After a tumultuous 2020, the holidays will be here before you know it! As we gear up for the biggest shopping season of the year, we’re presenting our favorite gifts for photographers this holiday season. Below are a few of our favorites that are valued under $250.
Xpozer 24×36″ 4Pack
Indecisive about what prints to hang on the wall? Xpozer solves that problem. With their 4Packs, you can get four prints and one frame so you can easily swap your favorite prints no matter what time of year it is! Whether you’re swapping photos each season or just can’t make up your mind on which print you want to see in your office, Xpozer gives you a great solution with their 4Packs.
Lowepro Pro Roller x300 AW
Recommended by Lauri Novak | $249.95; available via B&H
Not just great for traveling but if you have a wedding/portrait photographer that you’re looking to buy for, this is an easy way for them to haul their equipment with them to and from gigs.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
Recommended by Jemma Pollari | $125; available via B&H
There’s a reason why the “nifty fifty” is one of the first lenses that most photographers buy: it’s the widest aperture in a Canon entry-level lens, it’s a great little prime with surprisingly quality for the money, and the EF mount means it’ll follow you from your first EF-S consumer DSLR to your professional full-frame upgrade. If it’s not already in your kit: you need it.
Summit Workshops: Summit 1-on-1 Sessions
Recommended by Sara Kempner | $129; available via Summit Workshops
These virtual, one on one sessions allow you to personally connect with award winning, industry professionals in a 60-minute class customized to your needs. The Summit faculty is held in high regard and work for publications such as National Geographic and Sports Illustrated. From technical lessons, business advice, workflow tips and portfolio reviews, there is a summit session for everyone. I personally attended a Summit Lighting workshop and can say that it was one of the best investments I’ve made for myself! Give the gift of education to any photographer on your Christmas list, no matter their preferred genre of photography.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (yearly)
Recommended by the Photofocus team | $119.88; available via B&H
Get started on photo editing with the Creative Cloud Photography plan. This package includes full versions of Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, along with 20GB of cloud storage.
PocketWizard Plus IIIe 2-Transceiver Kit
Recommended by Rick Friedman | $221; available via B&H
This is the updated version of the Best radio to fire strobes and remote cameras. I have been using PocketWizards to fire my strobes and remote cameras, for most of my career. They just keep getting better. This PocketWizard has reduced interference, range of up to 5 miles and has 122 channels. Simply put: This radio will work in the most challenging lighting situations. This is available in single and double packages.
Datacolor SpyderX Pro Colorimeter
If you print, you really can’t gift yourself (or monitor) a better piece of tech than a monitor calibrator and the Spyder Xpro is fantastic and so easy to use.
Tenba Solstice 20L Camera Backpack
Recommended by Ken Lee | $175.95; available via B&H
I have used this on many trips throughout the desert and the coast. It’s been through windstorms, dragged through mud, sand, and rocks, and shoved underneath airplane seats. It still looks almost new, and always protects the camera gear well. I can fit two large DSLRs with attached lenses and quite a few accessories or another lens or two if I wish. And did I mention that it fits underneath an airplane seat? I love this bag.
Impact Pro Backdrop Support Kit (12.9′ width)
Recommended by Bryan Esler | $224.95; available via B&H
This Impact backdrop stand has been my go-to for professional headshots for the past couple years. It’s durable and easy to setup — even if you’re setting up by yourself! Having one pole that expands is much sturdier than the alternative of having smaller poles clamp together. Plus, it comes with a bag that holds it all that makes it super easy to transport.
Savage RGB Light Painter Pro LED Wand
Recommended by Rick Friedman | $168.99; available via B&H
This is a great lighting tool. I use it as a main light, a hairline light, to light backgrounds and for light painting. You can program it for almost any color in the rainbow and you control it from your phone.
Dragon Touch Wi-Fi 10″ Digital Picture Frame
Recommended by Levi Sim | $149.99; available via Amazon
I know digital frames are not a new idea, but we got this for my mother-in-law earlier this year and it’s been incredibly useful. It’s a given that the pictures look great — at least as good as on your phone.
But the wonderful thing is that I, and all my wife’s siblings, can use their app to send photos to the frame at her house. That means I can take my family on a trip and send photos from my phone the same day to the frame and she sees them pop up into her slideshow on the frame automatically. It’s like a little surprise gift and she doesn’t have to logon to Facebook to see the latest photos of her grandkids. So far, it has performed flawlessly.
Matthews Hollywood Century “C” Pro Grip Arm Kit – 10.5’ (3.2m)
Recommended by Kevin Ames | $207; available via B&H
The C stand from Matthews is super sturdy, practically unbreakable addition to any studio. The included grip head and arm allow a photographer to place a light or light modifier wherever it’s needed. These nightstands will last a lifetime. Mine are 30 years old and still work perfectly. They are so strong I can stand on them.
Want a backpack that seems to have it all? The OneMo is great for camera gear AND a drone, has a detachable day pack and can even serve as an overnight bag.
Recommended by Bryan Esler | $199; available via B&H
With all of us working at home now, it’s necessary to jam out to music every once in a while. The Sonos One is the perfect solution. Featuring Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can instantly play your music through services like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Pandora and more. It’s also AirPlay compatible.
Luxli Viola2 5″ On-Camera RGBAW LED Light
Recommended by Kevin Ames | $239; available via B&H
This LED mounts on the accessory shoe of a camera and offers bright light in colors from 2800º to 10,000ºK as well as all of the Lee gel colors, special effects like lightning, bonfire, police lights, explosions and more. The Viola2 can be controlled with a smart photo using the free Luxli Composer app. This is a must have for every photographer that shoots video.
Western Digital 5TB Elements Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
Recommended by Vanelli | $119.99; available via B&H
Photographers sometimes forget to backup their images while on vacation or family trips. A portable hard drive is a great solution in case your computer’s hard drive fails or is lost or stolen on your trip.
Matthews Digital Imaging Technician Tray Kit
Recommended by Kevin Ames | $114.40; available via B&H
This super portable laptop table fits securely on a nightstand with a 5/8” baby stud. The metal tray features cooling slots and rolled edges to keep computers cool and in place. Anyone shooting tethered will love this tray!