It’s the time of year when you’ll see lots of “Holiday Gift Guides for Photographers” floating around the internet.
I hope I don’t ruin the festivities by interjecting a slight reality check here with a couple notable facts that might spoil the parade of gift guides.
- Most of those gifts guides are being created not purely for fun, but because there’s decent money to be made with affiliate links to all of the products. Other photographers are be sponsored by a manufacturer and incentivized to promote certain brands.
- Most photographers work in a certain style, with preferred types of gear, made by their preferred manufacturers. There are very few general gifts that all photographers are going to love. Some shoot digital, some film; some photograph landscapes, others people; many enjoy retro film items, some think film is dead. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll buy a gift that garners a sigh or an eyeroll (privately of course… since your friends are nice). You get the idea.
That said… here’s what I think is a better option for all:
A Realistic Gift Guide for Photographers
- Ask them what they want. If you don’t want to ask directly, see if they have an Amazon wish list.
- If you really have no idea but know them a bit, get them a generic-enough gift card that it could be used by any photographer. For example, for their favorite airline. Or for an outfit selling a broad range of products such as B&H Photo or Amazon.
I appreciate that you want to get something helpful for your photographer friend. I really do. But the less misfit gifts based on a misguided internet blog post… the better.
I’ve published them in the past myself. Guilty as charged. ↩
Of course, if you really know the person well, feel free to buy them something appropriate – but if you know them that well, you probably don’t need to read someone else’s gift guide. ↩