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A picture may be worth a thousand words but taking it requires a lot of gear, skill, and creative vision. And since the holidays are already knocking on our door, now is the time to start thinking about what you’re gifting the photography-obsessed people on your list.
Whether you’re shopping for someone who has only recently started snapping photos or a more seasoned photographer, there are certain gadgets and items that will always come in handy regardless of their proficiency level. A sturdy camera bag or a portable drive for extra storage are just two of them.
If your loved one likes experimenting with new gear and photography styles then opt for a new smartphone lens or camera such as the latest GoPro—perfect for thrill-seekers—or Leica Q2—a great companion for outdoorsy types who enjoy snapping natural landscapes.
You could also give the gift of knowledge in the form of a must-read book on photography as art or an online class by one of the most popular adventure photographers and filmmakers today—both gifts will help your loved one develop new skills and ideas.
So without further ado, take a look at our curated selection of gifts for the photographer in your life.
Leica Q2 Camera
With its dust, rain, and water spray-proof body, the new Leica 2 is the perfect companion for the adventure photographer. The camera features the company’s newly developed 47.3 MP full-frame sensor, which delivers crisp, high-resolution images and video even in less-than-ideal conditions.
To buy: $4,995, leicacamera.com
Annie Leibovitz at Work Photography Book
Leibovitz is one of the most successful photographers of our time having shot pretty much every A-list celebrity you can think of. But this book is more than just a collection of her best images (of which there are plenty). In it, Leibovitz discusses her shooting techniques, switching from film to digital photography, what went behind the scenes of some of her most famous images, and her life as a photographer.
To buy: $50, neimanmarcus.com
Moment Wide-Angle Phone Lens
Give the gift of better Instagram pictures with this wide-angle 18 mm smartphone lens that captures twice more landscape than a regular lens without any distortion at the edges. It’s super easy to set it up and start snapping superb images. The lens is made from quality glass and aerospace-grade metal and comes with a cap and a carrying pouch.
To buy: $90, amazon.com
Polaroid SX-70 Camera
Andy Warhol loved his Polaroid SX-70 and shot some of his most famous images on it. This is basically the camera that made instant photography possible. It has a compact fold-down design, manual focus, and uses SX-70 film. One thing to keep in mind is that the first instant cameras didn’t feature a built-in flash but you can easily attach one to it.
To buy: $273, polaroidoriginals.com
3 Legged Thing Equinox Leo Carbon Fibre Tripod
This award-winning tripod not just looks cool but it also packs professional-level features deliver in a lightweight and compact construction. It weighs a little over three pounds but has a load capacity of 66 pounds. It has a leg lock system for maximum stability and also conveniently turns into a monopod.
To buy: $280, amazon.com
Alexander Wang Surplus Camera Bag
The fashionista/photographer in your life will surely enjoy carrying her camera in this Alexander Wang Surplus bag. It fits a small point and shoot-style camera and also has pockets for other essentials like keys and cards.
To buy: $695, shopbop.com
Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography Master Class
In 20 video lessons, National Geographic photographer and filmmaker (he is behind the Academy Award-winning documentary Free Solo) Jimmy Chin teaches the ins and outs of adventure photography. He shares his shooting and editing techniques, favorite gear, and even career advice for budding photographers.
To buy: $90/class, masterclass.com
SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable Drive 480 GB
The photographer who always runs out of storage space will be more than happy to find this portable drive under the Christmas tree this year. It’s compact enough to fit in a pocket and features a metal ring so it can be safely clipped to a backpack. And last but definitely not least, it is water and dust-resistant.
To buy: $121, newegg.com
Smythson Photo Album
This luxurious photo album is part of Smythson’s Grosvenor Collection crafted from high-quality French calfskin leather. The album consists of 50 black card pages finished off with gilded edges. To make the gift even more special, you can personalize it with up to 15 characters.
To buy: $635, smythson.com
Kodak Scanza Digital Film Scanner
Kodak’s scanner allows you to view and convert film into separate digital files. It works with 35mm, 126, 110, Super 8 and 8mm film negatives and slides that are loaded into a horizontal tray and slots. The scanner allows you to adjust the brightness and color of the images and offers resolutions of 14 and 22 megapixels. It is only five inches high and four inches wide so it won’t take up much space in a backpack.
To buy: $170, bloomingdales.com
GoPro Hero 7
The newest GoPro camera will get any photographer excited! It shoots shake-free videos even in the most extreme situations. You can also live-stream your adventure and create cool time warp videos with it. The camera automatically adjusts noise levels and local tone mapping so images sport sharp details and vibrant colors. And of course, this camera is sturdy enough to withstand whatever you or Mother Nature throws at it.
To buy: $300, gopro.com
Pix-Star 15 Inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame
This best-selling digital photo frame will allow any photographer to show off his or her photos. It has a 15-inch LED display and is super easy to set up and start using. It lets you access photos from any social media page or email address and it will even let you send images as well. And finally, because it is managed remotely, there will be no annoying fingerprints to wipe off each time you use it.
To buy: $200, amazon.com
ONA the Rockaway Camera Bag
This lightweight camera bag is crafted from high-quality leather in a beautiful vintage-inspired brown hue. It fits a DSLR camera and two lenses but the removable dividers can be adjusted according to the wearer’s needs. There are also three more zippered pockets to store for other photography essentials.
To buy: $202, onabags.co
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone
The new Mavic 2 Pro drone makes aerial photography a breeze. It supports 4K video and features a 20-megapixel camera shooting in RAW format for the best image quality. It weighs only two pounds and has a foldable design so you can take it anywhere with you.
To buy: $1,380, bestbuy.com
The Art of Photography, 2nd Edition: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression
Photography is not just about pretty pictures, it’s an art medium that helps tell stories and this is exactly what this book discusses. Whether you are buying it for a beginner or a photography pro, this now-classic book will help them take better and more inspiring photos.
To buy: $41, amazon.com