A gift guide for buying the perfect gifts for any photographer

by Nov 18, 2021Gift Guides, Photography

Perfect Gifts For Any Photographer

Photographers can be a difficult bunch to buy for but we’re here to make choosing the perfect gift for any photographer a lot easier. This list contains perfect photography gifts, big or small, from photo gear we use and love.

Photographers can be very hard to buy for. But not impossible. Especially if you have a list of things that will make perfect gifts for any photographer. We’ve put together a gift shopping list from the photography gear we use and love, from big to small, techy to not, including electronics, accessories, shoulder bags and clothes.

We know the photographer in your life will love anything from this list too. You may even decide some of the accessories or bags will be fine gifts for yourself!

Accessories for photographers, big and small

Peak Designs Perfect Travel Gift for a photographer

A Sony camera with the Peak Design Slide Lite strap sits on a desk between photo assignments. Note the red clip on the strap which is the anchor that snaps in and out easily.

Peak Design Slide Lite strap

Camera straps that come with a camera are, well, flimsy and uncomfortable at best. And then there are times when you really don’t want a camera strap at all. Which is why we both use the Slide Lite camera straps from Peak Design. The strap can of course work as a cross-body sling, neck, or shoulder strap. The real beauty however is how you put these little universal connectors (Peak Design’s so-called “anchor link system”) on the camera’s strap rings to attach the strap. That means you can easily click out the strap, click in a wristlet for example, or leave the strap off for traveling or when using a tripod. Quick, easy and brainlessly great.

3 Legged Thing brackets and tripods

From L-brackets to quick release plates to tripods, 3 Legged Thing has something in its collection that every photographer will covet and love – and non-photographers can easily pick out. For night photography, Therese has a 3 Legged Thing L-bracket on both her camera bodies making it super easy and quick to attach them to a tripod and change her camera orientation from horizontal to vertical.


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Tools, screwdrivers, and wrench kits

No photographer will realize he or she needs to have a couple of tools with them – until a leg falls off a tripod or that L-Bracket suddenly loosens. That’s where a compact tool kit comes in handy in the corner of a bag. Small Rig has several compact multi-tool kits to choose from.

Nite Ize phone tethers

Even enthusiastic photographers will also use their smartphones – for testing, for snapshots, for documenting, or even using certain photo apps. And dropping your phone on rocks, the sidewalk, into a lake, or over the side of a cliff is just not a great idea. That’s why Therese has rigged up a leash using a combination of a Nite Ize Hitch (anchor and stretchy tether) and a Nite Ize lanyard, also with a small carabiner anchor. That way, she gets length and a little stretch, and can easily attach it to a belt loop and stash her phone in a pocket. You may get stuck on this one company if you are shopping because it has so many great little handy items.

Keeping lenses and gear clean and protected

Photographer ShadowsThink Tank rain covers

Perhaps you’ve seen the photographer in your life use a plastic garbage bag or laundry bag from a hotel room for an emergency gear and camera rain cover. Oh, really, there are better ways to protect all that gear. Which is why we both now carry seam-sealed emergency rain covers from Think Tank. They come in three sizes and can be quickly deployed to ward off rain drops and even dust in many cases. These are must-have items to smash in the corner of any camera bag – because weather is fickle!


A two-sided pen that features a dust removal brush on one end and a non-liquid cleaning pad on the other. When you need to quickly remove fingerprints or dust from a camera lens, the LensPen is a perfect tool.

Giottos Rocket Air Blaster

We rely on our Rocket Blaster anywhere we travel to keep our lenses and camera sensors free of dust. Just a quick blast or two of air from a Rocket Air Blaster clears away even the most stubborn dust particles. There are a lot of imitators out there, but none are as good as the original … we know since we’ve tried many of them. If your photographer already has one? Another never hurts, plus there are different sizes and shapes.

Stuffable microfiber cleaning cloth

We’ve got a stuffable microfiber cleaning cloth hanging from almost every camera bag and sometimes from various camera straps. Why? You never know when you will have the need to quickly wipe away a small smudge or droplets of moisture before taking a photo.

Professional cleaning kit for cameras

A complete camera cleaning kit is something that every photographer needs to keep their camera gear primed and ready for every photo opportunity. Great for travel, too.

Vello LCD screen protector

The LCD screens on digital cameras can take a beating and are very susceptible to chips, scratches and cracks. We rely on Vello LCD screen protectors for our cameras, and they’ve more than done the job! Easy to replace a screen protector. Not so easy replace a damaged LCD screen.

Vello Screen Protector Photographer Gift

Do not try this at home: This WAS a very new Vello screen protector. Therese was tossed around in the jeep on Kenyan safari, inadvertently hitting the camera on the edge in the surprise jostle. The LCD screen on the camera was perfect. The screen protector? Not so much.

Tech, electronics, and tech accessories

Kenu Stance Tripod for smartphones

Even for DSLR snobs, a smartphone still comes in handy for anything from Facetime and Zoom, to self-timer shots and video documenting your set up. A Kenu Stance Tripod makes it much easier by providing a convenient, lightweight, and compact stand for iPhones and Androids. These mini tripods fold together super tiny and will even hang on a keychain, not much bigger than a key! Great for “selfies” of a group that will look more normal than when one person holds a smartphone high and everybody tries to smile normally.

Extra rechargeable batteries

No photographer will turn down an extra camera battery. The last thing you want to do is run out of juice. How to choose? Just sneak in to the gear closet, check the model of your photographer’s camera, then search using that brand and model to choose the right one.

SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD Hard Drive

Hard to believe that you can have an external hard drive that is both fast, durable, small, and extremely lightweight, but this SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable SSD is all that. Just slightly bigger than a credit card and weighing just under 2 ounces, we never leave home without one in each of our camera bags. Backing up memory cards so you never risk losing a photo is mandatory! And every photographer can always use an extra backup.

Coast flashlights

Whether a photographer needs to see on the way out from a shoot that took longer than expected or he or she is into night photography and light painting, flashlights are a must. Therese just adores her collection of Coast flashlights, especially the ones that are rechargeable – no batteries to toss – and have focusing lights. Plus, there are some quite small and light ones that are also still pretty mighty. Never leave home without a flashlight.

Clothes and comfort

Therese In 511 Pants Travel Gifts For Him Or Her

Therese wearing 5.11 pants in Maine along with a Nite Ize phone anchor combined with a tether and lanyard she attaches to her belt loop to ensure she doesn’t drop it plus her Sony camera is slung over her shoulder with a Peak Design Slide Light strap. Photo courtesy Klaus-Peter Statz.

5.11 pants

Pockets … lots of them … plus comfort and durability. For travel pants with plenty of storage space for your smartphone, wallet, extra batteries, flashlight and maybe a snack or two, 5.11 pants have it going on for both men and women. You need to get past the “tactical” part since 5.11 makes pants for police, rangers, and military, but that’s why the brand recognizes the need for pockets. Some pants are looser, some slimmer and more urban, some cotton and some have great stretch. 5.11 finds places for pockets that you just don’t find elsewhere. Many have pockets for knee pads, too, for those times a photographer needs to kneel.

Hand-warming heat packs

Cold hands are a problem for many photographers since using fingers and retaining dexterity is a must, making a lot of gloves impossible to use. Therese stands by a set of oxygen-powered hand warmers for emergency use tucked into her bag at all times. They are small, thin, light and flexible, so they can stuff inside a glove or hang out in a pocket to keep digits warm. Extra benefit: They can be wrapped around a lens with rubber bands to keep it warm, too, to avoid condensation.

Carrying stuff

Perfect Gifts For Photographers Retrospective Bag

Michael using a Think Tank Retrospective bag while on a photo safari in Kenya.

Think Tank Retrospective camera bags and packs

Both of us practically live out of our Retrospective camera bags when in the field, be it on safari or wandering around an urban environment shooting street and travel scenes. If the traveler in your life is into photography, even casually — with anything from point-and-shoots to DSLRs — you will find a perfect size Retrospective camera bag for everyone that look pretty dang cool, too. Of course, there are also Retrospective packs and lots of other Think Tank carrying solutions – because one bag will never fit all situations for a photographer.

Peak Design Tech Pouch

Until he had this pouch, Michael stashed his various chargers, power cords, USB cables, and other assorted bits of tech that have become such a necessary part of travel in various pockets in his luggage and carry-on. No more. Now his formerly tangled world of cables and connectors is now wonderfully organized in his Peak Design Tech Pouch (sort of a mini tech file folder if you will). In a car, on an airplane, on the go or in a hotel, when Michael needs a cable, connector, or adaptor, it’s now right at his fingertips.

SD card carriers

SD cards carry the photos a camera takes and if you take a lot of photos, you’re going to need numerous SD cards on any trip. Keeping track of the cards when they are removed from a camera, and then protecting them so you never lose a valuable photo is very important. Which is why we won’t leave home without memory card wallets from Think Tank. If the photographer in your life needs a SD card carrier that is a bit more extreme, there are cases for those needs, too.

Miscellaneous gear kits for flashlights to tools

And of course, those photographers have a zillion little bits and bobs. Think out of the box. Therese uses a smaller toiletry kit from Eagle Creek to hold her flashlights and remotes with side zip pockets perfect for a few small tools and extra batteries. And she also uses a Granite Gear Air Zipditty for other necessities. Key is that any ditty bag should be super light and compact.

Camera battery holders

Camera batteries are expensive and need to be cared for and stored properly to prevent possible damage, and to keep them handy and ready for immediate use. That’s why we both rely on DSLR battery holders from Think Tank.

We bet you’ll find something on this list to wrap up as the perfect gift for the photographer in your life.

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