As a photographer, I can tell you right now we don’t want those cheesy camera lens mugs for Christmas. But real lenses definitely break the bank, so what can you get your female photographer friends or family members that they might actually want or use that don’t cost a small fortune? Here are my top 10 suggestions for gifts for female photographers under $100:
1. Fotostrap ($85)
The American-made Fotostrap touts itself as “the camera strap that gives back,” with 10% of every purchase going to Fotolanthropy, a non-profit organization that provides professional portrait sessions to people and families dealing with adversities such as terminal illness. The camera straps are comfortable and fashionable, available in an array of colours ranging from neutrals (I have one in grey to match my Ona Bowery Bag in “Smoke”) to bold neons to suit every personality and wardrobe. They also boast a great leather shoulder pad that can be personalized with a monogram, a personal message, or even a logo! The straps are $85 each with small additional charges for different types of monograms, but if you sign up for their mailing list you might get a holiday coupon code as they’ve had a few 15% off and/or free monogram sales as of late!
2. Leather Wrist Strap ($40)
If your photographer shoots with a smaller camera like a mirrorless Fuji or Olympus, an old film camera, or a small DSLR, sometimes a wrist strap just feels more “right” than a neck strap—that’s how I felt about my Fuji X100. It just begged to be carried on a wrist strap. These gorgeous leather straps are available in a few different tones and can be stamped with a name, initials, or GPS coordinates to mark a memorable place.
These planners by Colorvale are both gorgeous and incredibly useful for any professional photographer. With over 290 pages of content, you can keep track of your expenses, your photo sessions, and your monthly goals all in one place. Sure, folks are shifting more to electronic calendars like iCal these days, but I know there are still folks out there like me that can’t remember something to save their life if they don’t physically write it down with good ol’ pen and paper. I’ve also found having my goals written down in my planner more motivating than typing them in a list on my computer.
4. Epiphanie Bags ($99)
Epiphanie is clearing out their entire stock of their original line of purse-style camera bags to make way for their new genuine leather line, so you can grab their old bags right now on clearance for $99 (originally $165)! Many are already sold out, but there are a few colourful options left at the time of writing. I used to own the Epiphanie Belle, which appears to be sold out, but I found it very comfortable and loved that it didn’t look like a camera bag.
This copper-toned limited edition Lomo camera features adorable black and white artwork of a fox. Lomo cameras are great fun for film lovers, and their ever-changing limited edition body options make you want to collect them all. The Diana F+ line uses medium format 120 film which is still widely available and produces gorgeously large 6 cm x 6 cm negatives. So, you can shoot with this stylish little camera and then make giant prints from the negatives to decorate your walls! It’s really a win-win situation.
6. Photography Quote Mug ($16)
With a great quote and lovely font, this mug is a great choice! Check out the rest of the shop that carries these mugs, as they have some other great mugs and photography-related pillows too.
7. Merino Wool Fingerless Gloves ($34)
It’s pretty hard to operate a camera with bulky winter gloves on, so a pair of über-toasty Merino wool will keep your hands warm while keeping your fingers free to adjust your settings. Keep in mind Merino wool isn’t your grandmother’s itchy, uncomfortable stuff—it’s incredibly soft, and insanely warm without being bulky. Trust me, I live in Canada, I know how to keep warm in the winter, and wool is the way to go.
8. 2015 Mini Camera Calendar ($19)
In the stocking stuffer price range, this 4×6″ mini calendar features photographs of film cameras adorned with adorable figurines of dogs, cows, and even dinosaurs!
9. Vintage Camera iPhone Dock ($99)
For the hipster photographers among us, these iPhone docks made from vintage film cameras by Laboratorio Altieri on Etsy are a great gift idea. They are both practical and a nice studio decor piece. If your giftee happens to be slow to upgrade and still has an iPhone 4S or older, you can grab one of these docks for only $49!
10. Wire Camera Necklace or Bracelet ($26)
At a great price point for stocking stuffers, this cute handmade camera necklace is available in a range of colours and chain lengths, so you can customize it for your photographer of choice.