Gift Guide: Unique Gift Ideas for the Photographer in Your Life

By Rosunnara Roth
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Photo Courtesy: Westend61/Getty Images

Photography is one of the most popular hobbies lately, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fun way to express yourself and archive your favorite memories and people. Personally, photography gives me an adrenaline rush when I learn new tricks or share my shots after traveling. I’ve also had experiences with a collection of tried-and-true accessories to get the best (and most creative) results.

If you’ve noticed your friend has picked up an interest in photography or you know they’re a long-time enthusiast, what’s a better way to support their journey than by surprising them with a gift from the heart? Whether your buddy takes photos on their smartphone or fancy camera, they’re sure to love these picture-perfect gifts for anyone who has a passion for flashin’.

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A Waterproof Case for Fun Underwater Projects

Being near water is always risky because devices can get damaged when wet. Worst of all, they can permanently stop working, even after trying that good ol’ bag-of-rice trick — knock on wood. To save myself from a heart attack, I often bring a waterproof case if I’m planning to hit the pool, boat on a lake or swim at the beach. It’s also a good excuse to take creative pictures and videos underwater. Photo lovers want to be photoshoot-ready anytime, anywhere.

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Photo Courtesy: Amazon; Home Depot

These special cases are also beneficial for people who live in the wettest places on Earth because rain can ruin more than just suede shoes. For smartphone users, a Waterproof Smartphone Pouch will do the trick. It comes with a carrying strap, so dropping or losing the device is one less thing to worry about. Plus, the pouch is touchscreen accessible. Your friend with the fancy camera might love the

DSLR Camera Universal Waterproof Underwater Pouch Bag, which fits most Digital SLR cameras from brands like Canon, Sony, Nikon, Sigma and Pentax. Now, you can stop randomly yelling at your friend to be careful around water.

Important note: Your photographer pal should test the case at home before bringing it out in the real world. I slip a paper towel inside the case, seal it and submerge it underwater for about 20 minutes. Next, I take the paper towel out and check for any moisture. If the towel shows no signs of being wet, the case is ready for some practice shots underwater.

An Alien-Like Tripod to Prevent Blurry Pics

Struggling with camera shake happens more than I’d like to admit. While looking at the blurry messes I’ve created, my mind cries, "If you could stop shaking the camera so much, that would be great!" To help your buddy dodge the same fate, gift them a tripod for achieving sharper images and better stability. The chance to snap long exposures and take photos in low light makes it more worth it. Vloggers and solo travelers will also appreciate this one-of-a-kind gift.

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Photo Courtesy: Target; Amazon

The Fotopro Flexible Tripod has an odd appearance, but look at all of its impressive features: it boasts Bluetooth connectivity, it wraps on different surfaces and it’s compatible with smartphones, DSLR cameras, webcams, camcorders and projectors. Another great option is the Joby Griptight One GorillaPod Stand to help capture the right angle from almost anywhere. No more awkward group photos or selfies.

A Storage Solution for Photo Hoarding

There are most likely hundreds — maybe even thousands — of photos taking up space on your friend’s computer and slowing everything down. I'll hold my hands up and say that I'm guilty as charged for this one. Sometimes, it’s hard to get the perfect angle or lighting, so you take several pictures or videos of the same thing until you end up with notifications that you’re running out of space in your device or memory card. Oops.

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Photo Courtesy: Target

An external hard drive comes to the rescue. In this case, it’s the Seagate 5TB Backup Plus Slim Portable External Hard Drive, a handy backup device with a massive data storage capacity. The bigger, the better, right? Powered by USB, the hard drive connects to computers as well as mobile devices, meaning your friend can back up their files on the go.

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Go Back in Time and Play With Film Again

There’s something special about shooting the old-fashioned way. Instant cameras remind us of the past, giving us a nostalgic feeling when we snap photos and develop them right in the moment. Whether your friend has always dreamed of covering their entire room with Polaroids or wants a quick way to share physical photos, an instant camera is the perfect gift for any type of photographer.

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Photo Courtesy: Fujifilm; @fujifilm_instax_northamerica/Instagram; @meetpolaroid/Instagram

Instead of taking more photos that get lost in the digital realm, your friend can flaunt their new work to family or friends with a tangible photo. Polaroids are also great gifts, so you can claim that an instant camera is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s a favorite at get-togethers too. Consider the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera with a pack of Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film to take pictures to keep forever. Your friend can also document their precious memories using the sleek Polaroid Snap Digital Instant Camera.

Always Get Lit Lighting

Taking photographs is all about the lighting (besides the angle, of course). To keep photos vivid and beautiful, buy your giftee a ring light for their camera phone. It’s convenient, portable and gives each photo that extra glow. No more awkward phone flashes, searching for good lighting or blurry, dark photos. A rechargeable battery keeps the light running on the go, and its cute corduroy fabric patch keeps it stylish.

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Photo Courtesy: Target

The Fotodiox Pro Ultra Reflector Kit may look like it’s packed with cool decorations, but these collapsible, multi-disc light reflectors are actually an important part of any photographer’s toolkit. These discs transform the look and feel of any photo by manipulating light in a variety of warm and cool tones so that you can call your friend a light bender. The best part is that your recipient can use the kit in their home and outdoors.

Fancy Photo-Editing Software for Creative Fun

Filters are a big deal in the photography world and on social media. Touching up a photo can change its entire appearance and make it pop. With the help of a photo editor, your friend can turn their least-favorite photo into a work of art. Plus, it’s fun to see the before and after editing comparisons.

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Photo Courtesy: Lightroom

Many photographers rave about Lightroom. It’s a personal favorite of mine too. Its dreamy presets and state-of-the-art tools and adjustments make it one of the most popular software programs to use. Your friend will love the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which includes Lightroom CC and cloud storage.

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