The ULTIMATE Holiday Gift Guide for Photography Lovers: 2021 Edition.
The "Ultimate" Guide? That's a pretty big statement there, Jana... How are you going to back this up?
Well team, welcome to the 2021 edition of the ULTIMATE Holiday Gift Guide for Photography Lovers. It's not our first year writing one of these guides, but it is the first time we're writing the ULTIMATE guide. And here's why...
2021 has shown us a few things:
- COVID sucks. And it's kept a lot of us apart for a very long time. But it's also shown us that we can connect without physical hugs, and we can create (and maintain) amazing friendships all over the world thanks to technology! HOORAY!
- Our planet is getting warmer, and wayyyy too quickly for our liking. I'm passionate about photography, but I'm also passionate about helping to leave the world in a better place for my children. I don't want to hand them a disaster, and at this rate, that's where we're going... So this guide is focused on making choices that are good for our world too.
- Being cooped up at home has shown us that there is so much beauty literally on our doorstep. We have been so busy running to and from work, hopping on various modes of transport to escape our homes, we've forgotten that our homes are truly our sanctuary, and where we are right now is a pretty beautiful place.
So this year's Holiday Gift Giving Guide for Photography Lovers is a little different. The focus of these products is on "buying less things". These products are about experiences first. They are about helping your friends and family to appreciate the world around them, and give them memories that last a lifetime, not as long as it takes for them to forget where that new tripod/filter/kit/thingy came from.
Best of all - none of them require shipping, so you don't have to worry about deadlines (woohoo!), and when you buy a gift off this list, you know you're really helping to transform their lives in a way that is meaningful, special, and will (for sure) make you the BEST gift giver this year.
Whether you agree with my 3 points above or not, you should check out these ULTIMATE gift ideas for that photography lover in your life:
1. Buy them a course
Self serving? YES 100%. But seriously, a photography course is possibly one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to someone.
Teaching someone HOW to use their camera is a gift that will last a lifetime. And I can assure you, they're much more likely to remember WHO kick started their photography journey, than any other "thing" you can buy them.
Now, we have the best courses hands down - and we offer gift certificates starting at just $50. So there's something in there for everyone (and every budget). They're flexible - so if you buy one thing, and they change their mind, we'll just change what they are asking for to fit. Truly, you have nothing to fear with these, they're gonna love it.
From zero to photography hero, LPC Student, Ann, has been learning how to use her camera like a pro (and loving every minute!).
2. Help them celebrate their photography (their way):
One of the things that we do as photographers (a LOT) is get really caught up in the TAKING of photographs. We end up with THOUSANDS of BEAUTIFUL photos in our catalogues or libraries, but sometimes we kind of miss the point...
See, photography helps us appreciate the beauty of the world around us, but taking the photo is only really half of the battle. What we DO with our photography is the other half.
So this year, try choosing a gift that lets them celebrate their talent (and their artwork!). Giving a gift certificate to a company like Shutterfly (putting your photos on everything under the sun), is a great way to give your photography lover a way to enjoy their artwork their way. Instead of trying to figure out what "thing" they may need (an impossible task), let them choose how THEY want to celebrate their truly incredible photography.
We are not affiliated with Shutterfly, but we know they provide great products (everything from photo books, to mugs, to cards, to posters and more), and if you choose this company, or another, the idea is one that will be loved, and the products they create will absolutely be cherished.
Canvas print by LPC Student Lena Stenhouse. This is her photo, and just one example of what photographers can do to celebrate their work!
3. Gift them an Adobe Subscription:
This is a great idea, and if you're not sure where to start, the Photography Plan is a great spot. I would link it here, but the plan has a different link depending on where you are in the world, so my suggestion is search for "Adobe Photography Plan" and go from there. In this plan, Adobe includes the ever-incredible Adobe Classic Lightroom program. It's amazing, we use it in our courses, and most photographers use this for a reason. It's great.
Here's the catch. Adobe makes it tough to buy this as a gift, so you'll have to coordinate this one with your photography lover first. The way to go is to buy a subscription and share the credentials with your photography lover so they can save the $$ on their plan that year! I know, as a photographer, this gift would be incredibly meaningful, and given that I use Lightroom every day, you KNOW it's going to be used.
4. Gift a photography tour or experience:
I love this gift idea. This is all about choosing an experience you think your photography lover will enjoy - one where they get to bring their camera along with them! So the best part about this is that it can be ANYTHING really...
From city tours, to hot-air balloon trips, to sight-seeing trips in the mountains, to specialized photography trips - the options are ENDLESS. Need some places to get started? Search for "photography tours near me" or even "sight seeing tours near me", and have a browse! My search turned up one day sightseeing trips in the mountains (we live near Banff and the Rocky mountains), guided cave tours (what a COOL place to practice low light photography!), canyon and lake tours, nature by night tours, museum tours and SO MUCH MORE. Some of the experiences start at less than $50, so again - this is a great choice for every budget!
LPC Photography Student Gail's first trip in a hot air balloon! Photographer's paradise.
5. Gift them the ease of design:
We love Canva. It's a design program that allows you to create designs for... well... EVERYTHING. From logos, to website images, to Facebook posts to Instagram layouts. EVERYTHING can be designed in Canva. And the best part? You can USE YOUR OWN PHOTOS!
That's what makes this such a phenomenal gift. Again, it's one you KNOW will be used, and the photographer in your life is going to love love love being able to bring their work to life!
6. Gift them choice...
Last, but definitely not least this year, if you're really set on helping your photography lover grow their photography gear, we recommend gifting them a gift certificate to a local camera store. This way, you are 1) supporting local, but 2) giving them the chance to get exactly what they need. Sometimes this is tough to figure out, so a gift certificate gives your photography lover the chance to grow their gear in a way that works for THEM!
Want to know what your local camera store is? Open Google Maps and search for "camera store" - pick the one with the best reviews, and reach out to them to organize a gift certificate of the value that works for you!