2014 Holiday List of 40 Photography Gifts Under $100

holiday photos-21Somehow I missed this post last year – but hopefully I can make it up to you this year by doubling the list and making it not 20 items – but 40 great photography gifts.  I think it’s ambitious – but let’s give it a shot.

The rules are simple:  photography-centric gifts under $100 that I think are super useful or fun (or both) for the photographer on your Christmas list.

So, in no particular order – here it is – the 2014 Holiday List of 40 Photography Gifts Under $100:

  1. Triggertrap.  This tool triggers a camera by way of a smartphone.  Available for over 300 cameras and for both the Android and iOS systems.
  2. IR72 filter for their favorite wide angle lens (especially good if your photographer is shooting one of the newer Fuji’s (like the X100s or X-T1).  Just make sure to get the right size for their lens.  I talk a bit about the IR72 + X100s combo here.
  3. Magma Sketchbook for idea generation and everyday note taking.  This is a surprising little notebook.  Highly recommended.
  4. GoLite sweater.
  5. Manfrotto clamp.  Super handy.
  6. Decisive Moment byHenri Cartier-Bresson.  This classic has just been re-released.
  7. Photo booth props.
  8. OneLight 2.0 by Zack Arias.  Highly recommended.
  9. Not sure what to get them?  There’s always the Photojojo gift card.
  10. The Camalapse.  Lightweight and great for time lapses.
  11. Road to Seeing by Dan Winters.  Christmas photos-12
  12. Camera gear can get a bit heavy on the trail – so lighten their overall load with this awesome stove from Snow Peak.
  13. Lensbaby Spark.  Fun and a great catalyst for creative photography.  All for under $100.  Comes in both Canon and Nikon mount.
  14. Blackrapid Cross Shot.  I made something like this using Blackrapid hardware over a year ago for my X100s (before this strap was launched).  Lighter weight straps are great – especially for mirrorless cameras.
  15. Lensbaby Sweet Spot Lens for smart phones.
  16. Not specifically photography – but great if your photographer travels – the Kinivo speaker for their MP3 player.  It’s small, inexpensive, portable, and sounds reasonable while stuck in a hotel room or tent.
  17. Induro AT114.  Yes, it’s a bit more than the $100 price limit.  But it’s possibly one of the best values in tripods out there.  If they also need an all-purpose ball head, check out the Joby Ballhead X.
  18. Pro account to Exposure.  Why?  Cuz it’s possibly the best story telling tool on the web for photographers.
  19. Chalkboard Speech Bubble.  Another fun spark for those photo booth / portrait sessions.
  20. Craft & Vision.  Depending on your photographer’s interest – there’s a lot to choose from here.
  21. Again, not specifically photo gear – but could prove to be useful: VSSL Gear.  Hopefully they’ll be shipping soon.
  22. Is your photographer interested in all of this drone / UAV stuff?  Well – there is a way to jump in without spending a huge amount of cash.  This one even includes a tiny camera.
  23. Humans of New York.  If your photographer hasn’t yet read this – this is a great read.
  24. The Polaroid Cube.  A couple of years ago I bought into the action camera market with a clearance priced Contour (as it turns out, I bought two just in case one broke).  They were a great for trying new project ideas.
  25. Timbuk 2.  Small.  Awesome.  My favorite camera bag.
  26. An insert to make their favorite bag into a camera bag.  Christmas photos-11
  27. VSCO Presets.  These are a lot of fun.  Just a bit over the $100 price point – but once a customer, additional packs are at a discount.
  28. REI Clip Mug.  I have an earlier version of this mug and it’s been flawless.  The best part?  When done drinking the hot beverage – simply clip the mug to a bag and forget about it.
  29. Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits: Stories and Techniques from a Photographer’s Photographer.  The title pretty much says it all.
  30. LP180 LumoPro flash.  Yes, it’s more than $100.  But it’s an awesome manual flash.  This is the first flash I pull from my bag.
  31. MAKE Magazine.  Now offered 6 times / year.  It’s creative fun that will occasionally have photography hacks.
  32. Ultra small LED headlamp.  I mention these in my 7 not so obvious items in my bag post.  This one also includes a red bulb to help preserve night vision.
  33. All the parts to build their own great slider.  I talk about my build here.
  34. Leatherman Squirt PS4.  Yes – this has been on the list before.  Yes – it’s still a great gift for the photographer on your list.
  35. Gerber Outrigger Knife.  Sometimes a knife just works better than a multi-tool.  This one is lightweight and has a rubber coated handle.
  36. After watching Zack’s OneLight 2.o – it’s possible they’ll want a 12×36 softbox.  And here’s the grid, too.
  37. Is your photographer thinking of trying video?  Three resources that I’ve been learning from lately: How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck, DSLR Cinema, and Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide.
  38. The latest in Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography series.  That said, if they don’t have any in the series yet – consider the whole set.
  39. Raspberry Pi + Camera Module.  If your photographer like to tinker with electronics – here’s a great project.
  40. Overland Journal.  Inspiration can come from any number of places.

Whew! We did it.  But to be honest, it feels a bit odd not having something from Joe McNally on the list.  So, if you’re photographer really needs a Joe fix – check out his latest: The Light and the Life: Field Notes from a Photographer.

And if your photographer wants none of it (or already has all of it) – get ‘em a color changing mug from Formosa Treasure! (this particular scene is from Jiufen).


For more ideas – check out the lists from year’s past: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.


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