28 Exciting & Unique Gifts for Photographers (Arranged by Budget)
A carefully curated list of the best gifts for photographers of the year. Hobbyists or professionals, all photographers would LOVE to receive these presents.
By Mark Condon
This guide to the best gifts for photographers has been handpicked by me – a professional photographer and gear reviewer who loves gadgets!
Whatever gift you choose, I guarantee that the photography lover in your life will be over the moon.
I’ve reviewed all the products mentioned here, and you can trust my recommendations. – I even own most of them.
All the photographer gifts have been arranged in order of price so you can stick to your budget.
Just make sure you bookmark this article for Birthday or Christmas gift ideas for the photographer who has everything!
Now, let’s take a closer look – you’re about to make someone very happy indeed…
The Best Gifts for Photographers (Under $50)
Need a quick stocking filler? Here’s a good place to start for some photography gear gift ideas that won’t break the bank.
1. Everything a photographer needs to clean their camera lens, viewfinder, and filters
This is one of those unique photographer gift ideas that’s guaranteed to amaze the recipient.
Why? Well, it’s one of those essential gadgets that most photographers don’t even know about.
I was thankful for my LensPen when I got back from shooting in Iceland, and my camera and lenses were covered in dust. It’s an essential accessory for any photographer who shoots outdoors.
There’s a retractable brush to remove any particles, and at the other end, a handy cleaning tip for wiping the lens surface.
The kit features three different sizes of LensPen, which means you can keep one in every camera bag you own.
2. A flexible mini tripod for photographers and filmmakers that can wrap around things
Grip it, wrap it or stand it – the GorillaPod is the much-imitated-but-never-beaten flexible tripod with wrappable legs that allow you to secure your camera equipment in more places.
This particular model features a precise 360-degree panning head with a 90-degree tilt and a bubble level for optimal positioning and control.
You can mount cameras, lights, mics, monitors etc, all the way up to 3kg – it’s even strong enough for large DSLRs or video lights.
The base plate, which attaches to the ball head, is robust and strong and doesn’t require a tool to add or remove it – you can see the twist lock in the image above.
If there’s a budding photographer or YouTuber in your life, trust me – this is one of those camera gifts that will prove useful for years to come.
3. An entertaining, insightful, and surprisingly cheap photography book with over 300,000 copies sold
Photographer gifts needn’t be pricey to be really useful or interesting – case in point, this paperback book that currently retails for only $10.50!
‘Read this if you want to take great photographs’ is a bestselling book for photographers, and it’s easy to see why.
It features the top photography tips from 50 famous photographers, condensed in an entertaining read that’s a real page-turner.
Whether you’re buying a gift for an amateur or professional photographer, they’ll definitely find something useful or inspiring that they can apply to their art.
You can also get it for the Kindle, although I recommend the paperback version since you’ll want to see the iconic photos in all their glory.
I also recommend getting the other two books in this series that teach how to take great photos of people and places – you can get all three here for under $40 in total!
4. A keychain gadget that finds, backs up and organises all your photos and videos
The reason it’s so hard to buy original gifts for photographers is that, usually, they’ve already bought their cameras, lenses, and accessories.
However, it’s safe to say that they may not have already got themselves the PhotoStick backup flash drive.
Every photographer needs an easy way to back up their photography, and it doesn’t come much easier than this.
Just plug the PhotoStick into a USB port, then load the application to scan the computer’s hard drive (or external hard drive) to find and back up all the photos.
You can choose what format images to save and even select movie files – the simple interface makes it easy to set up, making these little gadgets perfect gifts for the older generation or the non-tech savvy.
It’s also an excellent gift for a photographer who’s tired of paying monthly for online photo backup, whether that’s with iCloud or Lightroom.
In our review of the Photostick, we found it a cinch to use, and at this price, it really is a steal.
5. A funny t-shirt that’s guaranteed to make fellow photographers smile
Out of all the best gifts for photographers of the year, this is one that’s guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
You can get lost in all the funny t-shirts for photographers on Etsy and Amazon, but here’s the one I recommend above all the others.
“I admit it – I frame people, shoot them, then hang them on the wall… and sometimes I even cut off their heads.”
Photographer or not, whoever reads that slogan will have a few questions for the wearer – it’s a real conversation starter.
Available in every colour of the rainbow and sizes to suit all body shapes.
6. A versatile mini tripod for your phone or camera when packing light is essential
A lot of photography equipment is bulky and ugly, but not the Manfrotto PIXI Mini.
For a table-top tripod, photographers can’t beat it for elegance or simplicity.
Designed for use with compact camera systems (phones, point-and-shoots, and lightweight mirrorless cameras), the Manfrotto PIXI Mini sets up quickly, is intuitive to use, and holds your camera or phone securely.
It’s a joy to handle, thanks to its smooth contours that fit the shape of your hand perfectly – some photographers choose it over a Gorillapod because it feels better to handhold while collapsed.
The ball-head adjusts through the use of a red push-button that lets you position it in one simple movement and then holds the camera steady as a rock once you take your finger off.
Best of all, it’s less than $30 – a fantastic deal and a thoughtful photography gift for a photographer friend who uses a small camera.
7. The most convenient way to edit, manage and share photos on mobiles, tablets and computers
Most photographers are already using Adobe Lightroom since it’s an industry-standard (and my pick as the best all-round photo editor).
However, if you’re buying a gift for a photographer who’s just getting started, a subscription to Lightroom will, without a doubt, be the most useful and thoughtful thing you could get them.
(Note that this is an ongoing monthly subscription, so most appropriate for parents buying gifts for photographer children, spouses, etc.)
I use Lightroom every single day for both personal and professional photography, and I absolutely love it. Most users say the same thing.
Lightroom is simply the best way to edit, organise and share your photos using a phone, tablet, or computer (Mac or PC).
It automatically backs everything up online and even includes Adobe Photoshop in the subscription cost.
8. Don’t miss a nighttime shot with the best value on-camera video light around
Putting an LED light on the top of a camera is a great way to illuminate a photo or video shoot.
The Neewer 160 is my pick of affordable on-camera video lights and is one of those camera gifts I wish someone had told me about long ago.
It features 60 LED lights that can be adjusted based on colour temperature and power, providing soft or hard light to match the scene.
The battery lasts surprisingly long for such a lightweight unit, and everything balances nicely on the top of any camera with a hot shoe (all modern cameras have one.)
Best of all is the price – for under $30, you really can’t go wrong, and it even includes a couple of colour diffusion filters.
9. Never lose a GoPro in the sea again with this floating hand grip
GoPros are expensive action cameras that can do almost everything… except float!
That’s right – even the latest GoPro 11, which is waterproof to 33 feet, will sink to the bottom of the ocean if you drop it.
The Handler is the official floating hand grip for the GoPro, so you can shoot in and around the water worry-free.
On a recent family holiday to Fiji, my father-in-law had one attached to his GoPro for the whole time – it actually makes using the GoPro much more comfortable.
It’s an essential accessory for any GoPro owner, and it also makes a great Christmas gift for photographers or filmmakers.
More Great Gifts for Photography Lovers (Between $50-$100)
This is the sweet spot when gift buying, in my opinion – you can get some really amazing gadgets that can enhance the experience of taking photos.
10. The smartest way to carry your camera you never knew about
The Peak Design Capture Clip is one of the best gifts for photographers who like to travel wearing a bag of some sort.
The Capture Clip attaches to the various straps found on camera backpacks, shoulder bags, or even just a belt and holds a camera securely until you need it.
From there, it’s just a one-handed quick-release button press to get your camera up and shooting!
The Capture Clip attaches securely to your bag or belt and stays out of your way until needed. Unlike camera straps, it keeps the camera rigidly stable, so it’s not flopping around when you walk.
It holds over 200 lbs, which means it can carry even the heaviest of camera + lens combinations for any kind of photography.
It weighs next to nothing, so it can be attached to a bag permanently and forgotten about. If you have the budget, I’d recommend getting a couple to attach to your favourite bags.
11. Enormously fun AI-powered photo editing app that makes your photos look better automatically
Gifts don’t always need to be physical products – Luminar Neo is an award-winning photo editing software by Skylum.
It comes with a photo organizer, filters powered by AI, and a number of great presets (called “Looks”), all in an easy-to-learn interface.
Suitable for pros, amateurs, and even newbies, Luminar Neo features one-click editing solutions (powered by AI) that do magical things to your photos. It makes a normally tedious task a lot of fun.
I met the Skylum team earlier this year and can vouch for their authenticity and passion for creating a truly revolutionary AI-powered editing app.
They also have a lot in store for the future, with regular upgrades and support for new cameras and lenses.
A key advantage of Luminar over Lightroom is that you buy the software outright – there’s no subscription, making it an economical gift for a photographer who has everything.
12. Highly functional smartphone accessories for mobile photography on the go
Any owner of a smartphone, photographer or not, would love to receive one of these ingenious accessories.
Comprising various mounts for iPhone and Android phones, Mobile by Peak Design revolves around a protective phone case.
On the back, a ‘SlimLink’ connector allows you to mount or release the phone onto various adaptors quickly and easily, all with just one hand.
There’s a Mobile Photographer Tripod, wireless charging stand, Creator Photographer Kit, Kickstand Wallet, and various other accessories that all interact perfectly with the phone case.
(I regularly use the bike mount for cycling, the wireless car mount and the charging stand.)
You’ll probably end up buying the various Mobile products as a gift to your photographer friends and to yourself too!
13. The best camera strap of the year, which even includes a lifetime warranty
All photographers need a good camera strap, and this one is the best of the lot.
The Peak Design Slide Cross Body Camera Strap is a gift that any photographer can put to immediate use.
Not only can it be worn as a sling, shoulder, or neck strap, but it’s also super quick to adjust while wearing it.
Hugely popular among both professional and amateur photographers, the Slide Strap comes with Peak Design’s popular Anchor Link system, which allows for quick attachment and release.
For tripod users, the connection plate works with all ARCA-type tripod heads, saving the hassle of having to unscrew it.
Comfort-wise, the Slide gives you two options: grippy on one side and smooth on the other. The smooth, seamless side is especially pleasant on the skin compared to other camera straps.
The Slide comes in grey with brown accents or black with red accents – either would make an ideal gift for photographers who need a new way to carry their camera.
Read more about it in our in-depth Peak Design Slide Strap review.
14. Learn new photography skills with your iPhone camera that will amaze your friends
If you’re looking for a gift for a photographer who loves mobile photography, this is a unique present that will help them get the most out of the iPhone camera.
The iPhone Photo Academy provides over 10 hours of instruction on how to get the best out of your iPhone and see the world through the eyes of a great photographer.
It’s a high-quality and enjoyable video course and makes a useful gift for someone who wants to improve their iPhone photo skills.
It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, a lively Facebook group, and copious online support.
Whether they’re an avid smartphone photographer or not, the iPhone Photo Academy is a perfect way to make the most out of that powerful camera in your pocket.
15. A dongle that frees up smartphone memory (so you can take more photos & videos)
The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is a smart little ‘dongle’ that attaches to a smartphone or tablet, acting as an external drive.
When plugged in, you can move content between your iPhone, iPad and USB Type-0C devices, including Android phones.
This allows you to back up your phone photos and videos, saving you money in the long run (since you won’t need to buy another phone when your memory is full).
Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB, choose the one that matches the size of the phone you want to backup.
16. A rugged, compact travel camera bag from an iconic boutique brand
Wotancraft is a boutique camera bag manufacturer located in Taiwan – the kind of cult brand that only a true photographer may know
I’ve reviewed most of their bags on Shotkit, and every single one is unique, high quality, durable and great looking.
There are tons of bags for photographers on the market, but in my opinion, Wotancraft is the most original.
Each one is hand-crafted to perfection – a rugged, fashionable and functional carrying accessory that’s sure to attract compliments.
Wotancraft bags are premium priced, but the Pilot Travel Camera Sling Bag is a sweet spot in their range and great value for money.
I use mine to carry a camera and lens or take out the padded divider to use it as an everyday shoulder bag.
More Photographer Gift Ideas (Between $100~200)
If you want to know what to get a photographer for Christmas and you have a decent budget, here’s a good place to start.
17. A small camera backpack in 11 unique colours for photoshoots and everyday use
While we’re talking about great-looking camera bags, the Jumper by Brevite should definitely be on your Christmas present list.
The Jumper is an award-winning small camera backpack that is available in a range of attractive colours not normally seen in the camera gear world.
Available in regular or large sizes, the Jumper looks great on both male and female photographers. It has a luxurious fabric feel, while being hard-wearing and durable.
You can configure the five internal padded dividers or remove everything to make it a perfect everyday backpack.
It’s great value for money and even includes two tripod carry straps on the bottom, which could also carry a yoga mat or towel.
18. A fun and impressive way to view smartphone photos & videos on the wall
Don’t underestimate the tiny size of this Wamvo Mini Projector.
It’s capable of projecting 1080p video onto your wall and is compatible with a wide range of smartphones, tablets and devices.
Affordable and compact, the Wamvo is a fun gadget that’s a no-brainer for summer camping trips and vacations where you need nighttime entertainment.
All you need is a USB-C to HDMI adapter cable to make the connection – the further away you move from the wall, the bigger the projection.
You can also run it off a battery pack, which can be useful for those times when you can’t get to power but still want to show off your latest holiday slideshow.
19. The world’s smallest wireless mic makes high-quality audio recordings a cinch
If you’re trying to buy a gift for a budding photographer or filmmaker, the Rode Wireless GO II is the perfect audio-recording accessory.
You attach one of the devices to a camera or phone with the included wires, while the other end can be clipped onto your subject’s shirt.
(You can also hide it away and use a lavalier mic for an even stealthier set-up.)
Then, you simply start recording to capture all the audio from up to 200m away!
Even if you know nothing about the complex intricacies of recording audio, this handy gadget makes it simple and fun.
20. A compact and fashionable sling bag for carrying cameras and lenses
The Peak Design Sling is my favourite camera sling bag and a great gift for a photographer who needs quick access to their gear.
Affordable, weather-resistant, customisable and lightweight, it’s a fun and convenient way for photographers to carry camera gear and/or personal items.
It also comes with a lifetime warranty on any manufacturing defects – I’ve found Peak Design to be very generous in terms of their warranty.
Camera bags make great gifts for photographers, and the padded divider can be removed completely to make the Sling a great everyday carry bag.
There are three sizes: 3L, 6L, and 10L – I recommend the 6L Peak Design Sling (pictured above and here in the review) as the perfect size for a camera, two lenses, and your other small everyday-carry gadgets.
Available in 3 attractive colours, most people love the uber-cool all-black option with zero (visible) branding.
If you have a photographer pal who’s never used a camera sling bag before, prepare to make them very happy indeed!
21. A lightning-fast portable backup drive for safeguarding photos and videos
Most photographers have vast amounts of data to store, and sometimes, they need that data to be portable.
That’s what makes the Sandisk Extreme SSD a thoughtful gift for a photographer or filmmaker and something I’d love to find at the bottom of my Christmas stocking!
It’s palm-sized, light, and fits in your pocket. At the same time, it holds up to 2TB! That’s a lot of files on such a tiny drive.
The Sandisk Extreme SSD is also blazing fast, with read/write speeds up to 550MB/s.
You can even edit 4K footage straight off the drive with no lag at all, which is pretty impressive, considering its price.
So if you know any photographers who need lightning-quick performance in a solid-state hard drive no bigger than a business card, you can’t go wrong with this.
Compatible with PC & Mac – see the full review here.
22. High-quality lenses that expand the possibilities of the smartphone camera
Pretty much everyone owns a smartphone these days, which is why the Selvim Phone Camera Lens Kit is such a great gift for a photographer.
Designed for both enthusiasts and professionals alike, the kit includes a 22X telephoto lens, 235° fisheye lens, HD 0.62X super wide angle lens & 25X macro lens.
Selvin also includes a flexible clamp, phone clip, upgraded metal tripod, an eyecup, cleaning cloth and storage case too.
Basically, you get everything any photographer could possibly wish for to expand the capabilities of their phone’s existing camera.
The lenses clip neatly onto the back of the phone, although you will get some confused looks when shooting with the telephoto lens!
Best Gift for Photographers for $200+
Gifts for camera lovers who have everything are often pricey, but these products will make any photographer your new best friend…. or happiest spouse/lover ever!
23. The world’s most compact 3-in-1 travel tripod (with a truly unique feature)
The HEIPI 3-in-1 travel tripod features a 3-legged mini tripod which sits neatly inside the main outer tripod.
This ‘subtripod’ makes it 3x as stable when extended when compared to a regular single centre column, as found on all other tripods.
You can remove the subtripod altogether, giving you two tripods for the price of one!
The legs of the main tripod are carbon fiber to keep the weight down and the strength up.
This is one of those gifts for photographers that will last a lifetime and help capture many dozens of great landscape shots.
24. Turn soulless digital images into meaningful analogue prints to display and cherish
Most photographers use digital cameras to take photos that will never be printed… and that’s a bit sad :(
The Instax SP-3 is a portable photo printer that can be used anywhere to print out physical photos in a nostalgic Polaroid-like format.
All you need is a smartphone, tablet or camera with wireless transfer capabilities (most modern cameras have this).
Portable printers really make ideal gifts for photographers who have everything.
The Instax SP-3 also allows you to print directly from your Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Google Photos, and Dropbox accounts right on the spot.
Size-wise, at just 6″x6″, the Instax SP-3 is also nicely portable. Just stick it in your bag or purse, and you’re good to go.
Perfect for events, travel, or parties, it’s lovely to have a physical reminder of a moment rather than just a photo stuck on a phone.
25. The best value camera drone of the year (get it before it’s gone for good)
Got a bit more budget for buying gifts this year? Trust me – all photographers secretly want a drone!
The DJI Mavic Mini is ultra-portable, easy to fly, and comes with a high-quality camera lens, perfect for aerial photography.
The flight time is 30 minutes, which is more than enough to get some great footage, especially in Sports Mode, which allows it to fly up to 13m/s!
Memory cards slot into the back and everything can be charged with a micro-USD cable.
In my Mavic Mini review, I was amazed at just how tiny it is – 5.51 x 3.22 x 2.24 inches (140 × 82 × 57 mm). You can even fit it into a jacket pocket!
Sure, there are newer models of Mavic Mini available, but they’re also more expensive and pack in plenty of features that aren’t necessary for the average photographer.
The only problem is finding the original Mavic Mini still in stock, as it’s so much cheaper than the other DJI camera drones – check here.
26. A digital picture frame with unlimited free storage (so realistic you’ll think it’s a regular photo)
Photographers should display their photographs, and nothing makes this easier than a digital picture frame.
Aura has produced a wonderfully minimal and well-designed frame called the Mason, and I’m in love with it.
(So too is Oprah Winfrey, who named it one of her favourite gifts of the year!)
The Mason looks and feels like a real picture frame, except that it has the added ability to store and display an unlimited number of your favourite photographs.
The simple-to-use Aura smartphone app controls everything, and if you choose to gift the frame to a photographer friend, you can even set it up to display a selection of pre-loaded images as soon as they plug it in!
Photographers will love how crisp images look on the screen in 1600 x 1200 HD resolution, with its brightness automatically when the ambient light in your room changes.
It’s a particularly good gift for a grandparent – you can do what I do and send regular photo updates direct to the frame from thousands of miles away.
27. The best everyday backpack for photographers… just got better
I’ve reviewed over 100 backpacks for photographers, and this is the one that I recommend time and time again.
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 is available in 20 or 30L and is simply the best way to carry camera gear and/or your everyday essentials.
(If you need it for short trips, I’d recommend the larger 30L size, although both versions can actually expand to fit more in the top.)
The removable/customisable Flexfold dividers are an ingenious way to organise your camera gear in an origami-like way – see the photo above.
It’s certainly an investment as a gift for a photographer or YouTuber, but it’s backed up with a lifetime warranty which helps justify the price tag.
28. Splurge your next paycheck on the best compact camera that money can buy
If you’ve made it through this list of the best photography gift ideas and you’re still looking for something that will blow your recipient away, here it is.
The Leica Q2 is crazy expensive, but it’s also one of a kind, and the ultimate gift for a photography lover if you have the budget.
Perhaps it could be a generous anniversary present for your spouse or a splurge gift for a photographer boyfriend?!
Whatever the case, the Leica Q2 is truly the Rolls Royce of compact cameras.
Its 47.3MP full-frame sensor produces JPEG images that are so good I never feel the need to shoot in RAW.
It looks and feels so great that you’ll never want to put it down… although it looks oh so pretty just sitting on a mantelpiece!
This is the camera I use for all my personal photography (pictures of my family and travels), as it’s such a joy to use.
Yes, you may have to sell an organ to afford it, but trust me – it’s worth every penny.
Buying Gifts for Photographers – FAQs
- What should I buy a photographer who loves street photography?
A ‘FRAMES’ magazine subscription is an original choice. Photographers love magazines, and this is one of the best – get it here.
- What should I buy photographers who want to choose photography gear themselves?
Memory cards or a camera cleaning kit are great gift ideas since all photographers need them.
- What are some good cheap gift ideas for the photographer who has everything?
A new camera strap is one option since every photographer needs more than one. Camera neck straps make great gifts and can be found affordably.
A microfiber cleaning cloth is cheap too, and an essential tool to keep a camera lens clean, mainly if you don’t use a lens cap. it can also be used with a phone camera.
I hope you enjoyed these unique gift ideas for photographers.
There are SO many amazing products for photographers on the market here in 2023, but stick to this selection to avoid decision-making overload!
Whether you’re buying for a beginner photographer, hobbyist, or even a professional photographer, there’s something here for everyone.
Leave us a comment if you have any specific questions about any of the fun photo gifts listed above.
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