Boys and girls. Valentine’s day is on a Saturday this year. Today is the 7th and it’s exactly one week away. Are you going to be ready? Made your reservations yet? If your significant other is an avid photographer, we’d like to lend you a hand with the gift. Here are 10 gift ideas for photographers. Most are available on Amazon Prime so you know they’ll arrive on time.
10. For the Leading Lady in Your Life – Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera ($69+)
This is pretty much a guaranteed hit with your wife, girlfriend, or potential leading lady. Many of my female friends happen to love this camera. This Instax Mini 8 comes in pink, yellow, baby blue, white, and black. It’s a instant film camera that shoots credit card sized photos. I’ve raved about the Fujifilm Instax & Instax Mini line for years. Now, for the women reading this and looking for something for her leading man, there are more masculine versions in black, in piano black, or in even classier versions of silver & black or silver & brown.
The best part about the Instax Mini line is the affordability and the sheer variety of film options. They end up costing about $1 a pop, which is really not bad considering that since Polaroid has folded up their instant film production, the Impossible Project Polaroid instant film starts at $3/frame and up. Just make sure you get the Instax Mini and not the Instax Wide, which fits another type of camera. There is even a printer for your cell phone selfies.
9. For the Avid Reader, Self-Taught Photographer, or Owner of a Nice Coffee Table – High End Photography Books Published by Taschen ($11+)
Taschen, as a publisher, has an exceptionally well-regarded reputation within the art and design community. I remember in my college days, I’ve sat in the aisle of the local art book stores and lusted after the beautifully printed hardcover Taschens. They are expensive in stores (often $50+), but quite reasonable online. They cover a wide variety of interesting topics, including The Rolling Stones, portraits of London, and New York City, as well as specific books on fashion photography and on surf photography. There is really no exception to a thick and heavy hard covered photography book. The deliciousness of the photos will inspire and decorate a home, at the same time.
Speaking of thick and heavy, I came across a few especially relevant selections, such as the 3D series on Breasts, Butts, and other unmentionables. The Amazon reviews are on point, as Christina on Amazon puts it,
“I bought this book for my boyfriend for Christmas. He is a butt man so I thought this would be an awesome gift for him and he loved it.”
8. For the Do-It-Yourselfer – Canon SELPHY Wireless Photo Printer ($94.99)
I tried to be gender neutral in this article, giving both men and women gift ideas. But I
know am sure this is a bad gift idea for most women. Guys, don’t give your lady a printer. Ladies, go right ahead, because we love gadgets and we can print out beautiful pictures of us in the convenience of our own homes. I can’t vouch for the quality of this specific printer, as it is also on my wish list, but it’s the #1 Best Seller with 4.5 star ratings. The black one is more expensive than the white one.
7. For the Lens Addicts – LensRentals.com’s Free Shipping Program ($79)
Like Amazon Prime, LensRentals.com offers unlimited free shipping for $79 a year. This is actually a fantastic program, one that really cut’s down on lens rental costs because shipping for each rental is about $25. So if you know your significant other likes to try new lenses, this program lets them rent the $10,000 Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 for only about $100 a day, and most other lenses for a lot less.
6. For the Lomographer – Lomography Konstruktor Build-It-Yourself Camera ($49)
The Austrian company, Lomography, has put out a lot of overpriced turds over the years, but this one’s a hidden gem. This is a build-it-yourself manual camera that shoots with easy to find/develop 35mm film instead of the rare 120 the Holga uses. The Konstructor features a brilliant waste-level finder, a 50mm lens, and a sticker set for your own customization.
If you are not familiar with Lomography, it is a cultural phenomenon which reached its heights a few years ago. Along with the rise of the hipsters starting in 2008 and hitting its zenith in 2011, Lomography symbolized the “back-to-analog” movement which emphasized the spontaneity of the moment rather than photographic technique or discipline. It’s motto, “Don’t Think, Just Shoot” connected with a whole generation and you can still find their plastic cameras in every Urban Outfitters and Kitson across America. Don’t bash it until you’ve tried it. You can get some great results with a lomo.
5. For the Outdoors Person – GoPro HERO ($129)
I think just about every photography or videography enthusiasts have one point or another thought about picking up one of these tiny GoPro cameras. The most affordable unit is only $129 while the top of the line Hero4 BLACK edition is $499. The Hero4 Black is even capable of 30fps 4k video which, as discussed earlier, can be used for vidtography (video photography). In the middle is the Hero4 SILVER edition, which comes with a LCD back for easy composition.
4. For Those Adorable Selfie Couples – Selfie Stick with Bluetooth Shutter ($19.99)
I’m going to preface this by saying, don’t let your guy friends catch you using one. Actually forget that. Use it with pride. Who cares what other people think? Just look at these badass rooftoppers in HK a million miles above the earth. Honestly tho, my wife’s been bugging me about getting one and I can see the appeal. For less than 20 bucks, you can take the art of the selfie to a whole new level.
3. For Everybody! – iLHP Tees ($19.99+)
Okay, I had to throw in this shameless plug. But for a limited time, we’re going to show you we love our fans by giving you guys a $5 discount coupon here and here. Okay, while these campaigns won’t end until after Valentine’s day, how about showing us some love for this one :).
2. Forever – Couples Portrait Sessions ($250+)
Chances are, if you aren’t married, you’ve never had you and your significant other’s portraits taken by a pro. Even if you are married, the wedding photos may be so long ago that it could be time for a refresh. It’s actually quite a fun experience. Your portrait photographer is an expert people person. He or she will help you with posing if you’ve never been in front of a camera before. It’s pretty much guaranteed a fun time as long as you find a good photographer.
Support a local photographer by booking a couple’s portrait session with him or her for Valentine’s day. Do a google search and I’ll bet you’ll find plenty of photographers running Vday specials.
1. Don’t Forget – Flowers ($35+)
Flowers, chocolate, and a dinner guys. Come on. Don’t even think about skipping these. I know Valentine’s can get really expensive really quickly for men (those of you saying Valentine’s is a corporate money grab, just admit you are cheap and get on with it), but with some preparation and effort, Valentine’s doesn’t have to break the bank. A gourmet home cooked meal can taste sweeter than a Michelin star. It’s all in the effort. And did you know, you can buy hibernating flowers off of Amazon, bring them back to life within 2-3 days of being in room temperature and water, all for a fraction of the cost of store bought last minute flowers? Seriously, I just found out about this. Where else are you going to get a dozen long stemmed roses for $33 the week before Vday? Good luck everyone!