You know I’m all for favoring experiences over things, but as a photographer, there’s a sizable amount of gear that needs maintaining and updating. So, whether you’re a professional photographer, hobbyist, or you have a partner, colleague or friend with a passion for photography, I’ve put together a holiday gift guide that includes items starting at just $10!
And my favorite part: this gift guide includes an even blend of experiences + things. Basically, I’ve got your favorite photographer’s 2022 holiday gift covered! (Or just use this guide to snag yourself some gifts, that’s fine too 😉)
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Heads up: I’ve included affiliate links in this blog post, which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase anything through the links I’ve provided below. I only recommend products that I actually love! Thank you for your support!
Photography Gift Guide: Products
We photographers love our tools and gadgets, and typically need backups for our backups! Here are some photography tools and products that every photographer, whether a hobbyist or professional, will use and love.
This one’s a triple whammy, because I use it to clean my camera lenses, as well as my own glasses and phone screen! These microfiber cloths come in fun colors, and they’re super easy to pack due to their self stuffability (made that up!). Simply clip the carry pouch to your bag, and never worry about it falling to the ground!
As a photographer, I’ve definitely found myself needing an allen wrench in the middle of a photoshoot. For those who tend to shoot photography out on location or in the wild, a simple, portable tool like this is a gamechanger! I love how small and yet useful this keychain is – and quite honestly, no one really notices how often they need an allen wrench until they have one on hand at all times. Trust me on this!
Tenba Protective Gear Wraps – $15-20
As you likely know by now, I love fun colors! So, the fact that these protective gear wraps are functional and colorful just makes my creative heart happy. These protective wraps come in a variety of sizes and colors, making them perfect for different pieces of camera gear!
I use these wraps when I travel with photography gear in my purse, backpack or any other bag that doesn’t offer specific camera-bag padding. Knowing my gear is safe is a big deal to me, and I love that these are so affordable!
If you want to buy a gift that your friend or loved one will use every single time they pull out their camera, buy them an SD card! Depending on the amount of storage you opt for, SanDisk SD cards can be anywhere from $14-250. I typically opt for the 64 GB!
I love these SD cards because they’re fast and reliable – two things we always need in the photography world! I use my SanDisk SD cards every single time I shoot, and I always seem to be ordering more.
Memory Card Case/Holder – <$10
You know how I said that I always seem to be ordering more SD cards? The chances are that the photographer in your life is doing the same thing – which means they could probably use a memory card case 😉
Of course, there are plenty of fun color options to pick from. I love the LYNCA memory card holder because it can store multiple types of cards (SD, CF and micro SD).
Now, if you want to give them (or yourself) the option of storing a few memory cards at a time, this is an option, too! The only downside: it only comes in black. Womp womp.
Business Books – $10-20
Running a photography business is so much more than taking photos. You’ll notice that my book list includes books that pertain to self care, marketing, developing effective personal and business habits, and crafting a life you love – and that’s because each of those subjects are integral to running a healthy photography business!
I cannot stress the importance of business books enough for small business owners and solopreneurs in the service industry! Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a friend, a good business book is the best place to start.
A few of my favorites in no particular order:
While on the pricier side, this two-camera harness by Holdfast Gear is a must have for those who photograph weddings, or use multiple cameras. When I say that this harness has saved me from so much back pain (and by extension, so many medical bills), I mean it!
This harness balances the weight of dual cameras, and makes it much easier for photographers to swap between cameras while on location. Funny enough, this was literally one of the first pieces of gear I had when I started my business, and I still use it at almost every photoshoot! My now husband, Brandon, gifted it to me roughly 6 years ago when we were dating. It’s held up beautifully, and has gotten a ton of compliments. People are always asking about it!
Holdfast Gear offers a few options in color, strap size and design, but this is the exact model I own!
My second-most commented on piece of gear, aside from that fancy two-camera harness? This backpack!
I’m not kidding when I say that people are constantly asking about my Peak Design backpack, and talking about how good it looks. Photography gear tends to be bulky and function-first, so it’s rare to find a camera bag that offers a thoughtful (and might I say… fashionable?) design.
The water-resistant exterior, anti-theft zipper pulls, one-handed open design, rugged material, side access, padded dividers and compartments, laptop sleeve and ergonomic fit make this camera backpack a true work of art. It’s amazing how many things can fit inside this bag!
This is my second-oldest piece of gear – I’ve owned it for 5 years, and it still functions as well as it did when it was brand new. I personally bought the light gray, and I will say that the color has changed over the years from sun, dirt and exposure. But the dark blue shade is beautiful, and seems like it’ll withstand the elements and retain its color even better!
Backblaze Cloud Storage – Cost Varies
Backblaze is a popular cloud storage platform for backing up hard drives, photos and computers. I’ve seen it recommended often in photography forums, and it’s even been deemed the “best cloud backup service” in the NY Times and Wirecutter. It also comes as highly recommended by a tech-savvy friend I trust!
Backblaze is on my list to try during the slower photography season this winter. Right now, I have a ton of external hard drives stacked up in my office. I’m excited about the prospect of moving my backup storage to a cloud service!
There’s nothing worse than losing the photos you worked so hard to style, plan, prep, shoot and edit. So, I mean it when I say that the gift of cloud storage is an amazing one for everyone with a penchant for photography.
There’s also an option to buy a gift certificate for Backblaze’s actual cloud service. Click here!
Looking Glass Photo Gift Certificate – Cost Varies
Looking Glass Photo is my favorite camera store in Berkeley, CA! The staff is always so helpful and knowledgeable, and they have a variety of new and used gear to choose from.
If you’re trying to decide between gifting a thing or an experience, this one’s a great in-between – Looking Glass offers classes, trips and adventures, camera gear, care and maintenance, and film development. Plus, you’re supporting a local business!
Photography Gift Guide: Experiences
Photography Class or Workshop – Cost Varies
Speaking of Looking Glass Photo (see above), they also offer a variety of photography classes. I recommend joining their email list to find out when new classes, workshops, trips and events are available!
If you’re local, try giving the gift of a Looking Glass photography class or workshop. Otherwise, check out your local camera or photo shop to see what they might offer – it’s a great way to support local photography businesses, while also giving your friend or loved one a super memorable and thoughtful gift!
A Paid Photo Session – Cost Varies
Photographers are notorious for having a million photos of other people, and almost none of themselves! (Guilty as charged 🙋♀️) So, why not give the gift of a paid photoshoot for the photographer in your life?
Whether you opt for a family photo session, portraits, headshots, marketing photos, lifestyle images or anything else, a photo session is such a fun and memorable gift. Because tastes can vary, I recommend learning about the style of photography they like, or if there are certain photographers they look up to. Then, try to purchase a gift certificate!
And of course, I have to throw my own hat into the ring – if you or your loved one are local to Northern California/the San Francisco Bay Area and you’d like to gift someone a photography session with me, click to fill out my contact form!
A Photography Mentorship – Cost Varies
Whether you’re shopping this gift guide for a photography hobbyist or professional, the chances are that there are some skills they want to refine and grow. A mentorship is a great way to do so!
By investing in a one-on-one photography mentorship, photographers are able to hone in on those skills, tricks and tools they need to elevate their photography, while also getting real, honest answers to photography and business questions they’ve had in the back of their mind.
The beautiful thing about a photography mentorship is that it doesn’t need to be location specific, because mentorships can take place completely online! To gift my photography mentorship to the photographer in your life, just click here.
And if you’re a photographer yourself, don’t forget that you can also give the gift of mentoring and teaching to others. It’ll cost you nothing but a bit of your time, and trust me when I say that it feels so good to help aspiring photographers!
Massage Gift Certificates – Cost Varies
It goes without saying that photography is a physically demanding job! Prior to becoming a photographer, I had no idea just how much gear I’d have to haul around, or how many strange positions I’d have to get my body into just to get that *one* perfect shot. I also didn’t realize how much time I’d spend hunched in front of my computer late at night!
I personally could use a massage after every single long photoshoot, wedding, or editing marathon. Even now, in fact. So yes, a massage gift certificate is always a good idea!
Just make sure that the person you’re buying the massage for actually likes massages, because some people don’t. If that’s the case, find out how they like to pamper themselves after a long day. They might enjoy a facial, manicure, pedicure, hot tub soak, cryotherapy or anything else! You get my point: give them an experience that they’ll actually find relaxing, so that they can rest and recover.
If you’re giving the gift to your partner, giving them a massage or offering to carry their gear around is free, helpful, and costs nothing!
There you have it: a gift guide packed full of experiences and gear for photographers. Good luck choosing just one thing!
I’m giving the gift of free photography, marketing + business tips 😜