales, and for good reason. Fuji Instax cameras have become ubiquitous features at all manners of social events, bringing back the instant gratification to tangible photography, and all in a handsome package. Now, there’s the new Monochrome variety brining the classic and artistic qualities of black and white photography back to Instant film, and for those of you who may be holding out for a Leica Sofort Instant camera, rest assured your camera will be compatible with Fujifilm. That includes the gorgeous Leica SOFORT
- Get it Here
It’s the ubiquitous instant film camera that’s been a massive hit for the past few years and this is the latest version of it. It’s both modern and retro, easy to use, and sure to be a hit at any social gathering like a wedding, house party, birthday, or anywhere. If you’re unsure what to get the photographer in your life or simply anyone who likes to have fun, the Fuji line of Instax cameras are always a safe and stylish bet. Add a few packs of film and it’ll be the thing they use from day one. Oh, and there are numerous colors to choose from.
- Get it here.
LumeCube is a lot of lighting power packed into a small and durable cube form factor. The flash duration and brightness control is fully adjustable via bluetooth; it can be dimmed, has no recycle time between flashes, and can be used as continuous light, and to top it off it’s waterproof, mountable, and durable enough to be the ultimate companion to a GoPro or action cam and pairs with ease with an iPhone or Android. It’s probably the most powerful lighting solution to fit in your breast pocket.
- Get It Here
USB-C Power Bank RAVPower 26800 PD Charger 26800mAh
Power is critical to life today, and as photographers whether we are traveling from home to Honolulu or car to coffee shop, we’ll have with us a myriad of devices that all bow at the mercy of electricity. Each device is more power dependent than the next and ‘Sod’s Law’ dictates we’ll need that power when least convenient and least accessible, so a back-up power bank should be a staple in everyone’s bag.
This particular model goes now for $79 and with a whopping 26800mAh which can recharge your phone many times over, and many times again, and likewise can charge many cameras and is USB-C compatible so it’s able to power up a new MacBook as well.
- Get it Here
Datacolor Calibration Tools $49
We’ve continuously preached the virtues and utter necessity getting as much right in camera as possible, and working with proper exposure and color calibration in mind. The first thing you should do here is get a Monitor calibrator, but since those are just a little over $100, there are two things you can get to help get the exposure right, and you can get them both for under $100 together! Any photographer looking to be taken seriously would do well to have either or both of these. They make a great gift that anyone can grow with and the already discerning will appreciate.
[REWIND: Spyder5Studio Review | Getting Your Images Color Controlled From Capture To Print (40% Off today Only)]
Peak Design Cuff, Leash & Slide Straps $29+
The Peak Design straps are deceptively addictive pieces of kit, coming in a simple understated box, they have quickly become some of the favorites around our office and of people the world over. They are built with attention to detail, and their new releases are probably the best adjusters around for any strap. Of course there’s the small quick-connect system that can mount to any piece of gear that has a loop or D-ring; from DSLRs to mirrorless to compacts, it can handle them all and hold them should your camera slip from your hands. It functions off Peak Design’s quick-release plate and lug, and you can snap your camera into the system and out of it with the push of a very secure button. There’s a strap for any type and size of camera.
CreativeLive Classes (Up to 50% Off + 10% Off w/SLRL Code)
Whether it’s for you or someone in your life, gifting classes taught by the best photography educators around is one that makes an impact, and lasts. CreativeLive has managed to curate the foremost educators in various photography genres and their best works to bring them to you on a platform that can be reached anywhere and at any time. You can learn from the likes of Sue Bryce, Lindsay Adler, and our own Pye Jirsa, and cover anything from photography basics to the intricacies of couples photography, boudoir, wedding, engagement and portrait photography. Use SLRL code: F&FPyJirsa for an additional 10% off
- Find The Right Class(es) Here
[RELATED: 2017 Holiday Sale! Up to 50% Off!]
UNDFIND Camera Bags $34+
UNDFIND bags were created by successful wedding photographers for photographers, and particularly discerning ones. The idea was to have a fully functional, protective yet stylish bag that could be used on shoots where discretion and flexibility were key, like weddings. UNDFIND struck that balance with their UNDFIND One series and have had their bags used by the likes of Photographers like Pye Jirsa and Susan Stripling. They are currently on sale with B&H and there is a range to choose from depending on your needs. Up to 60% off
- Check Them Out Here
Peak Design Field Pouch $39
Peak Design has been changing how we think about camera bags since the introduction of their Everyday Messenger and now their new Everyday line-up, shattering Kickstarer records along the way.
You can rganize your gear by utilizing the interior slip pockets and take advantage of the attachment point for Peak Design‘s Capture. Keep your pouch in your bigger bag, or use the seatbelt style belt loops to wear on your belt. You can also attach the pouch to any Peak Design strap turning it into a lightweight sling bag. The felt padding provides light protection from everyday use, while the weather-resistant waxed 500D Kodra shell helps safeguard your gear from a sudden change in weather.
- Get It Here
If you’re looking for a unique gift for the photographer in your life, that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, consider some apparel from this new Philadelphia-based company, Togtees. They have everything from catchy photography phrases to vintage film references – something for all ages and sizes! Check out some of our favorite shirts and accessories and grab some this holiday season for your favorite photographer!
All t-shirts and hoodies come in a breathable cotton meant to wear while on the field or in the comfort of your home while slaving away editing photos. Apparel starts at $14 and ranges to $55 and includes hats, pins, shirts for both men & women, and sweatshirts.
SLR Lounge Premium members receive a special discount with our Togtees partner code listed here!