If you’re anything like us, you looked at the calendar this morning and had a mild freak out. The holidays are rapidly approaching, whether we’re ready for them or not.
To take some of the pressure off finding that perfect present, we’ve rounded up 10 budget-friendly gift ideas for the photographer in your life. (And at these price points you can feel good about giving yourself a little something for the holidays, too.)
Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth – $5 & up
As far as we’re concerned, you can never have enough of these. Great for lenses, glasses, screens, you name it. Don’t fight it. They’re crazy useful and will always come in handy.
ZEISS Lens Wipes (60-Pack) – $6.99
Like microfiber cleaning cloths, lens wipes are a must. They’re pre-moistened, non-abrasive and because they’re individually packaged they can be tossed in any camera bag.
Photo Pills App – $9.99
A secret weapon in wildlife photographer Shannon Wild’s arsenal, the Photo Pills app is equal parts astronomer and photo assistant and uses augmented reality to visualize the best conditions for golden hour landscape shots or capturing the Supermoon. It’s an unbeatable all-in-one app.
Wondering how to gift an app? Don’t worry. It can be done.
Rechargeable batteries are a no-brainer. Because they create less waste they’re better for the environment and tend to last longer than typical single-use options. While battery sizes vary, there’s no denying that the AA is a safe bet. Use them on everything from photo gear to your TV remote over and over again. They’re immensely useful.
Cadrage Director’s Viewfinder – $19.99
Another great mobile app for iPhone, Cadrage asks you to enter in your camera and lens and then provides previews of shots to help you plan your shoot. It’s got custom frame lines for any aspect ratio, works for both still photos and video and features manual focus, color correction and more.
20% off right now, The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion features the amazing work of fifteen contemporary fashion photographers. In addition to the impressive collection of images, curator and critic Antwaun Sargent “opens up the conversation around the role of the black body in the marketplace; the cross-pollination between art, fashion, and culture in constructing an image; and the institutional barriers that have historically been an impediment to black photographers participating more fully in the fashion (and art) industries.”
Patagonia’s quality is no joke. This hip pack comes in a variety of colors and is perfect for storing all of those little things you need to access on a shoot. They get bonus points because the packs are made from 100% recycled materials and can be used for non-photography needs too.
Bill Cunningham: On the Street – $58.50
Already a New York Times best-seller, this book features a great mix of iconic Bill Cunningham street shots and never before seen material. In addition to the quality of the photos themselves, the book has an anthropological component to it, covering everything from the 1980s transit strike, the rise of the selfie and Obama’s Inauguration Day in 2009. Temporarily out of stock on Amazon, you might be able to find this elsewhere online or at your local bookstore. It’s an instant classic and worth hunting down.
If you’re a New Yorker, ICP is a must. Membership includes free admission to the ICP museum, discounts at their online store and workshops, access to members-only shopping days and special invites to members-only exhibition openings. They also offer discounted memberships for students, persons with disabilities, seniors, etc. It’s a feel-good gift: membership fees are tax-deductible and you’ll be supporting an organization devoted to visual culture. They also accept donations to go towards scholarships or to help sponsor an exhibit if you’re out of state.
This camera is a staple of all PhotoShelter get-togethers. It’s also 30% off and a total steal right now. We can’t deny the nostalgia factor that comes with instant film cameras and we love the Instax Wide because it’s been known to last for an entire party without needing a battery change. No editing or SD cards required!
Need even more gift ideas? Check out The Photographer’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide. Inside, you’ll find recommendations from 27 pro photographers including Pete Souza, Shannon Wild and Henry Do. Plus exclusive staff picks from PhotoShelter and our partner, Feature Shoot.
NOTE: None of the links above are affiliate links. PhotoShelter makes no money from these recommendations. This post is only intended to provide gift ideas and holiday cheer. If you have any budget-friendly gifts you’d like to recommend, we’d love to grow this list in the comments below!