If you are looking for a gift to buy a photographer, and do not know what to get him or her? Here are some tips and ideas for you to consider!
I made a overview of what I believe would be a awesome gift to a photographer depending on what type of photographer he or she is. So first try to figure out what type of photographer he or she is. If you do not know by now, take a look at their website, social media profiles, or simply ask the person. I provided some links to Amazo on the items mentioned, so you can check out some different options.
Here are 8 different photography styles, within 4 different types of photographers, I have chosen to mention in this article:
- Landscape and Nature photography
- Wildlife and Sport photography
- Wedding and Portrait photography
- Product and Macro photography
1st up is; Landscape / Nature photographers:
For these types of photographers, the most important tool is to have a solid tripod!
- Tripod – A good tripod needs to be mounted with a high-quality ball head. As with your tripod, choose a head that is rated for more than needed. This reduce vibrations from wind and shutter shock. Don’t skimp on the camera L-bracket, a good L-bracket allows you to shoot vertically just as easily as horizontally. There are plenty of quality tripods for a reasonable price.
- Remote shutter – When shooting landscape pictures with long exposures, touching your camera will cause vibrations that can blur the images. Many cameras now allow you to use the self-timer to create a delay between pushing the trigger button and the photo actually being made, but the easiest way to reduce vibrations while still maintaining control over the camera, is by using a release/shutter remote. These come in many versions and are not very expensive.
- Variable Neutral Density Filter and Circular Polarizer Filter – ND filter makes your pictures darker, so for those long exposure shoots during daylight it is recommended to have one that is variable so it is possible to adjust the ND strength without having to change filter. Click here for some options.
- Polarizer filters – This filters has the ability to reduce reflections in the water and make skies pop. Perhaps the polarizer’s most useful effect is its ability to reduce reflections off of wet leaves. It can be difficult to know what size you should choose, so if you don’t know, you should get a quality circular polarizer for the largest diameter lens, then buy some inexpensive step-up rings to make the threads on the smaller lenses so it match the size of your new filter. Click here for some options.
- Wide-Angle Zoom lenses – I can really recommend the new Nikon AF-P 10-20 mm F/4.5-5.6G VR, you get good value for your money!
- Telephoto Zoom lenses – It is many different lenses out there, a nice lens could be one with a range of 24-70 mm or 70-200 mm. Click here for some options.
- Warm clothes – Hats, scarfs, gloves and so on, is always recommended for this type of photographers because they are mostly outside on a remote place when they take photos.
2nd up is; Wildlife and Sport photographers:
For this type of photographers it is important to have a solid waterproof camera bag and of course a long lens, maybe even with camouflage for wildlife.
- A fast telephoto lens – A lens that can capture quick moving objects far away in low light, for example a 200 – 400mm f/2,8, and up to 600 mm. Beware that there are big difference in price and quality.
- Teleconverter – This is made to extend the reach of the lens and are not expensive. Click here for some options.
- Drone – Perfect when scouting for a good frame, and take photos from above, but can be very expensive. Click here for some options.
- GoPro action camera – For those who like to take pictures/videos on the go, the new GoPro Hero 6 is a very good option.
- Lightweight tripod – Important that it does not add too much weight to the backpack. Beware that there are big difference in price and quality.
- Weather protection for the camera – Not all cameras are water/dust proof, but sport and wildlife do not disappear because of rain/snow, I found some options on Amazon’s website for under $ 10,-
- Camping gear and survival tools – Because many wildlife photographers spent most of their life outdoors waiting for the right moment. That is not always the case for sport photographers, but they also spend a lot of time outside waiting for the action.
3rd up is; Wedding and Portrait photographers:
Being a wedding photographer requires dedication and talent, but having the right equipment is crucial if you expect to achieve sharp, well-composed, well-lit images that shows people at their best.
I put together a list of some basic equipment that I think would make this type of photographers better prepared for their next mission.
- Monopod – This is like a tripod but only have one leg, it will stabilize the camera vertically and at the same time it is easy to move around with. Click here for some options.
- Cameras – Most photographers have several cameras, one full frame camera and a crop sensor camera that is smaller and lighter, as an backup camera.
- Speedlights – Many wedding photographers have four or more flash units in their bags for multiple lighting setups, but the bare minimum is two high-powered dedicated flash units plus a backup. They will never get enough of them! Here are some popular high-tech choices: Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight, Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT with built-in radio remote for multi-flash applications, and Sony HVL-F60M external flash and video light.
- Lenses – Wide angle lens (for groups) is a must, and for example a 24-70mm f/2.8, this lens is effective for capturing the entire wedding party, the bride and groom at the altar, close-ups, and detail shots. Its big aperture (f/2.8) provides brighter viewing in darker environments and allows you to create artistic effects. Together with a 70-200mm f/2.8, makes up the perfect team! The 70-200 mm has a long reach and perfect for capturing intimate details and interactions at a distance, it is also ideal for head shots of individuals, couples and groups. A macro lens is also recommended to take some close up photos and capture all the details of the rings, flowers or dresses. Click here for some options.
- Memory Cards – High-Speed or High-Capacity, UHS-I Class 1, Class 3 SD cards and Compact-flash (CF) cards are important when you want to have as many shots as possible in a short time. If they have a newer camera you may be able to buy one of the latest media advancements, XQD or CFast cards, each of which has dramatically improved speed compared to SD and CF. More storage and speed equals higher price. Click here for some options.
- Power Pack – A photographer like this should be sure to pack at least one extra set of fully charged batteries or a power pack capable of powering every battery-powered device in your kit including cameras, flash units, lighting equipment, wireless remotes, and flashlights. Power packs also provide faster recycling times, a big plus when you do not have access to electricity like in these situations. More power equals higher price!
- Light – Diffusers and light modifiers can make a big difference in achieving a soft, natural-looking light that flatters your subjects. Some also provide a range of attractive color effects. There’s an incredible variety of umbrellas, reflectors, and diffusers, on the market. This is not very Expensive.
Last but not least; Product and Macro photographers:
- Mini tripod – A small tripod that can be placed near the ground where most tiny objects are hidden. I would love the Manfrotto Pixi EVO, it is easy to adjust and has a weight capacity up to 2,5 kg.
- Softbox / Shooting table – (mini studio) for shooting static objectives like a product. It is perfect for inside. Different price and quality.
- Focus stacking software – For example Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (subscription based program, cost around $13,- per month), you can of course use similar programs as well. Find the plan that’s right for you.
- Extension tubes – These are a cheap and lightweight solution that allow the photographer to make macro images using a regular lens! This, of course, also makes them handy if you can’t afford a dedicated macro lens in the first place. An extension tube is simply a spacer that goes between the camera and the lens, which changes the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD), allowing the photographer to get closer to their subject. This equipment is not expensive. Click here to see different options.
- Diffuser – Shooting macro in sharp, direct sunlight isn’t a great idea! It’s best to shoot in open shade so that you get some high lights, and at the same time you have even lighting. A collapsible diffuser that allows he photographer to carry it around unnoticed in a pocket is perfect, then the photographer can always bring it up and block the sharp light if needed. This equipment is not expensive. Click here to see some different options.
- Macro flash lights – A macro photographer are always fighting for a faster shutter speeds, and to get that they need more light, unless they are willing to push their ISO higher. Flash is often the answer to this challenge, you will rarely find a macro photographer without some sort of lighting solution in their bag. Different price and quality exist. CLick here to see some different options.
- Focus Rails – It is highly recommended to use a focusing rail. Such equipment helps to make incremental movements of the camera by using a gear mechanism that can be adjusted between each exposure. Without a focus rail, it’s very easy to miss a slice of the focus stack. A rail provide a way to repeat things, and also make it possible to calculate the movements precisely. Click here to see some different options.
I hope you enjoyed this article? I would really appreciate a like, comment or even a share if you dare.