Actually Interesting and Useful Christmas Gifts for Beginner Photographers

Long before the holiday arrives, everybody is thinking of all possible hobbies that can help inspire them to find a good gift.

Photography, both professional and amateur, is very popular all over the world. Digital technology allows people of all ages to easily engage in this interesting activity, so almost every family has a camera to capture moments from events and daily life. A hobbyist photographer makes family albums and posts their photos on social networks. As Christmas approaches, friends and families start planning their presents. Long before the holiday arrives, everybody is thinking of all possible hobbies that can help inspire them to find a good gift.

Beginner photographers don’t have as much equipment, accessories, and knowledge as professionals in their arsenal. That is why it is easy to find a budget gift for a novice photographer for Christmas, or for any other occasion.

All gifts for Christmas can be divided into two categories: pleasant little things and bigger, more serious purchases that need to be planned in advance. If the gift is intended for a colleague, you can get by with an inexpensive souvenir. A gift for a family member should be more significant and we don’t always have time to learn about all the photo equipment. If you are looking for a last-minute gift, a certificate for a photography course is exactly what will save you! This option is the perfect, worry-free present for beginners, but make sure to check out all the other ideas we have prepared for you.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

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What You Shouldn't Give to a Photographer

Choosing a gift for any occasion is not an easy thing to do. Christmas is often people’s favorite holiday, so everyone takes the purchase of a Christmas gift very seriously. It is especially difficult to buy a gift for a fan of something as serious as photography. You do not want to give a useless thing, and you can’t always ask the person what they want to receive, as that would ruin the surprise. Your budget might not be big enough for something as expensive as a camera, which a person might already have, not to mention the budget required for a very good camera. Buying expensive high-end equipment is not something everyone can afford, so this option is eliminated. Many people think about buying a lens for a camera, but it isn’t that easy to choose one yourself. However, a lens is a necessary and important part of a camera, so every photographer wants to get their hands on a good one. Such lenses from top manufacturers can be more expensive than the camera itself, and the giver might not be familiar with the technical characteristics of the product. Cameras and lenses are the main working tools of photographers, so they prefer to buy the most important accessories themselves. Therefore, we’d recommend less substantial accessories like an external flash or a lens filter. Keep in mind that they have their own technical specifications, so you need to know what brands will work with equipment that a person already has. We prepared some recommendations that will fit any budget and occasion for you to make your life easier. Rest assured that after reading this article you will have at least one idea for the perfect gift!

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Useful Christmas gifts for a photographer

Most people think that all a photographer needs to have is a camera and they are completely ready to go. In fact, this is not the case. The camera needs a lot of different and useful accessories, each of which can be a fantastic gift for Christmas. If you look at this list of useful and enjoyable gifts for the photographer, it turns out to be quite large:

  • Photo Souvenirs
  • Specialized Literature
  • Camera Accessories
  • Special Bags and External Tools
  • Certificates for Photo Equipment or Rental
  • Subscription to Editing Programs
  • Photography Course Certificates

Photo Souvenirs

A huge number of souvenir products are produced as gifts for photography fans. Such things have nothing to do with photographic technique; nevertheless, when given as a gift they can greatly please both the professional photographer and the novice amateur. These gifts can be mugs, pillows, smartphone stickers, and other fun crafts, to name a few. There are some interesting mugs made in the form of a camera lens with all the necessary inscriptions and "adjustments". When such a thing stands on the table it is hard to distinguish it from a real lens! Couch cushions in the form of flagship models Nikon or Canon will be an interesting touch to any photographer’s room. If you want, you can find cushions with vintage Leica and Rolleiflex models for people who enjoy something rare. These gifts are easy to order online and are a great fit for a small budget. They are also quite universal and can be presented to any person without knowing them very well.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Useful Professional Literature

No matter how experienced a photographer may be, they will definitely be happy with an interesting or useful book. You can give photo books with works of talented masters, or instructional manuals on technique. A great gift for the New Year would be an album by maestros such as Irvin Penn, Marc Riboud, or Richard Avedon. Finding a gift like this may not be easy, as photo books don't often appear on average bookstore shelves, but it is worth searching online. You can find various instructional materials on shooting techniques or composition online too. This gift will be useful to novice amateur photographers. Professionals can be presented with more technique-oriented books about the art of photography, where you can find a detailed analysis of the most interesting works of different periods of time. Any photographer is sure to have a photo editor program on their computer, because digital photography allows you to correct mistakes and imperfections made during the shooting. The most common and versatile program is undoubtedly Photoshop. Amateur photographers use only its most basic functions. For a professional, it will be very useful to know everything this editor can do. A complete and detailed description of all CS5, CS6, or CC features is a thick volume with lots of illustrations. Here are some classic books that will be helpful to photography lovers:

  • Michael Freeman, “The Photographer's Eye Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos”
  • Michael Freeman, “Michael Freeman's 101 Top Digital Photography Tips”
  • Tracy Clark, "Emotional Photography"
  • Scott Kelby, "The Digital Photography Book"
  • Ian Hayden Smith, "The Short Story of Photography: A Pocket Guide to Key Genres, Works, Themes & Techniques"
  • Bryan Peterson, "Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography"
Christmas gifts for a photographer

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A great gift for a photographer any time of the year is a tripod. A tripod is an essential accessory for those who like to shoot landscapes, especially with long shutter speeds. A monopod is also suitable for sports photographers who like to shoot in motion. It is not necessary to buy a standard, solid tripod. You can gift a small tripod that can be used in any environment, or a bendable one that can be mounted in any position, like on a tree branch, banister, or anywhere. A table model with a ball joint is good for home photography. If the photographer works in nature a lot, they will need a tripod with legs that have individual joints made to move to adjust to the uneven surface. If your friend or family member already has a tripod, don't be too upset! There is a good chance that the photographer could use one of a different type, or is not happy with their current piece of equipment. Popular tripods include the following models:

  • Hama Traveller Premium 144 Ball
  • Sony VCT-AMP1
  • Fujimi FM107
  • Hama Star-63
  • Benro C-458
  • Manfrotto 475B

If you also buy a remote control, you can help amateurs and pros shoot at maximum shutter speed. This comes in handy, for example, for photographers who like shooting the night sky or for people that want to take photos of themselves with their camera instead of selfies.

Christmas gifts for a photographer friend

Storage Accessories

A digital camera is not limited by the number of frames on the film and can take hundreds of photos. Solid-state drives or memory cards are used to store them. They come in different capacities from 2 to 128+ GB. These can be great gifts, as they are used by anyone who uses a digital camera.

Perfect gifts for a photographer

Spare Battery and Memory Card for a Camera

When a photographer shoots in RAW, the images take up a lot of space and the card often has to be replaced with a new one. An inexpensive but necessary gift would be a good memory card with a large capacity. Those who travel a lot and take pictures will love such a gift for any occasion. These are necessary consumables that always help in the most difficult minute. If your photographer friend likes to take long shoots and participates in photo marathons, they definitely need a backup set of batteries and memory cards. To accompany the memory card, you can pick a memory card holder that can make a huge difference for organization.

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External Drive

In the process of practicing photography, a huge number of photos are accumulated. An external storage device is a good choice for keeping a big photographic archive. It is an invaluable gift for a photographer that will save all their progress without the need to worry about what to delete. Rarely cloud or computer memory can hold the terabytes of photos that a photographer wants to keep. Photos need to be stored not only as memories, but also to prove your copyright rights in case it’s a professional practice. Also, some customers may lose their photos and this backup will save their day.

useful gift for a photographer

Camera Accessories

A variety of accessories designed to carry photographic equipment can be a good Christmas gift for a photographer. A camera strap allows you to carry two cameras with lenses, which, considering the weight of photographic equipment, is very convenient. Some harnesses are worn over the shoulders, with the cameras connected by special straps, which ease the strain on the back. A wrist strap is used to secure a camera from falling and getting more angles. As a useful gift for the photographer for the New Year, you can choose a special bag for a camera and accessories or a backpack. If a photographer travels a lot, it is better to buy a backpack as it leaves your hands free. Besides, it is more capacious than a bag and fits some other things a person might want to bring on a trip besides camera equipment. A backpack for photographic equipment with different compartments for a camera, lenses, tripod, reflector, and other accessories is a dream for every photographer who does not have such a backpack yet, but has accumulated a lot of equipment already. Pay attention to the tailoring and quality of materials, as any good backpack should be made of waterproof and dirt-repellent fabric with comfortable padded shoulder straps.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Graphic Tablet

A professional photographer who shoots a lot has to use a photo editor. The most convenient tool for editing photos is a graphic tablet. Such a gift for Christmas or birthday will please any master of artistic photography. Buying the most expensive device is probably not worth it, but in the low price range, you can buy a very decent tablet. Inexpensive models that allow you to retouch photos with the help of Photoshop tools include "One by Wacom" and "Intuos". Many photographers also use tablets from Apple for this purpose, especially after their improvements specifically for graphic designers.

Christmas gifts for a photo enthusiast

Subscription for Licensed Photo Editing Software

You can pay for Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop for a month or a year and send access to a photographer's email. There are certain risks and complications with pirated software and you can grant the ease of use for a person that edits a lot. Make sure to ask about the software person uses and whether they have a subscription already. In that case, you can buy useful presets for faster editing from professional photographers.

Christmas gifts for a photographer


This is a great and, most importantly, budget-friendly gift for the photographer that will help you shoot against the sun and illuminate darker areas of the frame. Reflectors are super helpful while taking portraits and they are real game-changers! It's a light and compact accessory that even fits in a small camera bag, and for a photographer, it's worth carrying around! Reflectors come in silver, gold, white and black colors. You will find sets of different sizes and shapes in online or offline stores, so choose the one that can be easily held in hands and doesn’t need a stand.

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This flying device that can travel far into the sky with a camera allows photography hobbyists to make crazy natural and urban landscapes, reportage shoots, or do some investigative journalism. You can shoot both photos and videos with the drone which makes it even more useful! It is not only a piece of professional photo equipment but also a fun toy for adults. It also allows you to participate in aerial photo contests that can become a new hobby and a great outdoor activity for a family or a group of friends. Here's a list of inexpensive models to give as gifts:

  • JJRC H68
  • Eachine E520SSyma X8Pro
  • Dromida Kodo HD
  • Ryze Tello Drone
Christmas gifts for a photographer

Photo Flashlight

This is a cool thing to shoot with backlighting in low-light conditions. You can use the flashlight to illuminate the silhouettes of people or objects, put beams of light in the frame, or just illuminate chosen details to experiment and have fun. The flashlight is an essential attribute of subject photo shoots. You can pair it with a specialized lamp and LED strip to create a beginner’s lighting set for practicing photography at home.

New Lens

If you know exactly which lens your photographer friend is dreaming of, and you can afford it, you’ll give them a valuable gift that he or she will definitely love! After all, the beauty and quality of photography depends 80% on the lens and only 20% on the camera. Alternatively, purchasing a gift card for an amount close to the price of some popular lenses can allow a person to choose a lens on their own time and really think through it.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Laptop or an IPS Monitor

This is not an idea for a gift on a small budget, but if you gather enough people willing to invest in a really cool gift, it's doable. This isn’t a gift for a beginner either. But for someone who is already on their way to becoming a professional photographer, it is important to learn how to edit photos. A photographer needs a screen with adequate color rendering and a computer with plenty of RAM, because photo editors are very demanding on the power of equipment. This won’t be a surprise, but the best idea will be to discuss this idea with the person that you are preparing a gift for. A photographer will know about all the details they are looking for in their laptop or monitor, so you won’t spend a lot of money on a random device.

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A New Camera

If the person you are thinking of giving a camera as a gift does not have one yet, you will have to choose between many different options while potentially not being that knowledgeable about them yourself. It is better to discard point-and-shoot cameras because they don’t provide much room for improving one’s skills using it. Just rely on your budget and recommendations of professionals that you can find online. If a photographer already has a camera, it is better to clarify if it needs to be replaced, and if so, for what kind of camera. An important tip: don't buy the camera or lens yourself. You can go to the store with the photographer and let them decide. In addition, many stores with photographic equipment offer customers gift certificates for different amounts, so the recipient will be able to choose a gift for themselves on your behalf.

Christmas gifts for a photo geek

A Rain Cover for Your Camera

All photographers are advised to have at least a regular plastic bag with them to wrap around the camera in case of rain to save the equipment from getting soaked. However, it is much nicer to put on a special waterproof camera case - it looks professional and stylish. You can complement the gift with a beautiful raincoat for the photographer too, as photographers often take pictures from low angles which requires getting on the ground. A lot of photographers aren’t that concerned about their shoes and clothes getting wet, but the camera must be protected at any cost. Also, a specialized rain camera cover doesn’t get in a way like a plastic bag and provides much more secure protection.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

External Flash or Video Light

A built-in flash can often kill the volume and depth of the frame, so many experienced photographers never use it. But for shooting against the light, in cloudy weather, or at dusk, an external flash that can be attached to the camera or, with a synchronizer, can even serve as a side light source is very helpful. A portable battery-powered video light will allow getting high-quality shots regardless of lighting conditions. Don’t forget to buy a rechargeable battery for it if it’s not included!

Useful gift for a photographer

Set of Lens Filters

Creative photographers who like to experiment will find color filter lenses useful for shooting: for example, in the studio, and neutral gray, gradient, and polarizing for landscape photography. Lens filters are not a necessary addition to the equipment but are fun to test and create interesting effects. For example, some filters make any green color turn red, which creates surreal photos when shooting nature. A set of several different filters is an interesting gift with a reasonable price.

gift for a photographer

Photo Background

For the subject and food photographers, this can be a very nice gift. A photo background is a necessary thing and can be made out of paper, plastic, textile, wood, metal, or even concrete. Paper or plastic backgrounds can be purchased in a photo equipment store in big rolls but the prices are rather high. Those photo backgrounds are made for professional photo shoots in studios, and amateurs have to create their own backgrounds that will fit into their homes. You can help your friend or family member that is into food or still-life photography by creating such a background by yourself. Find a few materials that can look interesting in a frame and craft a smaller version of a studio background if you like DIY projects.

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A white fabric box for subject photography helps photographers shoot products or create different compositions of small objects. The white walls of the box serve as a perfectly white background and reflector, which allows you to reduce editing to almost zero. A photo box is a nice tool to practice photography at home for beginners. It is also priceless for a person running an online shop or Instagram page as the photos created with this tool are perfect for showcasing products from different angles.

Jewelry in the Form of a Camera

A stylish photographer can be given a bracelet, pendant, or a pin in the form of a camera or a camera lens. This gift looks symbolic, and at the same time is not just a souvenir, but an accessory that can advantageously complement any look. Just pay attention to the style of a person you want to find a gift for, so it matches their other accessories and will become a valuable addition to their collection.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Tickets to a Photo Exhibition of a Famous Photographer

Going to an exhibition will help anyone get inspired and expand their creative horizons. If such an exhibition is not planned in your city, and you have a sufficient budget, you can arrange a trip to another city. This is a good way to spend some time together as well, especially if both of you are interested in photography. In this case, the trip will also become a great opportunity to practice together, try out some ideas from the chosen exhibition and get motivated!

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Themed Gingerbread or Cupcakes

Gingerbread in the shape of a camera or cupcakes with chocolate "Canon" and "Nikon" can be a very cute gift, especially if you bake and decorate them yourself. There are also local bakeries that can help you with this sometimes tricky process if you are not confident in your own baking skills. You can also find places that do photo prints on cakes, cookies, or cupcakes - use this to put the photos you like the most on the sweets. The surprise won’t leave anyone unsatisfied!

Camera Cleaning Kit

This is a useful little thing that every photographer should have. You will show care and attention to a photographer and their equipment and surprise them by adding a care kit to any gift with other photographic equipment. This is a budget gift for any occasion, so it is suitable as a supplement to the main present of a birthday gift for your friend, or as an independent gift to a colleague, acquaintance, or distant relative. The device is a small stick with a cleaning tip on one side and a fluffy brush on the other. The small area of the tip allows you to clean even a small smartphone camera. It also usually includes a pipet to blow off any small dust particles. There are different brands and styles of this small kit but they all work in the same manner, so there is no need to worry about which one to pick.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Stylish Notebook

If the photographer already has a logo or special nickname, you can put it right on the cover of the notebook. Bringing a branded notebook to any meeting is a way to present yourself even more professionally. A beginner may not have a logo yet but you can find a creative cover that is photography themed or create a custom one with their name or their best photo. This small present sure will remind a person of you in everyday life.

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Image Photo Session

Photographers are often left out of the frame, so give your friend a chance to get some nice emotions and quality photos. Take a lifestyle photo shoot or a good business portrait photo shoot, just to change their social media avatar. That will make a nice present for a photographer! Especially relevant to the season, it can be as a Christmas or New Year present that will help a person shine and be proud of themselves in the upcoming year.

Christmas gifts for a photographer

Certificate for Renting a Photo Studio

A professional photography studio rental certificate can give a photographer the unique advantage of learning how to use studio light and then apply it to their shoots. It may seem too much for a beginner, so it will serve better for a person that is confident with the manual camera settings and doesn’t stress out about taking photos in different lighting situations. However, it may become incredibly interesting for someone willing to broaden their horizons and try out something new. A studio photoshoot is a must-have for anyone who has a goal to become a professional photographer, which means you can bring someone’s dream even closer.


Camera straps for Easy Shooting

This is a dignified and unobtrusive option for your photographer friend. A strap for carrying a camera while shooting will definitely make the recipient happy. The handmade option makes such a surprise unique, and the quality of the workmanship is incredible. There are two versions of belts - a shoulder strap and a wrist strap. The shoulder strap is the best for carrying a camera for a few hours or even the whole day with your hands free, and the wrist strap is great for shorter sessions to ensure that a camera won’t fall and get damaged.


Comfortable Gloves

One of the problems of winter landscape or street photography is that your fingers get very cold. This can keep many people away from photography for a few months. Special gloves are available for photography online and in your local photography equipment store. They keep your fingers and hands warm without making it difficult to take pictures, so make sure the material is thin enough but with good insulation. Gloves for winter photography with removable fingers are designed for the most severe frosts. The material is much thicker but because of the removable tips, it won’t be a problem. They allow the wearer to capture winter beauty for as long as it takes to get that perfect shot.

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Certificate for Photo and Photo Book Printing

Every photographer sooner or later needs to create his portfolio, including the one in the form of a photo book. Such a gift will be a unique motivation for a novice photographer and show your faith in their success, too. A photo book with the photos you like the most can inspire a person and show them their work has paid off and is appreciated. You can find places that can print a photo book online and check what styles and formats they offer in order to select the one that will suit the character of the person that will receive it.

Certificate to a Photographic Equipment Store

Such a gift will be the most universal because the photographer will always find something new to buy from a photographic equipment and accessories store. If you are not sure what kind of gift the photographer needs, it is better to give a certificate for a certain amount. You can go to the store with a person you are looking for a gift together to have a good time and test it out together after the purchase.

Photo Printer

Another expensive, but pleasant option for a gift is a photo printer. It is a device for printing professional photos at home. Many photographers would love the opportunity to have their photos printed to have them on display, given to someone as a small present, or even to a model after a photo shoot. Photo printers can add a new level to the photography hobby and bring even more interest and joy for a person of any level of knowledge in this area. Among the most popular models of photo printers for home use are the following:

  • Canon Pixma TS3140
  • Canon Selphy CP1300
  • HP Ink Tank 115
  • HP OfficeJet 202
  • Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3
  • Epson L1110
  • Canon Pixma Pro-100S


Certificate for a Photography Master Class or Course

Every photographer, especially a beginner, needs to constantly evolve. An inexhaustible source of knowledge and ideas are the master classes and photography courses that are presented on our website. In order not to make a mistake with the choice of a particular course or master class, it is better to give a certificate within the range of your budget, and the photographer can decide what form of training they are interested in.

Please, make sure to look at the certificates THE PHOTO ACADEMY provides as they have many advantages. Buying the certificate directly on our website is quick and easy with no need for any knowledge about photography or different camera types. It is the best option for a well-thought-out gift for a photography hobbyist of any level as we provide courses for beginners and more advanced camera users that want to get acquainted with new photography genres. We offer certificates for different amounts of money that the recipients can decide to use as they please. There is no better present that can be modified to the recipient’s liking. Also, the main benefit of buying a certificate for a photography course on our website is that it has no expiry date and can be used for any courses presented in the cousin city or in an online live format. The date or dates are not predetermined, so the person receiving a gift card can choose the most convenient time for them and can fully prepare if needed. All the gift cards can be personalized and will be delivered to a recipient at an email address that you provide. You can print the gift card and wrap it with a nice birthday or Christmas card as well, so there is room for your personal creativity too! Photography courses allow anyone to significantly improve their skills and properly understand how to use the equipment used for different settings, as well as understanding what equipment is suitable for them personally which might give you an idea for the next present for any upcoming event. It is important to remember that no equipment can guarantee good results in a complicated hobby like photography. Skills, experience, and guidance of professional photographers who discovered all the nuances themselves is a key to successful growth. We work with professional photographers from different backgrounds that cover different topics in their unique style with a clear learning path created by THE PHOTO ACADEMY that is also constantly improving to be up to date. You will find the different options of the gift cards we provide here to be a perfect present for your friends, family members, or colleagues: To buy a gift card for THE PHOTO ACADEMY, go to this page.

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