With the holiday season fast approaching, it’ s a good time to decide what to purchase for the photographer in your life (or intended for yourself). In this guide, I’ve put together a list of the best gifts for professional photographers in 2019. The products below are organized by price – under 20 dollars, under $50, under $100, plus over $100. I’ve used most of these items myself and strongly recommend all of them. The ones I haven’t are on my very own wish list this year!
Note that Photography Life is not really affiliated with any of these products. All the suggestions below are mine alone, and each product is included simply because I own many of them and have enjoyed using them over the years.
Applications – The Photographer’s Ephemeris plus PhotoPills
A simple, unexpected gift for photographers which already have all the equipment in the world is really a smartphone app. There are so many available – and many of the best ones aren’t free of charge – so the one(s) you should get rely on the person you’re giving to. Among the best is The Photographer’s Ephemeris ($9), ideal for landscape professional photographers who want to plan their shot. There’s also PhotoPills ($10) which has several different tools, including the Milky Way tracker and timelapse calculator. Highly recommended.
Vello Small Softbox – $7. 50
A must-have pertaining to portrait photographers (and others) is really a flash diffuser. At the upper finish of the spectrum are large softboxes and umbrellas, but those could be unwieldy and usually stay in the particular studio. For quicker field function, a smaller flash diffuser is ideal. The particular Vello Mini Softbox is just $7. 50. It matches most flash heads, aside from pre-installed pop-up flashes. I use mine with regard to macro photography.
Injinji Lining Crew Toesocks – $10
If the professional photographer in your life does a lot of hiking looking for the perfect landscape, point them to the particular insane Injinji bottom sock liners . I’ll become the first to admit that they appear creepy, but I’ll also be the first in line to say that I have never once obtained a blister while wearing these sock liners (in tandem with a set of Darn Tough wool hiking socks). This held true even throughout a nine-day hike in Iceland along with two 17+ mile days (27 km). Once you go toe, a person won’t go back.
Memory Card Case – $19. 89
For photographers with more than one Facts, it’s important to use an organization program to avoid them slipping around inside your bag. A good memory card wallet will be the trick. Personally, I use one through Ruggard, but it’ s unavailable any longer – the Pelican 0915 seems equally great, and it sells for $19. fifth 89. It holds up to 12 SECURE DIGITAL cards, so it should last for a long period. Many photographers have something comparable already, but if you’re buying a present for someone who doesn’t, this should become at the top of your list.
Titanium Spork with Bottle Opener – $11
Shopping for a serious travel photographer and hiker? In case they’re already used to eating steam in the bag meals, get them the spork with a pre-installed bottle opener . It’ h not to open bottles (well, it will that too) – it’ s i9000 to hook the spork over the boil-in-the-bag so it doesn’ t along with. It sounds like a small thing, nevertheless you’re miles away from civilization, the little things matter. Get a couple of your own photographer’s favorite freeze-dried meals as you go along, and you’ll be a hero.
Raya 5-in-1 Reflector Disk – $19. 95
A reflector is one of the simplest ways to add great light to some portrait photo. This 32″ edition from Raya is 20 dollars, and it has five different panels you may use for different levels of reflection or additional effects. There are a number of similar items on the market (the one I have is really a slightly larger version from Raya), and they pretty much all work excellent, so be on the lookout for a good deal. Anybody who shoots portraits should have a pop-up reflector in their bag.
Watson 4-Hour Charger and Rechargeable AA Batteries – $17. 95
Studio photographers chew up AA batteries rapidly, so a fast charger and set of rechargeables is essential. The Watson 4-Hour Charger comes with four AAs. Also consider getting a separate AA pack caddy to move them more easily.
FastRawViewer – $19. 99
An enormous timesaver for culling through large batches of images – and almost an essential product for photographers who shoot large volumes of photos at a time – is the computer software FastRawViewer . It sells for $19. 99, so it barely helps it be in under the $20 mark, but it’s a great value nonetheless. For event or sports photographers, that is an excellent choice. Also see our review .
The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum – $27. 37
Just over a third of The Art of Photography is about film photography and printing techniques – yet it’s still my top recommendation for digital photographers. This is the best book on photography I have ever read, and only a few other books are even close behind.
It’s all down to the way Bruce Barnbaum explains composition. It’s a tricky, often vague topic, but he manages to pin it down to more concrete detail than anyone out there, and not along with simple generalizations like the rule associated with thirds, either. If you want to give a present that really helps a photographer enhance their creative skills, this is the way to go.
Almost all the other items with this list are pieces of photography or even other equipment, but , to me, this is exactly what is the most important. Get it at Amazon regarding $27. 37 for the paperback (hardcover is actually $1 less, but sold-out at the moment) or at your nearby bookstore.
Outdoor Research Rocky Hill High Gaiters – $40-45
For hiking, a great pair of gaiters is essential if you want to keep the feet dry. I made a large mistake on my first visit to Iceland by leaving these in your own home for a snowy hike, and our feet emerged at the end as a sopping mess. I brought this set – the Rocky Mountain Higher Gaiters – next time and discovered them to perform admirably. Men’s and women’s cost $40 and $45 respectively.
Fake Gels Universal Lighting Kit – $29. 95
With flash photography, the color of the flash generally should complement the colour of ambient light, or your own results won’t look right. Frequently , the best way to make this happen is to use colored gel in front of your flash, and those from Rogue Gels are great options for the price. I’ve utilized this exact set for ages, such as the color correction filters indoors as well as the more unusual colors for fascinating effects.
Ravpower USB Camera Battery-charger – $23-38
One of the best deals in the photography globe is the RavPower camera battery UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS charger. On one hand, charging camera electric batteries via USB is a big deal, and never possible with the native charger for the majority of cameras. Alongside that, this phone chrgr ships with two spare electric batteries for the camera in question, at probably the lowest prices on the market for this type of thing. Highly recommended. Verify Amazon for the one which goes with your photographer’s camera.
Maglite XL200 Flashlight – $35
An under-appreciated element of a photographer’s kit, especially for panorama photography, is a good flashlight. Your professional photographer will want a light with both a wide ray and a narrow beam, as well as adjustable brightness. The goal is to discover something suitable for everything from light artwork to navigation in the dark. I’ve attempted several, and my favorite so far continues to be the Maglite XL200 .
DxO Nik Software – $49
One of the best deals in photography software today is the Nik collection, found at Nik’s website here . This is the only third-party computer software I use so frequently, and it’s a must-have for any photographer who enjoys the post-processing side of things. These used to sell for more than $100 apiece, and now that DxO bought the company, all seven combined can be purchased for $49.
B+W Kasseman Polarizing Filter – $79. 95-99. 95
Today, the only real brand and type of polarizing filter I would buy is the B+W Kaesemann line. I curently have several, and they’ ve never let me down. These are incredibly waterproof and high-image-quality filters, with practically no flare or reduced contrast whatsoever. The tradeoff is that they’re expensive – $80 to $100 depending on the size of your lens’s filter ring. If you’re buying this as a gift for another person, make sure you know how large the filter threads are on all their lenses. Buy the B+W Kaesemann with a filter size that matches the biggest threads of all your photographer’ s lenses.
Manfrotto Monopod – $49-95 (more for specialized monopods)
Many people who shoot sports and wildlife photos discover that holding their camera is a weary task after a long enough time frame. The same goes for video shooters. A monopod is the perfect solution for that, and even a relatively cheap option – something in the $50-100 range – will do a great job. There are so many options on the market at this time that it is difficult to choose from, but an excellent company that I have used in the past for tripods is Manfrotto. Compare their own monopod options here .
Fisherman Port-a-Cube Light Tent – $65
Anyone who would like to do quick product photos on the run, even for taking pictures of equipment they’re selling on eBay, will be thrilled to get a portable studio to assist them do it easily. The Fisherman Port-a-Cube has a built/in LED light at the top, and it’ s 17″ across (43 cm), so it works even with relatively big objects. There are other models on the market with additional features for more money, but this can be a great price for a high-quality transportable studio.
Noise cancelling headphones – $51. 09
For traveling photographers, especially people who need to fly to a location every once in awhile, one of the best gifts you can give is an excellent pair of noise cancelling headphones. Earning any flight more enjoyable. I place this in the sub-$100 category, however the reality is that you can buy these any kind of time price from $30 to numerous dollars. I use a pair from Sennheiser that has been discontinued; this pair from JVC looks much the same, although feel free to research and find a few for whatever budget you have in mind.
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport – $83. 99
This is a slight special case item, but for family portrait and advertising photographers who want constant color, the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport checker is a very helpful tool for dealing with tricky illumination conditions. You can use the ColorChecker to produce a custom color profile for your digital camera, or simply to find the right white stability for a scene.
1TB External Hard disk drive Backup – $75. 99
Every photographer must have a good backup system. It’s guideline one. The ideal backup system features a copy of every photo in a minimum of three locations, one of which is offsite. So , it’s not accurate to state that a single 1 TB exterior hard drive is a complete system – but I’m recommending one anyhow because it’s an important part of an excellent backup system. There are tons on the market, yet consider getting the LaCie 1TB Durable Drive for $76, which is more protected against lumps and falls than others available.
Gregory Baltoro 65 – $220 to $299 (depending on options)
I’ve tried a lot of back packs over the years, and the best, by far, will be the Gregory Baltoro 65 . This particular pack is legendary in walking circles, and it doesn’t disappoint during a call; I used it on the longest journey of my life and returned preference it more than almost any other piece of equipment We brought along. If you’re looking for a gift for a traveling photographer, and they also don’t yet have a large package for longer hikes, this one is the solution.
Godox Flash and Bring about – $156
Every flash photographer, sooner or later, requires a way to trigger a flash off-camera. It’s simply the best way to get great light. My recommendation is to have the Godox TT685N flash and bring about , which works flawlessly upon practically any camera out there. (Make sure you pick the right camera brand name for compatibility if you’ lso are buying as a gift for somebody else. ) It’s $156 for the arranged, or $179 for the more advanced cause.
DJI Osmo Mobile 2 – $119
The very first time I saw footage from an iPhone as well as the DJI Osmo 2 stabilized gimbal, I was amazed at the particular cinematic appearance – far more compared to I had expected from a phone. That’s because high-quality video has a significant amount to do with camera movement, and the Osmo does a great job of backing your camera (phone). The Picture taking Life team used this on this trip to Jordan in the back of a pickup on a bumpy road, and the outcome was remarkably smooth. Highly recommended.
Sky-Watcher Motor-driven Star Tracker – $289
One of the coolest devices I’ve tried this year, and an incredible deal at its current associated with $289, is the Sky-Watcher Star Explorer tracker. Put it on your own existing tripod and ballhead precisely as-is, point it at the Northern Star (or equivalent in the The southern part of Hemisphere), and sit back. You’ lmost all end up with crazy sharp photos during the night of any celestial object you want, even with a telephoto.
Pixelstick Light Painting Tool – $370
One of the more smart photography products to come out of Kickstarter is the Pixelstick, a giant LED stay that lets you paint massive designs of light over a scene designed for fascinating effects. Unfortunately, this is mostly of the gift ideas in this list that I have never tried myself – but for types of photography like advertising and also weddings, this is about as awesome as it gets. More info here .
IPS monitor – $180 or more
Photographers ought to edit their photos on an IPS monitor (see here for why). The one you choose depends on budget as well as other requirements, but they range from relatively inexpensive to quite expensive. Our budget choose is the Dell S2715H 27″ keep track of , for $180. For a wide-gamut IPS monitor that can display a lot more colors (99% of Adobe RGB), we recommend the BenQ SW240 for $399. In the event that 4K resolution is a priority, we all recommend the Dell P2715Q for $409.
When the photographer on your gift list doesn’t yet edit with an IPS keep track of, one of these will be a huge boost for their post-processing capabilities.
X-Rite i1Display Professional Color Calibration/Profiling System – $204
Along the exact same line as an IPS monitor, professional photographers need to know that they’re editing shades accurately in post-production. The best way to accomplish that is to use a device like the X-Rite i1Display to calibrate plus profile a monitor for precise color. This one is a bit more expensive compared to other options on the market, but we’ ve found it to be the most constant and accurate available at this cost range.
A note to professional photographers who don’t have a device such as this: you’re hurting yourself in the long run, since the colors you’re editing could be extremely inaccurate. Chances are good you’ll have to re-edit many of your photos from the beginning.
You can find any number of photography products on the market today – no shortage of gifts for the professional photographer in your life (or yourself). There’s alway the classic photography shirt or even camera lens mug if you don’t like the items on this list, or perhaps a B& H gift card, continually a favorite of mine!
Hopefully, the ideas above supplied inspiration for your shopping. If you have any kind of questions about these gift ideas, or maybe recommendations of your own, please feel