It’s that time of year again– when the ghost of a martyred, 3rd-century Catholic priest looks down upon us, whispering the 11th Commandment into our collective romantic consciousness.
“Thou shalt mark this day with greeting cards, heart-shaped boxes of candy, and the perfect gift for that special someone. Or else!”
Perfect gift? Didn’t I just do that for Chanukah and Christmas? Fear not, friends. Here at DIY Photography, we’ve been picking our brains, searching the net, dropping hints, and reading minds with one goal in mind– making you or a photographer you care about a Valentine’s Day rock star. Gone are the days of casually leaving an open catalog lying around for a loved one to see. This is no time for subtlety. Cut to the chase and check out our first-ever Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Photographers.
The initial thought was to make different His & Hers suggestions, but I opted instead for a single list. Assign gender as you see fit. We’ve tried to make sure there’s something for everyone (and every budget) on this list. Feel free to add suggestions in the comments.
With eight camera bags already in the gear closet you’d think I wouldn’t need another one. You’d be wrong. There’s always room for another camera bag. For Valentine’s Day, though, take a break from the basic black. Kelly Moore camera bags come in different colors and styles, and don’t scream to the world that you’re carrying thousands of dollars worth of gear. Pictured here are the Kelly Boy and the Libby.
Camera Cookie Cutters
Sure, you can buy sweets for Valentine’s Day, but why not make your own? With cookie cutters in three classic shapes (TLR, SLR, and rangefinder…recipe included), you won’t even miss the chocolate. Well, maybe just a little.
I know we live in the electronic age, but I’m still a sucker for a good book. Flipping pages instead of scrolling. Actual bookmarks instead of virtual. Unplugging every once in a while. Whether it’s a “how-to” or a collection of inspiring photographs, there are books out there for every style and taste. Three of my current favorites are “Photography Q&A” by Zack Arias, “That Tree” by Mark Hirsch, and “50 Portraits” by Gregory Heisler.
It’s a holiday for indulgence, and nothing says indulgence quite like a professional massage. Climbing, kneeling, carrying equipment bags, setting up lights, tearing it all down, packing it all up– this business often takes a physical toll. Help your favorite photographer dial back the stress with a massage.
Speaking of Back Pain…
One way to ease that pain before it starts is to get that heavy camera off your neck in the first place. The Spider Camera Holster, CapturePro from Peak Design, and Custom SLR’s Glide Strap are all affordable solutions for getting the weight and stress of the camera off your neck, back, and shoulders.
Adding a new dimension to photography, GoPro has become the top-selling POV camera. Combined with Peak Design’s newly released P.O.V. Kit, mounting your GoPro to any belt or strap is easier than ever.
Get a Little Nasty
Nasty Clamps have become an indispensible piece of gear for me. Perfect for mounting speedlights, reflectors or small cameras in places where light stands and bigger rigs just won’t cut it, they are available in three versions (Nasty, Lil’ Bit Nasty, and the 2-Headed Nasty).
Sony a7R Mirrorless Digital Camera
The Sony a7R is by far the most expensive item on the list, but we all know that nothing says “I love you” like a new camera, right? We can debate the future of DSLRs another time, but for now we can agree that smaller and lighter has found its way into high-quality, professional-grade photography.
Shoot Manual T-Shirt
Tell the world you’ve left auto mode behind. Need I say more?
A monopod is one of those things everybody wants (you know you do), but many never buy. We reviewed a pretty awesome monopod here on DIY Photography not too long ago. Check out the Mogopod to see how it does more than just hold a camera steady.
Bokeh Masters Kit
You already know how to shoot wide open, giving your backgrounds that soft, dreamy look. Add another layer of creativity with the Bokeh Masters Kit. With a wide variety of shapes to choose from, the kit has everything you need to start adding a whole new creative element to your images.
Nikon and Canon Lens Coffee Mugs
These insulated Nikon and Canon mugs are great for keeping hot or cold drinks at the right temperature. The most fun I ever had with one, though, was when I tossed it toward an unsuspecting assistant who was so shocked that he missed the catch. The look on his face was priceless. And such colorful language.
Every time a unicorn dies, so does a random hard drive somewhere in the world. Be prepared with either of these 1TB external hard drives — the ultra rugged Silicon Power Rugged Armor A80 or the super slick G-Technology G-Drive Mobile with Thunderbolt USB 3.0.