Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re wondering what to get the photography loving family and friends in your life, we’ve compiled a list to help you find the perfect festive gifts. While cameras and lenses might only be an option for that special someone, there are plenty of other neat accessories that any shutterbug is set to love and will make a perfect addition to a Christmas stocking. So if you’ve been searching for inspiration for your loved ones, then look no further…
Every photographer needs a tripod but it’s often an essential piece of kit that many enthusiasts lack. Using a tripod is vital for landscapes, panoramas, night scenes, light painting, long exposures – the list goes on – and adding one to a kitbag will help transform any photographer’s potential.
There’s lots of options out there to suit all budgets, but one to consider is the Velbon CX-888 tripod. It has four leg sections that extend to 145cm and can take a maximum load of 3kg, which is plenty for a DSLR and lens. The tripod comes with a panhead, quick release plate and carrying case, and is available from a range of online stores
2) Camera strap
A comfortable camera strap makes a big difference to an enjoyable days shooting and is also an ideal stocking filler. There’s plenty to choose from if you want to go for something personalised or a little different, but a tried and tested option for comfort is the Black Rapid Street Breathe. The strap is a cross-body sling that’s well padded on the shoulder, the camera securely attaches upside down by connecting to the screw thread and hangs at the hip for comfort when spending hours on your feet. The Black Rapid Street Breathe is a perfect gift priced at £40.
Anyone who shoots portraits, macros or still-lifes needs a reflector as they do an incredible job at sculpting the available light to control the contrast in a shot. A 5-in1 collapsible reflector is all most people ever need, and considerately folds down into a present-sized parcel. You can find reflectors online for around £20.
4) Wireless shutter release
This neat gadget is vital for everything from long exposure photography to self portraits, it takes up no room in the bag and there’s plenty of budget friendly options available. Wireless shutter release devices are designed to fit different makes and models of camera, so make sure you know what camera the photographer on your gift list uses before purchasing!
5) Flash Gel Kit
Ideal for any flash fanatic, this kit of coloured gels modifies the light from a flashgun to create a range of colours for changing the mood of a shot and allows the photographer to get super creative. They easily attach to any flash head and fit neatly in the pocket of a camera bag.
The Ex-Pro 12 x Flash Gun Universal Colour Coloured Gel Filter Kit is a superb stocking filler option at just £7.
6) Camera cleaning kit
Dust and dirt that finds its way onto a sensor or lens can be a real nuisance, so every photographer needs a cleaning kit. Most kits include a soft brush and blower to remove dust and loose debris, cleaning fluid to cut through grease on a lens and a cleaning cloth to buff the glass. Camera cleaning kits can be picked up online for under £10.
7) Lens filter
A lens filter is a must-have for every photographer. Whether it’s the extra protection offered by a UV filter or the creative benefits of a polariser or neutral density filter, they make a fantastic addition to any photographer’s stocking. You’ll need to make sure the filter thread size matches the lens it is intended for, so take a sneak peak in their kit bag if you don’t know the size already.
8) Instant camera
Any shutterbug is sure to love an instant camera to play with and create some fun snaps, especially on Christmas day. The most popular options are from the Fujifilm Instax Mini instant camera range – there’s a few to choose from and prices start at around £60. Perhaps pick up a couple of extra packets of film to extend the fun if there’s room in your budget.
9) Camera bag
Photographers end up acquiring a lot of kit, from cameras and lenses, filters and remote releases and a broad selection of other accessories. A good camera bag is vital both for carrying kit and staying organised with your gear. There’s a tonne of options out there whether you’re thinking of a backpack, messenger bag, wheeled case or maybe a sling bag.
This one might not fit in a stocking or suit everyone’s budget, but the Blackforest Vinson Messenger Bag is incredibly stylish and has a premium finish, and would make a great gift for a special someone. The exterior is a mix of full grain leather and waxed water-repellent canvas, while the smartly padded interior has space for a camera with 2-3 lenses, a laptop and there’s still room for a bunch of accessories. You can even remove the interior padded insert and use it as a spacious travel or work bag.
10) Memory card case
A great stocking filler gift for any photographer is a memory card case. They’re designed to hold a range of cards including Compact Flash (CF) and Secure Digital (SD), and will keep cards safe, secure and organised. You can find waterproof rubber-sealed cases online for around £15 and they can simultaneously hold 4 CF cards and 8 SD cards.
11) Camera lens coffee cup
What do you get the photographer who already has every accessory, gizmo and gadget for their camera? A lens coffee cup of course! Look out for the thermos ones with a screw top as it makes it easy to take a hot drink out on a chilly shoot. And if they decide to not use it for drinks it also makes a quirky desk tidy. You can find camera lens coffee cups from a range of stores and online shops for around £10.
12) Lens attachments for smartphones
These neat little optics attach to smartphone cameras to transform the lens into a fisheye wide-angle, telephoto or macro lens. They’re great fun to play with and are ultra portable, and can be picked up online for around £10.