10 Stocking Stuffers For The Photographer In Your Life (Last Minute Shoppers Edition)
For all of you last-minute holiday shoppers out there, we’re here for you. We have come up with a last minute shoppers’ guide to help you find a great gift for the photographer in your life – something that will arrive before Christmas and help them expand their creativity going into the new year.
Hint: most of these items can be bought on Amazon, which, if you’re a Prime member, offers free two-day shipping on many items! And if you’re not a Prime member, sign up or the 30-day trial now! Last-minute shopping is totally possible.
This is one of my absolute favorite camera accessories and it is a perfect gift for landscape, night, or time-lapse photographers, or anyone who is interested in trying something a little different with their photography. Triggertrap is a smartphone-controlled camera remote trigger that offers a number of useful and unique features that will immediately expand any photographer’s creative horizon. Personally, I use the Triggertrap for shooting star trails or any other long-exposure work I might be doing, but it also has some compelling studio features such as audio and motion triggering that can produce truly impressive results. Be sure to check out their Instagram feed for some great examples of what Triggertrap users are creating with this fun accessory.
Take note though, that “camera dongle” attachment is camera brand specific, so make sure to verify which camera brand the photographer will primarily be using it with before purchase.
Available at: www.triggertrap.com and Amazon.
Fuji Instax Mini 90: $180
Fuji has had huge success with their line of Instax instant cameras and printers recently. They produce fun, vintage, Polaroid-esque, bordered, miniature prints that appeal to folks of all ages. The Fuji Instax Mini 90 is the cream of the crop, offering advanced features for the more serious photographer, while maintaining the ease of use and accessibility that has made them popular.
It offers Bulb Mode and a Double Exposure setting, which allow this camera to create images that are truly unique to the instant print format. However, these features are what is responsible for this model’s $180 price tag. Fortunately, Fuji also offers the Mini 8 for $80 and the Mini 70 for $140. Although these cameras have fewer features, they are every bit as enjoyable as the more expensive Mini 90.
Available at: www.bandhphotovideo.com and Amazon.
An interesting alternative to the Fuji Instax cameras and printers. Instead of trying to appeal to the nostalgic crowd, Polaroid decided to focus on building a high quality mobile printer for making miniature prints. It creates photo quality, borderless prints (via a wifi connection) of any photo you have on your phone or tablet. My experience has been that the Polaroid Zip’s image quality is far superior to the Fuji Instax SP-1 printer. The Zip Instant printer will render a print that is similar to what you see on your phone or tablet screen, without the vintage punch that is present with Instax prints. A perfect present for Christmas morning. You’ll be printing your holiday memories in no time.
Available at www.apple.com and Amazon.
Studio Neat GLIF: $30
Smartphone photography and videography continues to have a significant impact on their respective industries. Everyday, individuals are pushing the limits of their smartphone and creating something truly meaningful and impactful. The GLIF by Studio Neat is a universal tripod mount and desktop stand that will unlock a whole new creative realm for smartphone photographers and videographers. It is expandable and adjustable so it can be used with different phone models as well as being pocketable so it is easy to carry every day. The GLIF is easily mounted on any tripod and can be used for shooting time-lapses, videos, long exposures, or even selfies!!
Available at: www.studioneat.com
Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger: $40 Holiday Sale / $50 Normally
It seems that there is nothing more precious these days then battery life. It feels as though every device we carry with us must be charged continually throughout the day. With increasing reliance on digital communication, being caught without juice can leave you feeling like you are in a bind. Enter the Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger. Featuring a 5200 mAh capacity battery, it can recharge most smartphones twice over, as well as powering your mobile photography accessories, or even the batteries in your camera, on cameras that support USB charging. Don’t be caught without batteries again. The Goal Zero Flip 20 Recharger is portable so it can be carried everywhere, and it’s powerful enough to keep you up and running even when you are far from a power outlet.
Available at www.rei.com and Amazon.
Night Photography has sky-rocketed in popularity in recent years thanks to dramatic improvements in the low-light performance of modern camera sensors and other technological advances. Night photographers are now able to capture images that were almost impossible to create even just ten years ago. Nighttime and astrological images are popping up everywhere, even as wallpapers on smartphones. However, there are some technical aspects and differences to night photography that can make it intimidating when you are starting out. It might be good to have a guide.
Night Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots is a comprehensive, yet accessible guide to all that one needs to know to begin shooting at night. It cover’s everything from suggested equipment, tutorials on shooting the Milky Way and Light Painting, and post-processing your images. The book also happens to have been authored by two of our instructors, but bias did not influence our recommendation of this book. It is by far one of the most comprehensive and useful books on night photography that is available.
Available at www.peachpit.com and Amazon.
The Olloclip is an incredibly popular smartphone photography accessory that is compatible with most iPhones and the Samsung Galaxy line of smart phones as well. They offer a variety of “clip-on” lenses that slide over your existing camera lens. Everything from Fisheye lenses to Circular Polarizers and 21x magnification macro lenses. Currently, it comes in three standard configurations, the standard four lens Olloclip, a Macro specialized edition, and another that includes a telephoto lens and a polarizer.
An added benefit of the Olloclip is that they offer an accompanying app that can help you get the most out of the lenses through software optimization.
DXO One: $600
The DXO One is one of the most exciting pieces of photographic equipment that has been released in recent years. It packs a 20.2 megapixel 1″ sensor into a compact, iPhone mounted unit that offers excellent image quality for those of you shooting on the go. Even Mirrorless cameras can become heavy and burdensome once you start to carry a number of lenses with you. The DXO One is the perfect camera to carry with you no matter where you are going. The sensor even performs well enough that you can shoot usable night photography and astrophotography images, something that has not been possibly so far on any smartphone. It is limited in it’s fixed 33mm equivalent focal length, but the limitation of fixed focal lengths on iPhones and other smartphones have not stopped them from being some of the most widely used cameras in the world. Embrace the limitations and create something bold and new.
The DXO One is not only a great piece of hardware, but comes with $300 of DXO’s own software that will help in the post-processing of your images.
Artifact Uprising Gift Card: $20 – $500
With the rise of media-based social networks like Instagram and Vine, it seems that more and more of our images and videos end up living their entire life on a device. Yet, there is still no screen that can compare to holding a printed image in your hand. However, even as a photographer, I find it hard at times to justify either creating or purchasing a print of mine, just for myself. Bring those prints to life with a Gift Card from Artifact Uprising.
Artifact Uprising is a small, up and coming print company that offers a small, but compelling assortment of print styles and designs. They do fine-art prints, print books, and other gift items such as calendars. For those of you who are truly last minute shoppers, their gift cards are available at a number of different prices points and can even be emailed.
Available at www.artifactuprising.com
Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA3 (Photo/Video Backup Device): $45 – $450
As photographers, one of our greatest fears is that our images will be lost somehow. Nowadays, we worry about our hard drives failing, or worst of all, that the cards we are storing our images on might get corrupted or have some other issues while we are in the field or shooting on location. The Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA3 is here to alleviate the anxiety of shooting a large number of images and not having them immediately backed up. The Hyperdrive Colorspace is essentially a portable, battery-powered hard drive with a color LCD that can be used to immediately store up to 2TB of photos or videos on the go.
The Hyperdrive Colorspace is customizable as well and comes in storage sizes from 32GB – 2TB. This device is an absolute lifesaver for wedding photographers, or any individual who records a lot of images in the field before being able to transfer their images to their computer and back them up. This device will undoubtedly save someone the frustration and disappointment of losing images that they won’t be able to recapture. Image security is often overlooked, but is vitally important to modern photographers.
Available at: www.hypershop.com
Well, there you have it. Our last minute shoppers guide to photography stocking stuffers. We won’t take up any more of your time though! Get shopping! Take care and have a wonderful holiday season.