So you have a photographer to buy for, and the only things you can think of are brilliantly patterned camera straps (no—let us choose. It might not be appropriate for our brand) or that lens mug that we all already have. (I promise. We have it.) But actually, we photographers can be really, really easy to shop for, so I thought I’d share a few ideas for the photographer in your life.
Photo by arda sava?c?o?ullar?/iStock / Getty Images
1. A massage
I’m not sure what beats our bodies up more—the physicality of hours on our feet at weddings, the weight of our gear on our necks and shoulders at a shoot, or the inevitably bad ergonomics of sitting at a computer for hours upon weeks in our busy season. If you know a photographer, I guarantee you they could use a professional massage. Or seven.
2. A family photo session. Or a couples session. Or a pet session. With a photographer you know they love.
Pay attention, and figure out what photographer makes your photographer swoon. (Ask their photographer friends if necessary.) Then, book that photographer. What matters more to us than photos? Getting them taken by someone who makes our shutter fingers tingle, that’s what. Don’t surprise us with the actual session time (you knew that), and for the love of aperture, don’t try and schedule it when we’re working 18 hours a day (you knew that, too), but make it happen and brace yourself for the incoming hug of joy. You’ve earned it.
3. Their image. Framed and immortalized.
If your photographer has published something they’re proud of, maybe a magazine cover or an assignment that was especially challenging, yet rewarding, they will likely never think to frame it and hang it over their desk. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t. Celebrate them with their own awesomeness, right there in print.
4. Handwarmers/fingerless gloves
No, really. It’s a bizarre but true fact that, when you are editing the hours away on a chilly day, even in a normally heated house or studio, sitting still at the computer can render your hands into frozen claws. Tuck a pair of these cashmere babies in the stocking of your beloved photographer, and bask in the warm glow of knowing YOU GET IT.
Every photographer in the wedding or portrait business could use a little more time between Sept and Dec. While you can’t buy time, you can provide a babysitter, a house cleaner or even a virtual assistant. Really. The person who provides any of these? YOU WIN AT LIFE.
One of the most irritating things I re-discover every fall when I’m down the rabbit hole of editing is that I need to eat each day, and my family does as well. I adore food, but when it comes down to deadline time, I wish snacks, meals, groceries, indulgences and useful food items could magically appear just when I need it without thinking about it. YOU CAN BE THE MAGIC. And if you do, you are the HERO. Grocery deliveries, homemade meals or cookies, a subscription to a meal service or even a meal-kit service for a week…whoa.
We love looking at pretty photos, for the most part. And we love inspiration. Most of us even love stories about the human condition, since we are so frequently intersecting with it. Get us the Vanity Fair portrait book. Or something inspiring by Annie Liebowitz. Or National Geographic. Or the HONY book. Or a book about a trip we dream of taking. Or a subscription to Outside or Vogue or Vanity Fair—think of something that makes us think or laugh or oooh, or this app providing ALL THE MAGAZINES? No? Then maybe it’s just People magazine!
Many of my busiest fall days have me dreaming of enjoying the simplest things in the quieter winter to come. Super cool new coffee mugs. The coziest lap blanket. Tea that sounds too good not to try. A box of these chocolates to savor or a tin of the best hot chocolate I’ve tried. The book everyone tells me that I should be reading. An expansion pack for this game. A seasonal, piney bath addition like this one. I’m willing to bet this list would satisfy many a non-photographer as well.
9. Home Decor
Dressing up our homes is probably the last thing on the agenda for most photographers during their busiest days. If you know them well enough to know their taste, what about a fabulous seasonal wreath, silhouettes of baby’s first year or a new set of seasonal pillows? Or maybe a luxurious and sparkly set of flutes shipped with a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate the last client task of the season?
10. Cool tech-type stuff
The custom equipment at Lumi is just amazing–from custom stamps to vinyl decals and embossers–perfect for personal or business needs. If your phone is in danger of being touched by others (say, sticky-fingered toddlers), you can always sanitize it with a quick blast in this tool. And if you are the photographer/human that just can’t keep track of keys, this tracking fob is elegant and useful.
Want to up your selfie game? What photographer doesn’t appreciate a well-lit selfie? Use this iPhone case with built-in lighting for your next closeup! And to go with that, every photographer will want this pocket reflector, for their selfies and latte shots!
If you’re always texting and always taking your gloves off…this text fingertip product might be just what you’re looking for! And if you, like me, are a firm believer in printing photos, this handy mobile pocket printer will be your favorite thing ever. If you think the timelapse feature on your iPhone is the best thing ever, you’ll want this to make your timelapses awesome. And finally, this awesome orange portable charger is always in my camera bag at a wedding, since by the time I get a chance to text a hello message home, my phone is usually almost dead.
See above re: time. You can’t really buy time, but you can help your favorite photographer get things done faster. Outsourcing is a huge help here. Check out the store at Pencil & Lens and pick up a copy of the email templates that suit them most, saving them COUNTLESS HOURS.
Another place to outsource? Photo organization. If the photographer in your life manages all the family photos too, they could likely use some help them with some expert photo organizing from my MyLovesnap. This company can do it for you (really!), can teach you WHAT to do and can help you if you insist on DIY-ing it. Contact them for their special Pencil & Lens friends service packages, and start enjoying your photos. You’re welcome.
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