— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Holiday shopping is already upon us! Crazy we know, but it's here and we are excited to start shopping ourselves. It's always tricky buying the perfect gift for someone but, as photographers, we know we're even more difficult to shop for than your average friend.
Don’t get thwarted by shipping delays or sold-out favorites this holiday season. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get the product reviews, deals and holiday gift guides you need to start shopping now.
That said, you don't have to worry anymore as we've done all the hard work for you. The picks in this list will give you a wide variety of gifts that any photographer would be thrilled to have. Just remember that if you're picking any of the more technical items, run it by them first (they'll really appreciate it!).
Tackle your holiday shopping early with deals and expert advice delivered straight to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the deal-hunting team at Reviewed.
1. For the photographer obsessed with light: a top-notch light reflector
Reflectors are an essential piece of gear for every photographer! They can redirect, warm, intensify, soften and even block light as needed. The Neewer 5-in-1 reflector covers all the functions needed and features a relatively compact design. The ability to swap between silver, gold, white, transparent and black reflectors within one reflector package saves time and space for photographers always on the go. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can even grab them a clamp to hold it when you’re not around.
2. For the photographer who wants to perfect their craft: A Masterclass lesson with Annie Leibovitz
Annie Leibovitz is one of the most recognized names in photography and the first woman ever named Chief Photographer at Rolling Stones. She's known for her striking portraits of celebrities, which include the likes of John Lennon to Leonardo DiCaprio. In short, she's a legend in the industry. In this MasterClass lesson, she covers working on location, shaping light, creating concepts and more. As someone that's been shooting professionally for over 16 years, I still came away from this lesson with a plethora of new information and can't recommend it enough for any level of photographer.
3. For the photographer who's also a java lover: Canon Mug
Most photographers have spent late nights racing against deadlines so get this camera mug lens to help keep them caffeinated deep into those editing sessions. These mugs are always fun gifts for photographers, if not a little cheesy. Just make sure you get the right brand or you’ll start a long rant that you won’t ever hear the end of!
4. For the photographer who wants to learn the business: 'Best Business Practices for Photographers'
“Give someone a fish and they will eat for a day, teach them to successfully set up their photography business and they'll be able to pay their rent this month." - Me, just now.
One often overlooked part of a photographer's job is the business side. We very easily get lost in the creativity and excitement of creating that we forget we still have rent to pay. Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington really brings the business side into focus and gives great advice for anyone from amateur photographers to experts. It's a great guide on how to set your photography business up for success and I don't know anyone that would say no to a gift like that.
5. For the photographer who pays attention to details: PolarPro QuartzLine ND filters
Now this gift is if you really want to impress a photographer with something technical. It will require a lot of research on your part if you decide to surprise them with it, but like most photo gear gifts, you're better off just asking them directly. The PolarPro QuartzLine ND filters are essentially sunglasses for your lens, allowing you to shoot with settings you otherwise wouldn't be able to. You can buy cheaper ND filters, however, I own 5 of these PolarPro ND filters and have to say the quality of the packaging and craftsmanship is something that will leave any photographer in awe. Just be sure to ask what sizes and strength they need before splurging for them.
6. For the photographer who works day and night: Profoto A10 Camera Flash Kit
One thing photographers can tell you is: "Not all light is created equal." This is something that Profoto has spent decades proving to be true. While the Profoto A10 Camera Flash Kit runs on the pricier side, these flash heads are a great introduction to the brand and will be the prize jewel in their bag for years to come. Like any tech-based purchase for a photographer, I'd be sure to run this one by the person first, but I don't know many photographers that will turn down the reliability and durability of a Profoto light head.
7. For the photographer who needs extra storage: Peak Design bags
Photography bags are something that can serve a multitude of purposes. Instead of diving into the deep depths of niche bags, I'll keep it casual and recommend this everyday-use Peak Design backpack. It's beautifully designed with all the space someone would need for a daily bag. I've used Peak Design for about 7 years and will say that they can take a beating while still looking good. Peak Design also makes a sling that is great for keeping the load light and mobility even higher.
8. For the photographer always using his hands:
A lot of photographers make the mistake of buying a cheap tripod from the start and end up replacing them with increasingly more expensive ones, which ends up costing them a truckload. Picking up a Manfrotto 290 Dual Aluminum 3-Section Tripod from the jump will save your photographer a lot of headache and money in the long run. This Manfrotto is a great general tripod—especially if they're just starting out—that anyone can get use out of for years to come.
9. For the photographer who prefers print over digital: FujiFilm Instax Smartphone Printer
The FujiFilm Instax smartphone printer is a great gift for those photographer friends who long for analog days. Its portable size and Bluetooth connection make it so they can print any picture they want within about 12 seconds. Amateurs and professionals alike will love it, and with several color options available, there is something for everyone.
10. For the photographer that's just getting started: Gedefa Lens
Tired of your photographer friends complaining about the quality of their phone’s camera? Help them upgrade with this Godefa lens kit that has 14 lens attachments and a ring light that attaches directly to their phone. It all comes in a portable carrying case and is compatible with almost all smartphones.
11. For the photographer focused on production quality: Portable Foldable Photo Studio Box
This basic and sturdy lightbox from Amazon is perfect for photographers who are taking pictures for eBay, Etsy, or Poshmark. It provides a strong neutral light and plain white background. This lightbox will make a huge difference in quality with small product photography—perfect for small business owners who are doing it all themselves. It’s as easy to set up as it is to break down and so worth it.
12. For the photographer constantly on the move: DenicMic SD CF Card Reader
The worst thing about shooting on a DSLR camera is that you don’t get to access the photos until you dump the memory card on your computer. With the DenicMic SD CF Card Reader, you can upload your high-resolution photos immediately to your phone and post them to Instagram within just a few moments.
13. For the adventurous photographer: GoPro HERO9 Camera
If your adventurous friend doesn’t already have a GoPro, it is a must-have for capturing high-quality photos and videos in any activity. 4K video, timelapse and RAW image capturing is every action photographer’s dream. Plus its waterproof properties make it so no activity is off-limits.
14. For the young photographer with skill: Seckton Kids Selfie Camera
Want to encourage a young photographer’s talents or maybe just keep a little one from stealing your phone to take pictures all the time? This children's camera from Seckton gives kids an opportunity to practice taking pictures with something that is easy to hold and use. It will allow them to capture their world through 1080p video and photos. The camera also has some fun filters that will make the picture-taking experience a little more novel.
15. For the photographer with an eye for editing: Adobe Subscription
Editing photos is almost as important as taking photos. Photoshop and Lightroom are two tools every photographer should have access to. It is the industry standard and one of the most comprehensive photo editing softwares out there. Getting a subscription to Creative Cloud is a necessity for most photographers and to receive it as a gift would make their year.
16. For the photographer that needs peace of mind: Western Digital My Book
Safely backing up information is important to everyone, but for photographers, it can be a challenge with how large their files are. Having a trustworthy portable external hard drive will give ease of mind to the shutterbugs in your life who never have enough space in the cloud or on their computer. Our favorite external hard drive is Western Digital My Book (4 TB) which is secure and has plenty of storage for video and photo projects.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Gifts for photographers: The best gift ideas for photo enthusiasts