From a roll of film to a top-of-the-line mirrorless camera, here are eighteen items to consider adding to your shopping cart.
The holiday season is all about treating others, and sometimes ourselves. According to surveys from Facebook IQ and YouGov, an estimated seventy-four percent of global shoppers researched gifts for themselves during the holiday season. Following an unprecedented year, this is the time for giving, and as it turns out, the self-gifting trend could be a positive outlet during challenging times.
We asked more than fifteen photographers working across over ten countries to tell us what’s on their holiday wishlist this year. From a roll of film to a top-of-the-line mirrorless camera, they shared something for every budget. Whether you’re browsing for yourself or the photographer in your life, here are eighteen items to consider adding to your shopping cart.
1. The Big Tog Bag
You can never go wrong with a stylish camera bag. Image by Veronika Smirnaya.
The Big Tog Bag ($193.66)
“One of the top items on my Christmas wishlist is this stylish camera bag,” Belarus-based photographer Veronika Smirnaya tells us. “It comes in different colors (my favorite is the brown), and I love it because it doesn’t look like a traditional camera bag.’
“I have a lot of outdoor photo shoots, followed by daily activities—such as visiting cafes and restaurants, shopping, meeting with friends, etc. In most cases, a regular camera bag doesn’t match my style, and I always look like I’m going camping for a couple of weeks with all this stuff! This bag will allow me to feel more stylish, on and off set.”
Plus, it’s made from vegan leather!
2. Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless Camera
A new camera is perfect for a photographer’s holiday stocking stuffer. Image by Evi Abeler.
Canon EOS R6 mirrorless camera ($2,499)
“I have my eye on the new Canon full-frame mirrorless R6,” New York City-based photographer Evi Abeler explains. “I love shooting with my pro Canon DSLRs, but those cameras are so large and heavy that I don’t take them out when I am not on a job. My iPhone has a nice camera, but it’s basically just a glorified point-and-shoot and lacks a lot of features. The R6 seems to be the perfect alternative, since I can use my pro lenses with it as well.’
“My other, less expensive, wish would be small vintage photo frames from the flea market. I finally want to frame some of my favorite photos and hang them on the wall. I know, so old school.”
3. iPhone 12 Pro Max
With the spectacular capabilities of in-phone cameras, a new iPhone is a viable gift option. Image by Evan Sklar.
iPhone 12 Pro Max (from $41.62/mo. or $999 before trade-in)
“I’d like the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, as I think the new camera is pretty terrific,” Brooklyn-based lifestyle and food photographer Evan Sklar says. With a bigger sensor, sensor-shift stabilization, better low-light capabilities, and a longer zoom (2.5x telephoto lens!), this mobile camera has caught the attention of pros around the world.
4. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Lenses can make a different between a good shot and a fabulous shot. Put it on your list! Image by Sonia Monagheddu.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens ($1,899)
“I always dream of this lens,” the Italian food and lifestyle photographer Sonia Monagheddu tells us. “It’s versatile and bright, and it has a good depth of field. I told my husband that I really loved it, but I don’t know if he understood or not!” This standard zoom offers a large aperture throughout its focal length, and it’s super durable so you’ll have it for a long time.
5. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Help your significant other expand their toolbox with a new lens. Image by Xavier Lorenzo / Westend61.
“This year, I think I have behaved very well, so I would like to expand my photographic equipment and improve my work with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens for Canon,” Barcelona-based photographer Xavier Lorenzo tells us. This wide-angle prime lens is known for its bright maximum aperture, shallow depth of field effects, and attractive bokeh.
6. Canon 35mm f/1.4L II USM
A variety of lenses allows your favorite photographer a variety of shot optons. Image by Polina Loves.
Canon 35mm f/1.4L II USM ($1799)
Alternatively, you could opt for the Canon 35mm f/1.4L II USM. This lens sits at the top of the holiday wishlist belonging to Russian-based photographer Polina Loves, who favors dreamy, atmospheric shots.
7. Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Camera
You can’t go wrong with a brand new camera. Image by Dejan Stanic Micko.
Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Camera ($2,999.99)
“A few years back I made the switch to Sony, and right now I am shooting on an a7R II and an a7 III,” Belgrade-based photographer Dejan Stanic Micko tells us. “A new camera could definitely find its way onto my wishlist this year, and it would be the a7R IV. A good sensor with a high megapixel count is a must for stock photography—it makes life much easier.”
8. Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
Be daring! The camera/lens combo makes the perfect gift. Image by Dejan Stanic Micko.
Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens ($1,099.99)
Why stop with just a camera? Make it a combo gift! Micko suggests, “I would add a new Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens as I am currently still working with my old Canon macro.”
9. Godox II LED Video Light
Lighting is an essential element to good photography. Image by Dejan Stanic Micko.
Godox II LED Video Light ($339)
“In the last few months, I’ve started working on video footage for stock, as I have a feeling that that’s where the future of this industry is heading,” Dejan Stanic Micko continues. “For that reason, I have some high-quality continuous lights in mind for the holidays. I’d love at least three of these Godox SL150II heads.”
10. DJI OM 4
Camera stabilizers are the new go-to for that smoothly shot video. Image by Natalia Lebedinskaia.
DJI OM 4 ($149)
“Going into 2021, I want to master new media, including video shooting,” Russian-based family photographer Natalia Lebedinskaia tells us. “I can’t buy a digital full-frame camera with a prime lens just yet, so I would like to start shooting with my phone (my iPhone 7 supports 4K video), and for that, I need a stabilizer.”
Check out the wide variety of camera stabilizers and decide for yourself! Image by Lightsy Studio.
Angie and Luis of Lightsy Studio in Spain have their eye on this magnetic one from DJI, adding, “We’d love for Santa to bring us a gimbal to improve our stock videos.”
11. Profoto B10 Flash
Don’t forget the flash! Image by Jordi Calvera.
Profoto B10 Flash ($1,695)
“I have several things in mind this year, including a macro lens and a new camera body, but at the top of my list is the Profoto B10 flash for its size and versatility,” Spanish photographer Jordi Calvera tells us. The Profoto B10 and the Profoto B10 Plus are the size and shape of a camera lens, but they have the power of five of ten speedlights. Win-win.
12. B+W Circular Polarizer Kaesemann Photography Filter
Think accessories! Filters are perfect for that impromptu nature shot. Image by Vitalina Rybakova.
Polarizing filters can darken skies, remove glare, and control reflections, making them a must-have accessory for landscape photographers and beyond.
“As part of this year’s Christmas present, I would like to receive a B+W circular polarizing filter,” Italian-based photographer Vitalina Rybakova tells us. “It is a useful accessory when you are shooting nature or reflective subjects. I like to travel, and I love to take pictures when I travel, so it would definitely come in handy for me.”
13. Foldable V-Flat Bounce Board
Surprise your loved one with a bounce board for their studio. Image by Liesel Böckl.
Foldable V-Flat Bounce Board ($195.99)
“I would love one of these for my studio and also to take on location,” London-based food photographer Liesel Böckl says. “Probably too big to fit in a stocking, but would be super useful.”
Whether you’re working with natural light or studio light, this bounce board can help you create an array of lighting patterns on set, while also allowing for portability and ease of use.
14. Kupo Master C-Stand with Sliding Leg
Incorporate a mic stand into that holiday gift box. Image by Okrasiuk.
Kupo Master C-Stand with Sliding Leg ($139.95)
“This C-stand is perfect for shooting flatlays and overhead shots with heavy professional cameras,” UK-based photographer Oksana Krasiuk, a.k.a. Okrasiuk, explains.
15. QuadHands WorkBench
Make your photographer’s life easier with a WorkBench Mount. Image by Okrasiuk.
QuadHands WorkBench Mount ($44.97)
In addition to the C-stand, Krasiuk suggest, “Mounts are never superfluous, so I’d add this QuadHands WorkBench Mount, as it would make a good assistant for product and still life photography. Professional photographers always need accessories and gadgets that can make our work easier!”
16. Joby GorillaPod 3K PRO Kit
Every photographer could use a shiny new tripod. Image by Anna Fotyma.
Joby GorillaPod 3K PRO Kit ($97.48)
“My list would definitely include a Joby GorillaPod 3K PRO tripod,” Poland-based photographer Anna Fotyma tells us. “I like it because of the flexible legs that can be wrapped around branches, pipes, railings, and many other unusual places. This would allow me to get unusual frames from different perspectives.”
17. SmallRig L-Bracket for Canon EOS R5 and R6
It’s the little accessories that make a big difference in capturing that perfect shot. Image by Leonid Andronov.
An L-bracket is a piece of metal that attaches to your camera and replaces a traditional tripod plate, allowing you to swiftly and easily rotate your camera from portrait to landscape orientation.
“In terms of small but useful accessories this season, I’m considering an L-bracket,” Ukraine-based photographer Leonid Andronov tells us. “Keep in mind that the exact model will depend on your camera and brand.”
18. Kodak Portra 400 Color Negative Film
For an ideal stocking stuffer, don’t forget film! Image by Bogdan Sonjachnyj.
Kodak Portra 400 Color Negative Film: ($48.48 for a pack of five)
“When we’re not shooting commercial stock photography, we love creating fine art photography on film,” Ukrainian photographers Bogdan Sonjachnyj and Natali Gluhovska tell us. “The ideal present for us would be a bunch of 120mm color or black-and-white film rolls.”
This color film from Kodak is known for expertly rendering skin tones, making it a go-to for portrait photographers.
Bonus Tip: Eco-Friendly Pros—All Budgets
Props are perfect zero waste, eco-friendly gifts. Image by AnikonaAnn.
“My Christmas wishlist this year includes any and all props that embody the theme of zero waste and eco-friendly lifestyles, plus some beautiful craft dishes and podiums (of different shapes) for still life and product photography,” Kazakhstan-based food photographer Anna Kolesnikova, a.k.a. AnikonaAnn, tells us.
You can find eco-friendly props on online marketplaces like Etsy and curated retailers like Made Trade, or at your local sustainable home goods shop. Just make sure to avoid or edit out any branded or copyrighted details before submitting your images for commercial use.
Cover image by Okrasiuk.
Discover more about going pro as a photographer here:
Lens Basics:16-35mm or 24-70mm for Video?How COVID-19 Has Changed Holiday-Themed Stock Images7 Photographers Share Tips on How to Become a Professional PhotographerOutsourcing Editing for Photographers: What You Need to KnowMirrorless vs. DSLR: The Pros and Cons Examined
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