Photographers are notoriously selective with their gear, so this year, we joined forces with PhotoShelter to create The Photographer’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide. This guide is jam-packed with gifts photographers actually want–hand-selected by our teams and some of our favorite pro photographers.
For your convenience, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite accessories, ranging from camera straps and tripods to hard drives and chargers. Remember to check out the full guide here (for free)! It has contributions from 27 photographers, including Pete Souza, trashhand, Henry Do, Yannis Davy Guibinga, Monique Jaques, Winnie Au, Isa Leshko, and more.
“Eneloop batteries are the best,” documentary photographer Amy Lombard explains. “The eneloop batteries combined with the bolt power pack make my job easy. I never have to worry about flash power when I’m shooting. I carry an enormous bag full of them with me whenever I’m on assignment.”
Reflectors are light, compact, simple to use, don’t require any batteries and are very affordable. They can make a big difference when you need some extra light.
“For traveling photographers, size and weight is everything,” Allen Murabayashi, Co-founder & Chairman at PhotoShelter, says. “The new breed of GaN chargers significantly improve upon
the bulk of traditional silicon-based chargers, and this model from HyperJuice has four(!) ports and 100 watts of power to handle your USB-C and USB-A devices.”
“[This strap] spreads the weight of any camera much more evenly across your shoulders than straps provided with most cameras, and allows you to carry your camera much more comfortably, while still allowing you to bring the camera to your eye quick if needed,” documentary photographer Chris Parkes says.
“[This is] such a useful piece of kit when mounting to a tripod, allowing me to switch formats very quickly,” photographer Ruairidh McGlynn, who often travels to remote landscapes, tells us. “An added benefit is the extra level of protection it offers to my camera when out in the field.”
“The Gitzo mini traveler tripod is the perfect small, portable, strong tripod that
I always have with me,” documentary and adventure sport photographer Jody MacDonald says. “It doesn’t take up any space and comes in handy at the most unexpected moments.”
“I started diving and wanted to expand my photography underneath. Underwater housing is very expensive but I found the Seafrogs Salted Line housings to be very affordable,” Finnish photographer Tiina To?rma?nen says. “They are not the best quality in the market, but never leaked and very easy to use and they also offer domes for a very low price. I was able to shoot some amazing pictures with their products. I think it was a wise investment for starting, and I will recommend if you want to expand your playground for snorkeling, surf or diving photography without investing thousands of euros. For long term professional use you will start seeking high-end pro housings, but this is the best you can have if you are looking at price and quality.”
“[This is] a rugged SSD hard disk that allows you to back-up your cards without a laptop,” sports photographer Gabriele Facciotti tells us. “Furthermore, you can cull and edit photos using an iPad or an iPhone on the GO. It has been a game-changer in my workflow.”
“This steadicam device works with just about any DSLR or mirrorless camera to give you amazingly smooth results when shooting video,” Billie Weiss, Photography Manager for the Boston Red Sox, says. “It’s small enough to hold in one hand, yet achieves the same cinematic look and feel as larger rigs like the Movi or Aero Stabilizers. You can shoot video while running at full speed and not see any camera shake or footstep movement.”
“My Arca-Swiss d4 geared tripod head is very useful for my landscape photography, allowing me to make precise, geared adjustments to my camera position,” landscape and wildlife photographer Ian Plant explains. “This enables me to make critical adjustments to my composition, and helps ensure my horizon is always level.”
“The Lacie 6big Thuderbolt 36TB drive is by far my most sensible purchase,” documentary photographer Lori Hawkins says. “Just having the peace of mind that if a drive fails, with a RAID configuration, your data is still safe. I had a drive fail this year, I was able to remove the failed drive, pop in a new drive and the RAID software rebuilt the drive. I also use the portable LaCie 8TB Rugged RAID Shuttle, which I have set to RAID 1 for data redundancy. If one drive fails, the same data is mirrored across the 2nd internal drive. Having a B.S. in Computer Science, this setup makes me VERY happy.”