November 29, 2023
Christmas Gift Ideas for Photographers 2023
Looking for Christmas gift ideas for the snapper in your life? Twelve suggestions for you to give for Xmas 2023
I always dread the question at this time of the year, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ It’s hard to think about what I need as I tend to buy stuff throughout the year when I want it. The things I’d really like are massively expensive, and there’s no way I will suggest a Canon R3 retailing at £5,500, even to my best friend! So, I’ve pulled together a few suggestions for stuff that a photographer may want to receive this Christmas. To help you out, I’ve separated them into four price bands. Oh, and if you are feeling really generous after reading my blogs all year, then the Canon R3 is available at https://uk-store.digitalrev.com/products/canon-eos-r3-digital-camera?_pos=1&_sid=f72c2fbd7&_ss=r.
Christmas Gifts less than £25
Camera Cleaning Kit (£24.95) Imagine taking a brilliant photograph, and you rush home to apply your final edits. Disaster, there are dust spots all over your masterpiece! You might be able to rescue it with a few hours of editing, but it would be much better to keep your camera gear clean and tidy. That’s where a good cleaning kit will be helpful for a keen photographer. If they need tips on a good cleaning regime, then have a read of this blog from a few years ago. One thing to remember is that sensor swabs are specific to the size of the sensor in the camera. So, surreptitiously ask if your photography pal has a full frame or cropped sensor and buy the right kit for them.
Novelty Camera Cup (£9.99) Everyone likes a cheesy present (even if they pretend they don’t!). A photography-related cup is a fun way to fill the stocking of your snapper friend. I’ve chosen to feature a cup with a philosophical message, but Amazon has many alternatives depending on the Fromage level you want to go to.
Explore & Discover the Hebrides (£25) Landscape photographers love great locations. The series of books from FotoVue is a great way to discover new places to shoot. Just launched are two books covering the Hebridean islands on Scotland’s west coast. I can highly recommend the FotoVue books, and look out next year for one that may be covering some of the areas closer to Edinburgh and the lowlands…
Present Ideas below £50
Power Bank (£44.99) Spending a few days out taking photos in the Scottish Highlands in the winter? Camera batteries drain much faster in cold weather. A portable power bank is a great way to recharge your spare batteries out in the field. It’s worth paying a little more for a respected brand like Anker, as they hold their charge much longer than cheaper brands.
Memory Cards (£47) A serious photographer can never have enough memory cards. I don’t like to re-format a card until it’s been safely transferred onto my computer and then backed up to a cloud service. The important thing to look for when buying memory cards is the write speed. The faster, the better, particularly if the camera buff in your life likes shooting wildlife or sports.
Harry Benson – Paul (£50) I find one of the great ways to take better photographs is to see how the great photographers of the past did it. Harry Benson is a Scottish photographer who moved to the USA in the 1960s. Under duress, he was told to go and photograph a band about to tour America for the first time. That band was the Beatles, and Harry’s images changed his life forever. His latest book documents his relationship with Paul McCartney from 1964 through to an intimate shoot on Paul and Linda McCartney’s farm in Scotland.
Gifting suggestions less than £100
Peak Design Slide Strap (£60) I find I take better photos when I’m most comfortable. A good quality camera strap is invaluable when you’re out snapping. I’ve used the slide straps from Peak Design for a couple of years now and love them. They are long enough to wear across the body when walking around a city. They can be slung on the shoulder when using two camera bodies and don’t slip thanks to the two-sided, slide or grip strap. Finally, the quick-release mechanism helps to stop flapping straps when shooting on a windy day with a tripod.
Vallerret Photography Gloves (£90) I recommend these gloves every year in my Christmas gift ideas blog. In fact, I received my Vallerret gloves as a Christmas present years ago, and they are still brilliant. The gloves keep my hands toasty, but the magnetic thumb and forefinger tabs on each hand mean that I can change the knobs dials and buttons on the camera without taking my gloves off. If your photo pal is out in the cold taking pictures, I can’t recommend these gloves enough.
Workshop Voucher (£75 recommended, but available for any value) OK, I know this is a shameless plug for myself, but I still think it’s a brilliant deal! My workshops are #1 on TripAdvisor for Workshops and Lessons in Edinburgh. That’s not just photography workshops; it’s any learning experience. I get good reviews because I’m passionate about teaching photographers how to take better pictures. Whether it’s a newbie who wants to get to grips with their camera or an experienced snapper who wants to learn new skills, a workshop session is a brilliant Christmas gift.
Christmas Gifts over £100
Kase Filters (Various from £150) I like to recommend products I use. For nearly five years, Kase has been my filter system of choice. Whilst the filter system is relatively pricey, you should consider them an investment rather than a purchase. The Armor system filters are almost unbreakable, and they offer unparalleled quality. These are great Christmas gifts for the landscape photographer in your life.
ThinkTank Camera Bag (£225) I have two ThinkTank camera bags for different shooting types, and I couldn’t do without them. The ThinkTank Shape Shifter V2 is a great camera bag for most photographers. I can hold two camera bodies, three lenses, filters, memory cards and a tripod. However, when I’m shooting, it collapses to just a few centimetres thick. My other bag is the Airport Advantage, which has carried my gear worldwide and is small enough to be carried on a plane. These are the best bags you can buy, in my opinion.
Slik Tripod (£350) Again, for the most expensive Christmas gift ideas, I recommend something I use every day. Tripods are one of those things that photographers buy and then realise they only do 80% of the job they want. I can’t count how many tripods I’ve bought and replaced. Not so with my Slik Tripod. It’s been a faithful servant for four or five years already, and there’s no sign of it letting me down.
Please give us your feedback.
If you’ve got any questions or comments, leave them below. You can sign up for the Edinburgh Photography Workshop monthly newsletter, where you’ll get regular updates on exciting things happening in photography and some great tips. Sign up by clicking here.
About the author
As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions and was featured in a members-sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at richdysonphotography.com.