10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Photographers
Josie Reavely | Product Reviews & Previews | Published Dec 21, 2011
If - like many of us - you’ve left your Christmas shopping until the last minute and are stumped as to what to buy for the photographer in your life, fear not! Here you’ll find a wealth of inspiring gadgets and goodies that are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of your happy snapper.
Rather than focusing on the 'serious' stuff like tripods, bags and camera straps, I thought I’d be a bit more inventive and show off some of the more quirky photo-related gifts out there. In addition to the products suggested, I recommend that you take a good look around each of the sites listed in the article (click the Check Price / Buy Now links), where you’ll find even more fun, funky and downright awesome products, from apparel and watches to tiny digital cameras and photography-inspired jewelry.
I’ve kept the emphasis on the more affordable 'stocking fillers' that grabbed my attention (and I hope will grab yours), but there are plenty of pricier items on each of the websites that we’ve recommended if you’re still looking for a main gift for your loved one. Got all of your Christmas shopping done already? Then treat yourself to a well-earned early gift instead! All the prices quoted are indicative of typical 'street' prices.
Take a look at these suggestions and let us know what you think. Likewise, if you’ve come across something amazing, share it in the comments section below. Happy shopping!
Here's my selection:
- Lens Bracelet 50mm
- Pinhole Camera: Make Your Own Kit
- The Camera Cookie Cutter Set
- Layers Frame
- Click Mirror
- Ps Magnet Kit
- Manual Lens T-Shirt
- Camera Lens Mug
- Present Time Photo Frame Clock
- Lens Pillow
|Express your love for your favorite lens (and your partner!) with the fashionable unisex Lens Bracelet, designed by professional photographer Adam Elmakias.|
The perfect fashion accessory for any chic photo-geek! Photographer Adam Elmakias originally created these bracelets to promote his work, giving them away to family, friends and fans as he toured the US and Canada in 2010. They proved so popular that he added to the range of styles and focal lengths, with his website now offering a version to suit just about anyone. We’ve picked out the 50mm prime version here, but you can also select from alternatives including: 35mm, 85mm, 14-24mm, 17-40mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm and 70-200mm, so you can choose the one that best expresses your favorite focal length and brand.
Constructed from soft, durable silicone, these stylish black bracelets come in two sizes - 7” or 8”. The detailing on the bracelet itself looks great, with embossed lettering and a ridged texture that mimics the look and feel of a focusing ring: a perfect gift for a significant other (why not buy one for each of you?) or friend who’s nuts about photography.
|Make your very own pinhole camera from scratch - then start getting creative!|
Stash your beloved digital camera for a day and revive your love for (say it quietly) film with this inexpensive kit, part of the retro-styled Ridley’s House of Novelties range of products.
The old-style 'shop worn' box contains everything you need to build your very own pinhole camera that really works, with full instructions on how to put the precision die-cut card kit together. There are 25 pieces in total (you’ll need some glue to assemble them), with the final model measuring 11.8 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches.
Once you’ve finished constructing the camera, simply load it up with standard 35mm film and start snapping! Why not put some extra thought into this gift and include a voucher to get your recipient’s first roll of film developed at a local chemist / camera shop too? Once they’ve seen what they can create, they’ll be hooked.
|Camera Cookie Cutters: the perfect way to combine your passion for food and photography!|
Love photography? Love cookies? Then this original little set of camera-shaped cookie cutters should tickle your taste buds! Designed by the innovators at www.diyphotography.net the Camera Cookie Cutter Set comes with three designs: an SLR, Rangefinder and a TLR: something for photographers from every walk of life.
The cutters - each measuring roughly 3 x 2.25 inches - are made from BPA-free, food-grade plastic and also include their own respective dough stamps, which allows for extra detailing to be added to your cookies before baking and decorating them. If you’re no culinary genius, fear not - each kit also contains a recipe from the manufacturer that even the most kitchen-shy camera lovers can master. Bake for around 10 minutes - and voila! - the cutest, tastiest cameras you’ll ever taste.
|Display your favorite prints in style with the unique Horizontal Layers Photo Frame from Meninos.|
Another ingenious product from one of my favorite online stores - US-based Meninos - you can buy these funky Photoshop-inspired frames in horizontal or vertical format (or both). A great idea for any Photoshop-lover, these unusual frames would make a fun addition to any photographer’s desk.
This particular model’s frame measures 16.8 x 11.8cm overall and the 13.5 x 11.8cm picture window will accommodate 10 x 15cm prints. The background is white and there’s a metal support stand around the back, so you can prop it up wherever you like! Just insert your photo into the window, and then stick on the very realistic-looking supplied horizontal picture magnet frame to complete your freestanding Photoshop masterpiece.
|The Polaroid-inspired Click Mirror helps you maintain your good looks in style.|
Designed by British artist Colin O'Dowd, this mirror takes inspiration from the iconic Polaroid 600-series instant photograph. Describing the idea behind it, the artist states, 'Click reinvents the iconic image of a photograph. Whilst a photograph is permanent, this mirror is ever changing. You will never again feel embarrassed looking back at old photos of yourself - this mirror changes as you change!'
This quirky creation features 2mm-thick mirrored glass in the center, with the vinyl edges replicating the white borders that frame every Polaroid image. The whole thing measures 107 x 88mm in total - to reproduce the dimensions of the original - and you can either mount it on a wall or use it as a freestanding accessory: guaranteed to help every retro-loving photographer stay well-groomed in style.
|The Meninos Ps Magnet Kit contains everything you need to recreate the look of a Photoshop editing window on your refrigerator!|
Avid Photoshop users will love this funky magnet kit by Meninos. The latest, updated version contains 13 Adobe Photoshop-themed magnets featuring high quality prints of toolbars, menus and palettes: you even get the familiar (to Mac users) 'spinning beach of ball of death!'
Arrange the magnets on your refrigerator door, magnetic notice board - or any other magnetic surface - and recreate your beloved photo editing software anywhere you want. The Ps Magnet Kit is a fun, top-quality product and offers a really unusual way of displaying your photos too: use the magnets to fix them to your chosen location and you’ll have an instant conversation-starter that’ll really draw attention to your favorite prints.
|The Manual Lens T-Shirt looks stylish and features a funky design that photographers will love.|
The perfect fit for a lover of manual optics, this subtle, stylish t-shirt is emblazoned with the markings from a Nikon 58mm f/1.2 manual focus lens. Each shirt - made by American Apparel in the USA - is made from pre-shrunk, 100% cotton and is designed to provide a slim fit, so if you prefer something a bit looser, it’s a good idea to bump up the size from your usual. There are two colors to choose from: black or charcoal/cinder, both of which look stylish against the multi-colored lens markings that are printed on the front.
|Don’t try this at home: your real lens will not fare so well when filled with hot coffee!||The detailing on the lens barrel is superb, with realistic markings, rubberized zoom and focusing rings, plus fake buttons and switches in all the right places.|
Photo-related gifts don’t get much hotter than this! You can pick up one of these unique Thermos mugs in a couple of different focal lengths - Extra Tall (70-200mm) and Original (24-70mm - this one even zooms) as well as Canon versions, depending on where you or your beloved photographer’s loyalties lie. I'm focusing on the Extra Tall version here, which features a stainless steel, vacuum-sealed interior that will keep its contents hot (or cold, depending on what you put in it) for up to 20 hours: perfect for those extended photo-shoots out in the wilderness.
It also sports a leak-proof, easy-pour Thermos pop-up top, so it’s safe to stow in your camera bag without worrying about spillage, and the realistic-looking rubberized zoom and focusing rings on the 'lens' barrel help to provide a firm grip on the mug. The screw cap on the top of the mug also doubles as a cup, with the tripod foot acting as a handle. If you’re after something that’s both fun and functional, I think this fits the bill perfectly.
|Make family-time for every hour of the day with Present Time’s funky Photo Frame Clock.|
As the name suggests, this is no ordinary clock or photo frame, but an innovative combination of the two. The clock comes in a multi-colored design, but more conservative photographers can opt for a more sedate black or sleek-looking silver version. Each model incorporates twelve individual mini photo frames for you to customize with your own/your recipient’s images.
Fill it with family photos or memories of fun times you’ve shared. Or if there’s been a new addition to the family, you could use it to display the little one’s progress over the past year. Each clock measures 16 x 2 x 16 inches and can hold 4 photos of 1.5 x 2.5 inches and 8 photos of 1.5 x 1.5 inches. You’ll need one AA battery to power the clock mechanism, so don’t forget to pop that in before you wrap it up!
|Make your soft furnishings a real talking-point with one (or two) of these quirky cushions.|
Infinitely more huggable than a real lens, these plump, plush cushions offer a unique way for a photographer to pay homage to their hobby and stay cozy through the cold winter nights. At the moment they’re available in either Canon (50mm) or Nikon (35mm) designs (contact the inventors to campaign for your preferred optic) and feature superbly-detailed stitching that recreates the text, logos and switches that appear on your favorite lens. According to Photojojo, every pillow is pre-hugged by a team of koalas to ensure maximum huggability!
These funky cushions measure 8 x 7 x 7 inches and are hand-made, with a mixture of soft felt and fleece material on the outside and a plump, padded inner. The Lens Pillow is a Limited Edition product: with just 100 available in total, snap one up now before they’re all gone!