Image by Droid Gingerbread
Looking for something special for a someone that always seems to be snapping photos? While new cameras always make good gifts, picking up a good camera for a photography enthusiast is expensive. But there are a lot of excellent gifts that cost less than $100. Here's a few gifts for photography lovers, from $10 to $100.
Gift Ideas for $10 and under
A Lens Pen is a compact tool for keeping camera lenses clean. One side has a brush for keeping dust and debris off the lens, while the opposite end clears off smudges. It's inexpensive (under $10 if you find it on sale), but comes in handy.
Camera lens mugs are fun gift items for any DSLR photographer. These mugs look like a DSLR lens and are great for taking coffee or other drinks on the go. Depending on what size you buy, they can start at under $10.
Image via Amazon: CamDesign Universal Lens Cap Holder
Lens caps tend to get misplaced easily—a lens cap strap holder secures the cap right to the camera strap so it doesn't get lost and it's easily accessible. These are handy, fun, and uncommon—making it a good option for someone who seams to have every piece of camera gear imaginable. These start at around $10.
If you are looking for a gift for the holidays, you could look for some photography-inspired gear to hang on the tree. Camera Christmas ornaments can be found online or at some stores and they make fun, inexpensive gifts.
Gift ideas for $20 and under
A digital photographer can never have too many memory cards. It's always a good idea to have a back-up (or two or three) in the camera bag. Check out our guide to memory cards before you buy.
Camera-inspired jewelry makes a fun gift—there are plenty of handcrafted options on Etsy for around $20. Jewelry comes in a variety of different styles so it's easy to find something for the person you are shopping for.
Photography books range from how-to to memoirs and biographies. For someone that enjoys both reading and taking photos, it's an easy choice with plenty of options to choose from.
Lens filters allow for creative photography effects, and some decent options can be found for about $20. Beware though, you'll have to know what size filters will fit with their lens—the size is usually written on the inside of the lens cap.
A camera shutter release allows the photographer to take a picture without actually standing behind the camera. This is a great gift for someone who takes all the family pictures but never seems to get in the pictures themselves. They're also good for time lapse photography and a variety of other uses. These are unnessesary if their camera has wi-fi, however.
Photography wall art to decorate an office or even a bachelor pad comes in a variety of different options—from “Photographer Parking Only” to cute, feminine canvases. There's a wide price range here, but some options are around the $20 mark.
Photography magazine subscriptions are gifts that keep on giving—they'll keep getting a new one every month. This is a particularly good option for beginners and intermediate photographers still learning. Pop Photo is a good option and they often run specials putting a one year subscription for under $20 on Amazon.
Bokeh filters add shape to the out-of-focus light in an image. They're fun to use and aren't crazy expensive either.
It's a given that photographers have a lot of photos—so look for fun ways to display photos as gift options. Creative frames, clip style holders, there's a lot of possibilities here.
Looking for a gift for someone who takes a lot of pictures of little kids? A camera lens buddy is a toy that wraps around the camera lens—it makes toddlers more likely to look at the camera, making it less intimidating and more playful.
It's pretty much impossible to use a camera outdoors with bulky gloves on. Fingerless gloves aren't necessarily “photography gear”--but they're often one of the most useful items in the winter for shooting outdoors. As an added bonus, during the winter season, they're easy to find at a lot of different stores in a variety of styles.
Gift ideas under $50
The straps that come with cameras typically aren't very comfy and are seldom stylish. Buying a new camera strap offers a lot of different options for both. Straps can add an element of personal style, and they often add more comfort features like extra padding or breathable material for the warm weather.
A T-shirt with a fun photography saying makes a good gift for the photographer with a sense of humor—or a general love for wearing fun t-shirts. Again, the possibilities are nearly endless. Try Cafepress or Zazzle.
Via Amazon: Neewer 42" 5-in-one Reflector
If you're buying for a photographer that's still accumulating some basic gear, a reflector is an excellent option. Reflectors bounce light, allowing the photographer to adjust the ambient lighting. Reflectors have a wide variety of uses. Look for a 5-in-one reflector for the most versatility, and something a bit larger like a 42”.
The Trigger Trap connects a DSLR to a smartphone, so the phone can be used as a remote. It also allows you to use different apps with the camera. If you're buying for someone who has a DSLR with wi-fi, it's an unnecessary device, but most DSLRs don't yet have that feature.
Buying for a photographer who's also a bit crafty? A DIY pinhole camera is a film camera they build themselves. Building your own camera often gives you a better sense of how cameras—even digital cameras—work.
Let the photographer in your life showcase their favorite hobby with a camera-inspired phone case, like this one from Amazon. Just be sure to get a case that will fit their current phone.
Gift ideas under $100
Image by Hillary Grigonis
Camera bags come in all shapes and sizes, and at a variety of price points too. But they're a necessary part of any photographer's gear and make good gifts. If you're buying for someone who already has a bag to fit all their gear, they might be very happy to receive a smaller bag for when they don't want to lug a ton of gear around. You can also consider a different type—like a hard protective case that's better for travel or a backpack that's more comfortable for long hikes.
Photographers come with a lot of baggage—tons of image files that take up lots of computer space. External hard drives are great items for any digital photographer to have. They free up computer space and make it possible to keep large RAW files.
Tabletop studios are easy ways to take photos of small items without dragging out bulky lights and backdrops. For the photographer often taking product photos or indoor macro shots, this is an excellent gift.
An Eye-Fi Card gives wi-fi capability to any camera. Again, if you're buying for someone who already has a wi-fi equipped camera, it's not a good option—but for someone with a camera that doesn't offer this feature, it's a neat gift to receive.
Most photography gear is quite pricey, but that doesn't mean you can't find gift ideas for photography lovers on a budget. Try stores like Photojojo for unique gifts, Etsy for handmade photography-inspired jewelry and décor, or Amazon for a variety of ideas. And if you're budget is a little bigger, check out our camera buying gift guide or the best cameras of the year.