Actually Cool Christmas Presents for Photographers 2016

[Y]es, it’s that time of year again! No matter how many hints you drop, you still end up with the comedy camera related gifts for Christmas from well meaning loved ones. The mug that looks like a lens? I’ve got 5 now, so before anyone buys me another, I’ve created this list of  cool items that us photographers would actually love to be gifted this festive season….


How about this for the hipster in your life? The InstantFlex TL70. Mint have taken inspiration from the classic twin lens camera and made it into an instant. It takes Instax Mini film, is manual focus and has a built in light meter and flash. £319

Same idea really but without the Instax framing. Instead the HP Sprocket prints have a sticky back to them, all ready to go in your journal. This also works with an app that lets you add text, scribbles and frames. A similar product is the Polaroid Zip and indeed they both use the same paper and no ink. I just like the white and gold styling on this one. Both £99

I miss having a video camera. Yes I know I can record video on my DSLR or my Fuji but I just want a little camera dedicated to video for day to day family stuff. I had a Flip which looked like a smart phone but was a camcorder and I loved it. But I went to use it one day and found the batteries had leaked. Boo!!! They don’t make them anymore but this little product from Polaroid looks very similar and is a bargain price. £50

It’s so hard to find stylish and functional camera bags in the UK. Our US friends seem to nail this part of the market so much better and there is a hell of a lot of choice over there. But shipping can be a lot and chances are you will be facing a hefty import tax too. So if you can get over the fact that this shop is called Cosy Cameras and that it says it is a ‘ladies camera bag store’ … (I almost fell off my side saddle) then they actually carry some pretty cool brands and you could get your hands on bags like this one from the very excellent Ona. £374

For the photographer who already has everything they could possibly want.. Martin Parr Marshmallows. Yes you could buy a jar of luxury marshmallows along with a limited edition print from the ultimate chronicler of our times. £40

I love the idea that one single image could be enough narrative to tell an entire story. Not many people do this better than William Eggleston and you will see why in his book Portraits. There is so much to take away from this book, whatever genre you shoot. £20

Chances are that the photographer you love, loves Instagram. So prise them away from their phone by creating a pack of cards from their Instagram images. There are so many possibilities for how you could set up the suits or the characters with this and it would be a lot of fun to then play. £17

Speaking of Instax, I’d love this little mini printer. Using an app, the Instax Share Sp-2 can easily print out images from your phone or your Instagram. The prints look just like the classic Instax but sharper and again it uses Instax Mini so you can use all the fun ones that are around like rainbow or polka dot. So cute! £170

Yes, I know, another instant camera but they are just so much fun and in the digital age isn’t it just lovely to have prints? This is Leica’s foray into the instant market with the Sofort. It’s super stylish and comes with some nice accessories. It takes Leica’s instant film which comes in colour or B&W but rumour is that it also works fine with Instax Mini. £229

I love books and this one available at Urban Outfitters opens with ‘Start by Ignoring Everything’… A good philosophy if you ask me. £13

Now for the smaller budgets or just to fill a photographer’s stocking. Etsy has a whole world of cute gifts for the photographer in your life. How sweet is this camera cushion from UK seller byebyebirdieengland? £14

When I feel a little uninspired, I don’t tend to trawl through other wedding photographers’ images, instead I open a book. Usually by a fashion or music photographer. I never fail to find something fresh in how they pose subjects and how they interpret group images without the agenda that we have. A Different Vision on Fashion Photography from the master Peter Lindbergh looks like a perfect place to seek out iconic images. £32

I don’t know about you, but when I travel I end up bringing all sorts of leads, chargers, devices and stuff.. lots and lots of stuff. Then I’m often at a place with lots of other photographers and that stuff can soon end up mushing into their stuff. So I’d love this little personalised bag from NOTHS seller Precious Little Plum to keep some of my stuff in. £18

Finally, I hate the cold but I have no gloves that I can feasibly wear and operate a camera at the same time. So these cashmere hand warmers look like they’d be a huge help. £15