Say Cheese: The 9 Best Gifts for Photographers That Are Actually Affordable

Disposable Camera
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

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It seems everyone is a photographer nowadays. From Instagram to VSCO and that little lens on your iPhone camera, anyone has the ability to explore and create photos from the comfort of, well, their own pockets. With that being said, it’s always easy to pick out the real photographers from the crowd, and this year, it’s time to support their talent more than ever.

Hobbyist or professional, if you have a photographer on your holiday shopping list this year, don’t stress: they’re easier to buy for than you might think. You won’t have to spend the big bucks on a fancy DSLR this time around, there are tons of worth-it low-key cameras and trinkets to snag that can genuinely influence your giftee’s photos effectively.

Magnus Hedemark
5 years
On behalf of actual photographers, no, please don't.

From silly, stupid gadgets to film cameras they don’t have to take so seriously, here are the best gifts for photographers to buy this year.

Magnus Hedemark
5 years
On behalf of actual photographers, no, please don’t.

1. STRATA CUPS Camera Lens Coffee Mug

Don’t be surprised if you have to explain to your gift-getter this isn’t actually another lens for their camera bag. The real-looking lens cap unscrews to reveal a thermos with a 13.5-ounce stainless steel interior. It’s totally gimmicky but at the same time a super fun way to sip your morning cup of joe. It might turn a few heads, but hey, that’s what we’re going for here.

STRATA CUPS Camera Lens Coffee MugCourtesy of Amazon


2. Disposable Camera

While this thing might not present the highest quality of photos your favorite photographer is used to, that isn’t the point. Using a disposable camera is awesome for when it’s time to take it down a notch and just have a little bit of fun. Sometimes photographers unintentionally take their work way too seriously. Gifting a disposable will allow them to get out of their head for a bit and challenge them to shoot more out of their comfort zone. We also can’t hate at all on this uniquely cool cow-print cover. This gift is especially great for photographers that shoot solely digital photos. Maybe it can help bring them back in time to shoot more film!

Cow Print Disposable CameraCourtesy of Urban Outfitters


3. HP Envy Photo 7155 All in One Photo Printer

A printer might seem like a strange thing to gift, but you have to hear us out. It’s needed. Any decent photographer needs to make prints of their work to visualize it and not rely solely on a computer screen. When photographers hang prints in their space, it really allows then to live, breathe and sit on what they’ve created. It helps solidify brighter project ideas and influences style altogether. This printer is definitely more of an affordable option, which is great for you and for them. It’s made from recycled printers and has the ability to access wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and laptops. The print quality is pretty stellar and it also comes with a scanner situated directly on top. What else could they need?

HP Envy Photo 7155 All in One Photo PrinterCourtesy of Amazon


4. Post-it Pop-up Camera Dispenser

Here’s another gimmicky gift that photographers will hate to love. This Post-it note dispenser mimics the classic Polaroid camera by sliding notes out the way your favorite shake-it film does. It can sit on their desk while editing and act as a quick way to take notes when need be — but, we’re not here to go over the importance of sticky notes. This gift will surely make them giggle and is definitely a conversation starter for the home.

Post-it® Pop-up Camera DispenserCourtesy of Staples


5. Rosco Color Effects Filter Kit

Color gels are an excellent way for photographers to take their lighting situations to a whole new level. While some might find color gels not really their style (especially if they shoot more natural landscapes), others might love the idea of using color gels to effectively change the mood lighting of a scene they’re creating. Included are 15 different colors to either enhance skin tones or modify scene color entirely. They’re tons of fun to experiment with and come at a pretty affordable price.

Rosco Color Effects Filter KitCourtesy of B&H Photo Video


6. Photography: A Definitive Visual History

Get the history of photography straight from a photographer. Written by world-renowned photographer, writer and broadcaster Tom Ang, Photography delves into the most iconic photographs and photographers of the past 200 years. It celebrates photo’s origin by delving into earlier practices some of us never even knew existed and talks about how the act of photography has transformed into what we know it as today in the digital age. It’s a must-read for anybody that considers themself a photographer.

Photography: A Definitive Visual HistoryCourtesy of Amazon


7. Kattee Leather Canvas Camera Bag

Protect and transport a DSLR camera and multiple lenses with a bit of vintage flair. Made with a real cowhide leather trim, this camera bag is good looking enough to be part of your favorite photographer’s everyday carry. When your giftee isn’t lugging their camera necessities around, this can also be used as a regular messenger bag to carry important documents. There are also numerous pockets for extra batteries and SD cards.

Kattee Leather Canvas Camera BagCourtesy of Amazon


8. UBeesize 10″ LED Ring Light

Photographers know through and through how difficult it can be to transport lighting equipment. Most of the time you won’t even need a majority of what you have and you end up bringing it all for nothing. While, yes, some situations do call for immense lighting situations, other times they do not. When a photographer is ever in a situation where they just need to take a couple of headshots or simply light a close subject, look no further than this portable 10″ ring light. It’s a handy, timesaving lighting option that gets the job done without the need to cause a scene. It comes with a tripod that can easily sit on any flat surface, so all they’ll have to do is prop it up and get shooting.

UBeesize 10" LED Ring LightCourtesy of Amazon


9. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera

Similar to the disposable camera listed above, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is an awesome way for photographers to take themselves less seriously when shooting. The print quality isn’t the best, but that’s the point. The camera itself comes in various color choices and has a flash to ensure everything will be well lit. Film is sold separately and needs to be replenished every so often, but after just a couple of times using this, your giftee will realize buying the film again and again is well worth it.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant CameraCourtesy of Amazon


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