The holidays are upon us again, and following up from last year’s gift ideas for the videographer and photographer, we’re back with a brand new list of gift ideas. To make it easier for you, the following list is ordered by price range from low to high, because no matter how much we may love the person we’re giving the gift to, unfortunately most of us have budgets. And don’t worry, we won’t tell if you end up picking up one of these items for yourself too.
1. Photo Printing Service Gift Certificate
With the advent of digital cameras, less and less people are actually printing out their pictures as a hard copy. But hard drives and other electronics are bound to crash eventually. So make sure you have at least a printed copy for all your favorite photos. Photo printing services offer prints for as little as 10 cents a photo, so why not give your photo enthusiast a gift certificate for one of these services so that they can actually print out their amazing photos. You don’t even have to just print your photo out to plain old photo paper. For example, Shutterfly.com allows you to create photo books or have your photo placed on a mousepad, pillow, blanket, etc. Currently, photo mugs are just $10, which is an absolute bargain! (And no, I’m not an affiliate or partner of Shutterfly, I’m just truly a fan.) So either print out a photo gift to give to a friend or give them a gift certificate so that they can choose and create their own product.
After photographers and videographers are done shooting their pictures or video, they’ll go back home to their computer and do some editing with some software such as Lightroom or Premiere. So gift idea number two is a special keyboard skin that has the editing program’s keyboard shortcuts printed right on the skin. A keyboard skin is a rubbery cover that you can put on your keyboard to help keep dust out of the nook and crannies of your keyboard. Say you’re working in Photoshop, and you’re stuck trying to remember what’s that keyboard shortcut to get to the Move tool. Instead of Googling or looking in the help guides, you can just look down at your keyboard skin and see aha, I just need to click on the V button. There are Photoshop / Lightroom / Premiere Pro / After Effects, and many more skins.
As a side note, you’ll need to know what kind of keyboard your gift recipient uses, so that you can purchase a skin that fits. If you can’t find a keyboard skin to fit a particular keyboard, there are also keyboard shortcut stickers so that you can just stick the stickers on any keyboard.
3. Gorilla Pod
A tripod is a must have for any camera enthusiast, so more than likely your gift recipient already has one or more tripods. But do they have a Gorilla Pod? Gorilla tripods wont replace standard tripods, but what’s unique about these tripods is that they can go anywhere. Portability wise, these things are small and light, weighing under a pound and having a length of about a foot. But the selling point for these tripods are their flexible legs. Their specialized legs let you stabilize your camera anywhere. Uneven surface? No problem. Just bend the legs accordingly. Don’t even have a horizontal surface? Then wrap the legs around a pole.You can create all kinds of different vantage points with the use of Gorilla Pods because they let you have stability in places where normal tripods just wouldn’t work.
4. Bokeh Kit
Bokeh refers to the out of focus areas in your photo or video. For example, when you have out of focus light sources, you can see the light as a round or polygonal shape. The shape of which is determined by your lens. So if you want some special effects magic you can place different small shapes in front of your lens to stylize the way your light sources appear, such as the hearts in the below picture.
You can make these bokeh filters yourself at home with some black construction paper (tutorial), or you can buy premade bokeh kits that you can pop on and off your lens.
If you’re looking for a gift for a hobby photographer/videographer, you may want to take a look at purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription for them. Adobe has shifted their product pricing by offering subscription services for their software, instead of just allowing users to make a one time purchase for the software. This could be a good or bad thing. Previously, the software cost hundreds of dollars for just one application which was well beyond the budget of hobby photographers and videographers. With the subscription plan, you don’t actually own the software, but must purchase a subscription plan. The cost is much more affordable since you can purchase one application for about $19-$30/month. And to get the whole suite of Adobe tools which once cost $3000 to own, now costs $30-$75 a month. So help your buddy improve his or her photography and video skills by giving them a month or two’s worth of access to one or all of Adobe’s products.
6. Trigger Trap
The Trigger Trap connects your DSLR to your phone, and allows you to remotely trigger your camera with things like motion, sound, facial recognition, vibration, and more. This is actually useful when you’re doing things such as night photography with long shutter speeds. You can help reduce camera shake by remotely triggering your camera with the Trigger Trap. You’ll need to purchase a Trigger Trap connection kit from the Trigger Trap website and then download their free app to your phone. The app also includes additional features such as HDR and timelapse modes.
7. Tripod Head
There may be about as many different type of tripod heads as there are camera bags. And each tripod head offers their own pros and cons. For a photographer that needs to get in position quickly, consider getting a Pistol Grip Head such as the one pictured above.
And with DSLRs getting more technologically advanced, the line between photographers and videographers are blurring. Oftentimes, you’ll want to shoot photos but then notice some action occurring and want to shoot video instead. However, one problem is that you can shoot still photos vertically, but this is definitely a no no for video. Video must always be shot with the camera held horizontally. If you have a video tripod head, then most likely the head wont tilt vertically to allow you take vertical photos. So you’d have to take your camera off of the head to manually turn your camera vertically, and you’ll be handholding it so it wont be as stable. Luckily, the good folks at Manfrotto have already solved this problem by creating the Photo-Movie Head, which is designed to allow you to quickly change from the smooth panning motion of video to photo mode where you can tilt your camera vertically.
We all could use a little more memory, whether it’s in our brains or on our computer. As artists, photographers and videographers are constantly using up their digital memories with all the photos and videos they’re creating. Instead of having to constantly delete items to make more space, how about helping your friend or family member out by giving them an external or portable hard drive. The price of hard drives are steadily going down. Back in the 80’s it could’ve cost $700,000.00 for just 1 gb. And today you can buy 500 gb of hard drive space for about $50, and maybe even cheaper if you score a great deal.
After creating so many great photos, you’ll need to display your works of art some how. And a perfect way to do this is with a Nixplay Wifi photo frame. What makes this different from other electronic photo frames, is that it has wifi. This means that you can sync up your photos to your frame wirelessly. Another neat feature is that multiple users can put their photos into an account on the cloud which can then be synced across multiple photo frames. For example, new mothers are going to take a ton of photos of their baby. And of course friends and family members are going to visit and take even more photos of the newborn baby. All of these people can upload their pictures to the cloud account so that everyone’s pictures will be combined in one place and can then be synced to one or multiple photo frames. You can even email pictures to a frame. Additionally, some frames come with a motion sensor so that the frame turns on when you enter a room, and turns off when you leave the room. This is a great gift for any photographer.
This next gift idea is a throwback to the 70s and 80s when Polaroid instant film cameras were the rage. Believe it or not film cameras aren’t dead. Even though digital cameras let us see the pictures instantaneously after we take the picture, instant film cameras take it one step further and prints and develops the picture right then and there. Two popular instant film cameras are the Polaroid PIC-300P Instant Film Camera and the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera. As a bonus, these cameras come in many different colors so you’ll be sure to find a color that suits the one you’re giving the gift to.
For the friend or relative that absolutely must have the latest in technology, the GoPro4 was just released this past year. Some of its features include a touch display, built in wifi and bluetooth, selectable field of views, and of course it maintains its durability and waterproof housing. But for the adventure filmmakers on a budget, the prior edition GoPros are also available for around $130. We’ve also got a post on the many different things you can do with your GoPro so that your gift recipient can have some ideas on what to do with their new gift.
Congratulations you’ve made it to the end of the 2014 gift list. You must really love your gift recipient to want to get them something from this high end of the price spectrum. Would you like to be my Secret Santa? Any way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise but if you’ve got the money to spend, then get your loved one a . . .
The Canon 7D Mark II and the Nikon D750 are just two of the DSLRs that were just released this year. Or if you just want to upgrade the camera that your gift recipient already has then that’s awesome too, and you can bet they’ll appreciate the gesture.
And that concludes this year’s list of gift ideas for photographers and videographers. Got any other great gift ideas? Let us know in the comments below.
Even more photographer and videographer gift ideas: