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Shopping for a shutterbug can be tricky. Whether they’re into digital or analog, your favorite photog likely already has their go-to camera setup and lenses. If you’re eyeing the best gifts for photographers, but aren’t too familiar with the art of photography yourself, we’ve gathered some of the coolest gear that your beloved paparazzo will find useful.
From sleek backpacks and vintage-inspired straps, to retro kits for film lovers, keep reading for our top gift ideas for photography enthusiasts.
1. Car Seat Camera Strap
If modern straps just don’t cut it for your vintage aficionado, Couch’s stylish camera strap will fit their vibe. This heavy-duty strap is made from the perforated vinyl seat covers of Seventies muscle cars, and has universal adjustable ends so it can be adjusted for any camera body type. If your creative photographer pal is also a musician, they can also pop the strap onto their guitar. Other patterns and styles available.
2. Polaroid x Chinatown Market 600 Instant Camera
Shopping for a hypebeast shutterbug? Los Angeles streetwear brand Chinatown Market teamed with photography revival brand Retrospekt to bring back Polaroid’s 600 instant film camera. It features the original vintage mechanisms (refurbished to work like new) and the redesigned body features retro colorways inspired by the clothing label. (Don’t forget to throw in a few packs of film, too.)
3. Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film
Treat your prolific instant film enthusiast to a generous restock with this 60-photo pack of Fujifilm Instax Mini film. These credit card-sized prints deliver vibrant images on a glossy finish, and are compatible with Instax Mini 7, 7S, 8, 8+, 9, 25, 70, and 90 cameras.
4. Hex Ranger Clamshell DSLR Backpack
This fleece-lined backpack has your favorite travel photographer covered. This sleek carryall’s water-resistant Cordura fabric, sturdy large-gauge zippers, and a non-skid bottom keep its contents dry and secure, and its clamshell design and compression buckles allow the wearer to choose whether they want to open the bag on the top, left side, or right side.
Inside, the padded compartments and removable EVA foam partitions can be reconfigured to suit your giftee’s kit, and zippered mesh accessory pockets can hold extra cables, SD cards, and other small pieces. There’s also a zippered side compartment that can hold a 15-inch MacBook Pro, so your recipient can edit on-the-go.
5. A History of Photography Book
Whether they’re an aspiring street style photog or a still life expert, every photographer will benefit from looking back at the history of their craft. Taschen’s A History of Photography focuses on the most impactful imagery from Kodak founder George Eastman’s expansive collection of photography and film from 1839 to the present day.
6. Artifact Uprising Gift Card
Photographers of all stripes can commemorate their favorite moments in the form of framed canvas prints, photo books, calendars, wooden block photos, greeting cards, and other design-minded options. We love the variety of framing options (choose from wood, metal, floating, and tabletop frames) and formats, including giclée prints, large-format fine art prints, and more in sizes from five-by-seven inches and up to 60-by-40 inches.
7. JOBY GorillaPod Mini-Tripod and Smartphone Mount Kit
Social distancing shutterbugs can still get the perfect selfie or portrait with JOBY’s best-selling GorillaPod. The flexible tripod’s jointed arms can hug railings, tree branches, and other spots to keep cameras sturdy for every shot. It can support up to one pound and includes a Xuma MTA-300B smartphone mount. Other options and colors available.
8. SmugMug Annual Subscription
So your photography enthusiast is ready to go pro? An annual subscription to photo hosting platform SmugMug lets them store, showcase, and sell their stunning snaps. The site offers unlimited photo and video uploads for original high-resolution files, password-protected download pages, syncing with Adobe Lightroom, printing, and the ability to upload from Google Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, and desktop and mobile devices. New subscriptions get a 20% discount and annual pricing ranges from $44 for a basic plan to $288 for pro accounts.
9. Lomography Diana Mini 35mm Camera with Flash
Film fanatics in need of a new toy will find one in Lomography’s charming Diana Mini camera. It’s beloved for its lightweight and compact plastic body, which lets just the right amount of light in to produce ethereal 35mm prints (you’ll want to include some film, too). This set includes a wide-angle lens and three exposure settings: sunny, cloudy, and B (for long exposures).
Users can shoot 36 square photos or 72 rectangular half-frames, or alternate between the two. Also in the kit is a cable release attachment, tripod mount, and a flash that covers a range of three to six feet with ISO 100 at f-stop f8.
If your friend or fam is an 120 format enthusiast, you can opt to gift them Lomography’s F+ camera.
10. F-Stop ICU Internal Camera Unit
This efficient storage unit makes a great gift for photographers who like to switch between camera bags. It’s got a water-resistant exterior and high-density foam to protect every piece of gear. The interior is lined with brushed polyester to ensure scratch-free storage, and all of the dividers can be reconfigured. The top carrying handle also features D-rings, so users can attach their own camera strap.