Gifts for People who care about F Numbers
When my wife asks me for good gift ideas, she does not accept the general response, "photography gear." That provides too much latitude. She needs concrete ideas (with links to specific products) or else you can better believe there will be no gift wrapped gear under the tree. So I want to provide you the same service that I provide her so that you can get your favorite photographer just what they are dreaming of for Christmas, Hanukkah, their birthday, or any other occasion you want to use. I am going to keep these ideas to under $50, so this list won't include that $2000 camera your photographer is dreaming about. However, it will include 5 solid ideas that will certainly be valued and appreciated.
COLOR GELS - $15
Gels are for adding color to the light from a strobe. They are basically just thin colored films and add an extra tool to a photographer's toolkit. Consider something like this Neewer 12 x 12 in 8 pack. At $15 bucks, this is not going to break the bank.
REFLECTOR - $30 TO $50
Reflectors are like the swiss army knife of lighting. They are super useful and can be used to add reflected light back onto your subject, block unwanted light, diffuse light, serve as a prop, or even as a backdrop. They come in all different sizes and typically offer 3-in-1 or 5-in-1 styles. The best part is that they are extremely portable! Consider an option like these Neewer 43-in diameter circular reflectors or these Neewer 40"x60" rectangular reflectors. And Neewer is not paying me for this post... though maybe they should.
CAMERA CLEANING KIT - $20
Camera's get dirty. Not only on the outside but also on the inside. One of the most annoying things is when the camera has a speck of dust on the lens or even worse, inside on the sensor. It shows up as a speck in EVERY image! Why not save your photographer some pain and give them the gift of a clean camera? Check out this simple Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit.
LIGHTING UMBRELLA - $30 TO $40
Please don't go out and buy a rain umbrella and call it a photography gift. That is, unless you live in Scotland or have a child who plays soccer, rain or shine, during the Fall. What we are discussing here is different. I am talking about an umbrella that is designed to modify the light that falls on the subject of the photo. These come in all different sizes. Try getting a different size than what your photographer already has to give them an extra option for their shoots. Consider something like this Westcott 32-in white umbrella with removable black cover. If they already have white, why not try a silver umbrella to let them have the option of a more specular light.
Cameras are portable electronic devices and need to be powered by something. Now on this idea, you will need some discretion or to do some sneaking through your recipient's gear bag. If they use higher end equipment, their flashes and cameras probably have rechargeable Li-ion batteries. If so, I don't recommend this gift for them. However, if they use a cheaper flash, it will chew through batteries (typically AA). Consider throwing a pack of AA batteries in your photographer's stocking this holiday season.
Happy Shopping Everyone!
I hope that this blog proved helpful and that it ends up benefitting someone who is stuck trying to find that last minute gift for the photographer in their life.