We all want to give good gifts to the people we love. And, sometimes, photographers can be particularly challenging to please.
If you have a photographer in your life that you want to surprise on important dates, you don’t need to spend a fortune in professional gear.
Buying a gift for a photographer may sound intimidating and expensive, but there are many more alternatives than you might think. In this post, you’ll find the 45 best gifts for photographers, including budget-friendly options!
There are countless great gift ideas that every photographer would love. From useful gadgets to creative tools, there are plenty of options for photography geeks.
So, if you have no clue what to get your photographer friend, this article will make your life a lot easier.
The best 45 gift ideas for photographers
In this list, we included must have camera accessories, film cameras, learning resources, and cool random stuff.
However, before buying anything, you should consider three aspects: the experience level of the photographer to whom you are giving the gift, the equipment they have, and of course, your budget.
For novices, you can buy beginner equipment to help them build their photographic arsenal. For professionals, you can opt for editing software or tools to boost their creativity and improve their work. Also, books, personalized gifts, and additional storage are good choices for both kinds of photographers.
That said, let’s start from the cheapest options to the more expensive ones:
1. Lens cap holder
Many photographers often forget where they leave their lens caps. And, sadly, losing a lens cap is risking damage to your camera lens. This simple yet functional accessory solves that problem.
A lens cap holder is a cheap small gift that can come in handy, especially for outdoor photographers. This option from Altura Photo includes five pieces and is compatible with any lens.
2. Battery case
This compact Think Tank battery case is a good solution for storing and carrying batteries. It has room for two camera batteries and is perfect for trips and outdoor shooting.
3. Memory card carrying case
This one is an excellent option for an affordable gift. Photographers have countless SD cards, and they need a safe place to store, organize, and carry them around. Check this JJC card case with 12 slots for SD cards and 24 for mini-SD cards.
4. The LensPen
The LensPen is a small and functional cleaning tool that looks like a marker but is truly powerful. It has a retractable brush on one side and a carbon tip on the other for easy cleaning. You can buy it alone or in a bundle with other compact cleaning tools.
5. Camera straps
Usually, the strap included with the camera is not pretty comfortable. So, you can buy your friend a new camera strap for more safety and comfort. Plus, you can choose stylish, colorful models (like these)!
6. Camera cleaning kit
A cleaning kit is essential for any photographer, so it can be a great gift if you have a limited budget. This option from Altura Photo includes a lens cleaner spray, a cleaning pen, a lens brush, an air blower, tissue paper, and a 3-pack microfiber cleaning cloth.
7. White balance filter
This inexpensive JJC white balance filter is a simple but effective tool to get true-to-life colors in images. It is super easy to use and provides accurate results for complex lighting situations that require customized white balance.
8. Protective wrap
This Domke protective wrap is a must-have for keeping lenses or cameras safe inside a backpack or travel bag. It is a compact, simple, and affordable solution to securely carry equipment anywhere everywhere.
9. Flash gels for speedlights
Flash gels are color filters that you use in front of flashes for creative lighting setups or color correction. This Rogue Flash Gels kit for Speedlights comes with 20 pieces, including six basic correction filters for balancing the color temperature in a scene.
10. Diffuser for speedlights
This softbox for speedlights is a good choice for beginners who are just starting to use their first flashgun and don’t have the budget to invest in studio flashes or large softboxes.
In simple words, what this tool does is that it reduces harsh shadows for a smoother look on portraits, macro, product, food, and events photography.
11. Adobe Photoshop shortcuts keyboard skin
If you want to surprise your photographer friends with a creative present, this option might fit the bill. This Adobe Photoshop shortcuts keyboard skin (for Mac) not only looks cute but also helps to improve your editing workflow in Photoshop.
12. Lens coffee mug
If you want to stay away from the daunting world of photo and video equipment and accessories, this is the perfect gift to give on birthdays or holidays. A lens coffee mug is adorable, functional, and ideal for photo enthusiasts of all levels. You can never go wrong with it!
13. Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs
We couldn’t make a list of awesome gifts for photographers without including any books. From the author Henry Carroll, Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs is a must-read for beginners— and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be struck by that title?
This best-seller book is full of practical tips and examples to learn how to take unforgettable photos. It is short and easy to read, and it targets novices shooting with any camera.
14. Cheat sheet cards
Photography is a complex world full of technical stuff that might be overwhelming for new photographers. These cute and easy-to-read cheat sheet cards are a life-saver for beginners. They cover all the basic concepts to understand exposure, depth of field, histograms, and more.
15. The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas
Give the gift of inspiration and knowledge with this book by Jason Fulford. The Photographer’s Playbook is a compilation of advice, assignments, ideas to start personal projects, and stories from world-class photographers like Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Stephen Shore, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, and many more.
This book is best suited for professionals and photographers with a more artistic point of view. It is not a guide to improve skills or learn how to use a camera. Instead, it is a creativity booster and educational resource to think about the image-making process.
16. The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone
If your photographer friend loves portraits, then this is a winning choice. The Photographer’s Guide to Posing by fashion photographer Lindsay Adler is one of the top-rated books to master portraits. It has helpful advice to shoot women, men, couples, or group photos and get the best out of your subjects in every frame.
17. Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod
The Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod is an excellent tabletop tripod for streaming, recording handheld video, or shooting stable close-up images. For more versatility, you can buy it with a smartphone holder too.
18. Travel tripod
Every photographer needs a lightweight travel tripod. This Torjim 60” tripod is a good option for non-professionals, and it is compact, versatile, and portable. Plus, it comes with a phone holder and carry bag!
19. Memory card
A fast SD card will always be a solid choice for photographers and videographers. This SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC card is one of the most popular memory cards on the market, but there are plenty of other good options.
20. Camera bag
Small camera bags are perfect for when you want to walk lightly. This BAGSMART vintage camera bag is not only portable and comfortable but also looks stylish. Yet, if you prefer other designs, take a look at some of the best-sellers on Amazon.
21. UBeesize LED lights
These UBeesize LED lights are ideal for beginners trying to expand their equipment. They are affordable, lightweight, and suitable for shooting stills and video.
22. Light reflector
A light reflector is a basic, inexpensive tool that all photographers need. Most brands offer a 5-in-1 design: a collapsible disc with silver, gold, white, black, and translucent reflectors. There are many sizes and models available, but you can go for a popular Neewer 43-inch reflector.
23. Light stands
Make life easier for your friend or partner by giving them a light stand. It is a versatile tool for mounting an off-camera flash, reflector, background, softbox, etc. And, you can opt for an inexpensive option from Amazon Basics or Neewer.
24. Photographer gloves
If your friend loves to shoot outdoors and usually faces hostile weather conditions, photography gloves would be perfect for them. There are many brands you can choose from, so make sure to go for a good-quality, waterproof, warm yet breathable option.
25. Flash drive for iPhone
A flash drive for iPhones is an excellent device for phone camera shooters who need additional storage for their images and videos. Moreover, it allows them to transfer files from their smartphone or tablet to their computer with no effort.
Give your photographer friend a backdrop and help them build their photo studio. You can go for a paper or fabric backdrop (for this one, don’t forget to buy clamps!). And, for small product photography setups, you can look at tabletop backdrops as well.
27. Backdrop support system
This is one of the most valuable gifts for photographers, especially for those who want to build a career in the commercial field. Try to look for a complete kit that includes an adjustable crossbar, light stands, sand weights, spring clamps, and a carry bag for portability (like this one).
28. Portable lightbox studio
A portable lightbox studio is perfect for aspiring product photographers. For jewelry and other tiny objects, a small lightbox would be fine. But, if you want a more versatile option and have a flexible budget, you should go for a larger model.
29. Waterproof camera bag or backpack
A large, waterproof camera bag is a must-have for outdoor photographers. Try to look for a model with enough space to fit various lenses and accessories besides the camera (note that most photographers like to carry at least one zoom lens and a wide-angle lens).
This Endurax backpack is a solid choice for keeping camera gear safe during trips. But, if you want a more stylish look for a memorable present, check this BAGSMART design.
Speedlights (also called flashguns) are essential equipment for beginners. They help understand the basics of flash photography, plus they are inexpensive and versatile.
This Neewer TT560 flash is easy-to-use, affordable, and compatible with all DSLR cameras with a standard hot shoe mount.
31. Annual subscription to a magazine
With this gift, you can help your friend learn more and stay inspired and up to date with the trends in digital photography.
Digital Camera World, Aperture, Amateur Photographer, and Black+White Photography are some of the best magazines for photographers.
The GorillaPod is a compact, sturdy, all-terrain tripod for the most adventurous photographers. It has wrappable legs that can adapt to almost any surface (it can even hold to branches and more for creative angles).
33. Light wand
A light wand is a fun device for any creative photographer who loves colorful lighting setups. Also, it works for light painting and dramatic portraits.
34. Peak Design Capture Camera Clip v3
The Capture Camera Clip v3 is a small but powerful gadget, perfect for travel photographers and vloggers. With it, you can carry DSLR or mirrorless cameras on any backpack strap or belt. It can hold over 200 Lbs. (90 Kg.) of gear, so you can rest assured that it will handle any camera with a heavy lens.
35. KODAK Step Mini Photo Printer
This KODAK wireless mini printer is one of the cutest gifts for photographers. It connects to any smartphone or mobile device through Bluetooth or NFC and transforms digital images into high-quality printed photos.
36. Skylum Luminar AI
Photography is not only about the gear but also what happens after you take the shot. So, you can buy your friend Skylum Luminar NEO, which is one of the best editing software for a fast editing workflow— and it doesn’t require a subscription! Besides, it also works as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
37. Diana F+ camera
The Diana F+ is one of the most famous Lomography film cameras. It would be an unforgettable present for someone who wants to experiment with film photography. It is fun, easy to use, and looks super cute!
38. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is a beautiful, retro-styled, instant camera that is fun to use and provides card-sized instant pictures to save your memories wherever you want. It has simple but practical functions, including a bulb mode and a double exposure feature for creative uses.
39. Camera slider
This handy and stable carbon fiber camera slider from Neewer can be a good present for video enthusiasts. And, if you have extra money, you can buy a ball head for versatile angle moving.
40. Portable external hard drive
A photographer always needs additional storage. For that reason, an external hard drive is an incredible gift for storing or backing up files (especially when it comes to client work).
41. Polaroid Originals OneStep+
The Polaroid Originals OneStep+ is an instant film camera that combines the best from the classic Polaroid cameras and the advantages of digital innovations. And, it is available in both black and white colors.
In essence, the OneStep+ works like a regular instant film camera. However, it also connects to an app via Bluetooth that allows you to control the camera from your phone while giving you access to other creative features and more fun stuff.
42. Anker PowerCore+ 26800 portable charger
This powerful Anker PowerCore+ portable charger is one of the greatest gifts for travel photographers and vloggers. It has one USB-C and two USB-A ports and is compatible with many USB-powered devices, including laptops, smartphones, and cameras.
43. Green screen kit
This Neewer green screen kit is ideal for beginner photo and video enthusiasts. It includes a backdrop support system, a green screen, four lights, two softboxes, two umbrellas, six clamps, and carry bags for portability.
44. A light meter
A light meter is a fundamental tool for photographers, primarily for those who work with flashes. You should know that this gadget tends to be pretty expensive, although there might be some cheap alternatives. Still, this Sekonic Flashmate Light Meter is in the mid-price range and has pretty good reviews around the internet.
45. DJI Mini 2
If money is no issue for you, you can buy a quadcopter! The DJI Mini 2 is relatively inexpensive compared to other popular models, and it provides superb image quality for aerial photos and videos. On top of that, it is compact and easy to fly— perfect for beginners.
Best gifts for photographers – FAQ
What is the best gift for photographers who want to choose photography gear themselves?
Memory cards and external hard drives are great (and useful) gifts for every kind of photographer. And, if you are looking for more creative options, you can give your favorite photographer a photography book or a gift card!
What are good affordable gift ideas for a photographer who has everything?
A custom camera strap is a personalized and creative gift for photographers who have it all. Also, you can give them a gift card from a photography-specialized store like B&H— because, honestly, you never have enough gear.
What is a good gift for a beginner photographer?
A lightweight tripod, a light reflector, a Speedlight, camera cleaning tools, or SD cards are great gifts for photographers who are just starting. Books or photography courses are also good choices.
What is the ideal gift for the photographer in your life?
We all want to give good gifts to the people we love. And, sometimes, photographers can be particularly challenging to please. Nevertheless, there is no perfect gift that suits everyone. After all, each photographer has different needs, so you must look for the ideal present that suits that particular person in your life. Luckily, this guide will help you make the best choice.
If you found this article helpful, feel free to give it a share on your social media— you never know what gift you might be saving out there!