Capture the spirit of the season with my 2023 Photography Gift Guide! Whether you're shopping for a seasoned pro or someone just starting their photographic journey, I've included a selection that will fit both molds. See below for this years selections.
#1 PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE
I have been using Photoshop for years starting with Photoshop 7 when it released in 2002. Adobe has since switched to a subscription model (like everyone else). With that said, I have not seen them raise prices in a few years. For $120/year** you get the latest versions of both Lightroom and Photoshop, including the new AI generative fill features with 20BG of storage with the option to bump to 1T for $240/year**. I use both LR & PS as part of my workflow and can't recommend them enough.
#2 PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP OR ONLINE COURSE
An online course for the budding or beginer looking to learn more or the seasoned photographer looking for new skills a workshop or online course is a great gift. Not sure which course or workshop to purchase, why not get a gift card and let them choose. My local photography store offers workshops and photography walks. Check out yoour local camera store to get suggestions. Here's also a few I've been eyeing myself.
This site has many on-demand courses at a great price. They also have great reviews If the person you're giving the gift to likes taking on-line courses this is an affordable
Fun fact: I had saved for the africa trip pre-covid and booked it for March of 2020, but they winded up canceling it 2 months prior. I did still go, but went with a local guide instead. It's still on my bucket list to do a photography tour with them in the future, when I save enough again!
#3 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK SERIES
Speaking of National Geographic, nothing inspires and captivates me more than looking at National Geographic coffee table books. They have an Ark series that focuses on the world's animals.
Featuring stunning images of endangered species, this book not only serves as a visual feast but also raises awareness about the importance of conservation through photography. Foreward by Harrison Ford.
The animals featured in this book pages are either on their way to extinction or already extinct in the wild. Alongside Joel Satore's images are also the words of scientists and conservationists who are working to protect and restore populations of endangered species.
ALthough not used for everything, I love my manfrotto travel tripod and took it to Iceland with me to capture the northern lights.
I've always used Manfrotto tripods and the Befree Advanced Travel Tripod is my favorite! It's compact, lightweight, and offers sturdy support for capturing sharp images, making it a great tool for both travel and studio photography. A must for fireworks and astro photography!
At under $100** this compact tripod provides versatility at an affordable pricepoint. Its everything you expect from Joby,including flexible legs that can grip onto various surfaces, offering beginners creative angles for their shots without the need for a traditional tripod. Can hold cameras up to 6.6 pounds.
#5 THINK TANK CAMERA RAIN COVER
Weather can be unpredictable, but a camera rain cover ensures you can continue shooting even in less-than-ideal conditions. Although, I've only used a few times, I do keep one in my camera bag just incase. I do live in Seattle afterall :)
This sheild is under $40** and will fit a short lens.
Think Tank Rain Sheild Medium
This sheild is under $45** and fits up to a 70-200mm lens.
#6 BACKPACK FOR CAMERA GEAR
I am in love with my MindShift camera bag! I bought it for my trip to Africa as I needed something small, but still needed to fit all my gear. It's only 18L so can fly as a carry-on and fit under my seat. It has room to fit 2 camera bodies, my long lens and 2 smaller lenses along with all my accessories (extra batteries, battery chargers, cleaners, back-up storage cards). It also has a dedicated laptop pocket with room for chargers. It's a great storage bag, so even when I'm not traveling I store all my gear in the bag.
#7 CUSTOMIZED CAMERA STRAP
Add a personal touch with a customized camera strap. There are many vendors on Etsy that offer some beautiful, personalized straps. A customized strap can showcase a photographers style while keeping their camera secure while using it.
#8 CAMERA CLEANING KIT
Maintaining gear is essential, and a Camera Cleaning Kit is a must-have for anyone with a camera. This kit includes lens cleaners and also a air blower. I use the air blower to first blow dust off my lens then clean it with the solution and wipes. With the kit being under $20** would make a great stocking stuffer or white elephant present.
#9 PHOTOGRAPHY CHEAT SHEET CARDS
These handy, pocket sized reference cards include 30 color coded, thick cards with a key ring and carabiner to attach to your camera bag for easy access. The cards cover the most useful photography tips, covering essential camera settings, exposure, composition, and lighting techniques. For under $16** makes it the perfect stocking stuffer.
Not sure what to photograph next? Let these cards inspire you! Included is 72 ideas to get you out of a rut.
#10 SMALL SKETCHBOOK/NOTEBOOK
I keep a notebook/sketchbook with me when I'm photographing or in the darkroom. I take notes of the session so I can write them up in a blog post later. In the darkroom, I use them to capture my print settings so I can go back and reprint at a later date and not have to go through figuring out the settings again. I am partial to my photography notebooks, each page has 140 dotted pages making it a great book for joting notes and doodles, but Amazon also has some fun photography notebooks too.
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** Prices are as of November 2023, please check links for updated prices.