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Father's Day gifts: 10 photography gift ideas for camera-mad dads

Father's Day gifts: 10 photography gift ideas for camera-mad dads

Coming up with Father's Day gift ideas is always a tricky task. After all, there's only so many old DVD boxsets and bottles of booze you can give before your presents start to feel a bit predictable. So what are you going to do this year's Father's Day on Sunday 16 June?

Luckily, if your dad happens to be a photographer, he will likely be afflicted with the condition known as GAS: gear acquisition syndrome. This means that he will love anything to do with cameras – so we've come up with the best photography gifts to make your life a bit easier.

Whether you're shopping for a digital dad, an analog dad, a DSLR dad or a phone snapper dad, we're confident that at least a couple of these 10 gift ideas will be right up his alley!

1) Polaroll Polaroid camera toilet roll holder

This Polaroid potty accessory is guaranteed to be an instant hit

Good for a giggle
Definitely a practical gift
Mothers may not approve
Dad might print your face on a roll!

Ideal if your dad loves instant cameras, if he's a fan of Eighties technology or he just plain has a sense of humor. The Polaroll Polaroid toilet roll holder isn't the most sophisticated suggestion on our list, but it's probably the laugh out loud funniest. And since there are plenty of websites where you can print custom toilet paper, at least there's one place where even your dad's worst photographs are worth printing out!  

The "camera" measures 5.5 x 3.9 x 6.7" (14 x 10 x 17cm) and includes wall mounting fixtures for installation. It fits standard sized toilet roll. 

2) Polaroid OneStep 2: Stranger Things Edition

Time to turn dad's world Upside Down

Ultra-cool edition of an ultra-cool camera 
Ideal appetizer for Stranger Things 3
Don't forget to buy the right film
Can develop an expensive film habit

By contrast, if you're looking to flash a little more cash and you think your pop would enjoy an actual Polaroid camera, this is the coolest one you can buy right now. A limited edition version of the Polaroid OneStep 2 i-Type instant camera, this has a retro colorway and branding to match the hit Stranger Things Netflix series – the third season of which hits screens on 04 July, making this an extra timely present if your dad is a fan of the supernatural show. 

Don't forget to pick up some film, as well – if you want prints that are as cool as the camera, grab a pack of Color i-Type Film Stranger Things Edition (8 shots per pack) with unique designs and logos inspired by the show. 

3) Photographer Samurai T-shirt

Tog togs that don't *look* like tog togs

Great design
Doesn't look like a photography shirt
You'll want to steal it
Dad will think he has fashion sense

Whether it's sports, music, TV shows or movies, there are endless choices of T-shirts for fans to show how much they love their favorite hobbies. When it comes to photography, though, the pickings are a whole lot slimmer – often limited to cringeworthy puns and slogans that even the most devoted dad might be reluctant to wear out ("Camera Sutra" shirt, we're looking at you). 

Here, however, is a much more hip design that would fit right in at a rock concert or on the street. In fact, we like it so much that we might "accidentally" order the wrong size so we can sneak it into our own wardrobe on the sly. 

4) Magnum Photos: Field Notebook

The perfect place to jot down some Martin Parragraphs

A taste of Magnum Photos greatness
Genuinely useful
Doesn't grant Magnum membership
Don't forget to get a pen, too

Magnum Photos is widely considered the industry’s gold standard. The legendary agency, whose co-founders include Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, is arguably the most prestigious in the world. For the vast majority of photographers, though, no amount of from-the-hip street images or 4am golden hour shoots are going to be enough to receive a membership invitation.

You can still give your dad a taste of the high life, though, with this embossed Magnum field notebook. It's perfect to stick in the sleeve of a camera bag and jot down shoot plans, settings and setups – along with all the important stuff that dads need to scribble down in a hurry when they're on the phone. 

5) X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo 2

Make sure Father's Day is colorful – and accurate

Every photographer needs one
includes calibration software
Dad will probably leave it somewhere
Pricier than regular color targets

There are few things more infuriating than getting home after a long day of shooting, loading all the photos onto the computer and then finding out that the color temperature of the shots is all over the place. If you've ever walked past your dad's office while he's editing and heard some salty language being muttered, there's a good chance this is the reason.

Help him out by picking up the new ColorChecker Passport, which doesn't just help ensure that your colors are properly calibrated – it has handy (and accurate) grey and white cards as well. Trust us; long after dad's favorite bottle of whisky is empty, he'll still be thanking you for this gift.

6) Umiko 3D iPhone Camera Design Case

Make an iPhone feel a bit more "camera-y" for taking photos

Creates an actual shutter button 
Funky iPhone case
Comes with a "camera" strap
You KNOW dad will try to adjust the lens

If your dad is anything like ours, when he uses his smartphone to take a photo, there's a pregnant pause when he tries to figure out how to hold it, forgetfully puts it up to his eye, then takes a pic and scoffs that "It's not like a real camera, is it?" While it won't magically turn his phone into an SLR, the Umiko 3D Camera case will at least make it look and feel a bit more like something he's used to.

This iPhone case even comes with a lanyard that mimics a camera strap, should your dad be the sort that loses his handset all the time. Probably won't stop him trying to keep turning the ring on the artificial lens, though. 

Because everybody loves a bit of bling

Jewelry is always a winner
Cooler than your average cufflinks
A subtle hint for dad to dress better
You'll want a pair for yourself

It doesn't matter how old you get, how much stuff you've got, or even how much you hate receiving gifts – when somebody hands you a jewelry box to open, you always get a twinkle in your eye. So no matter how grumpy your dad is, or how sure you are that he's got everything he needs, we're pretty sure that a pair of camera cufflinks will bring a smile to his face.

Whether he wears a shirt every day for work, or just needs them for special occasions when he has to wear black tie, this little bit of bling will enable him to express his favorite pastime… and also tell everyone who asks about them what a wonderful kid he has. What's not to love about that?

8) How to Photograph Absolutely Everything by Tom Ang

A book that every shooter will get something out of

Available in paper or hardback
Hardback edition is updated
A highly regarded photography book
Really does help you shoot anything
Empty list

There are some fantastic photography books out there (and more than a fair share of stinkers, too), but unless it happens to be written by your dad's favorite photographer it can be hard to pick one that you know he'll like. Fortunately, one of the best books around is the fantastic How to Photograph Absolutely Everything by Tom Ang – simply put, if you enjoy using a camera, you'll enjoy reading this book. 

A highly respected photographer and educator (or "sharer" as he prefers to put it), Ang has an effortless way of explaining things and his book really does show you how to photograph virtually everything. A great one for the bookshelf, and something dad will be sure to read cover to cover.

9) Photography Idea Cards

Great for bursts of inspiration or fun, spontaneous shoots

Great way to inspire creativity
Brilliant for a photo scavenger hunt
The whole family can get involved
Only available from Amazon US

Every photographer has uttered these infamous words at least once: "I don't know what to shoot." Thankfully, with this brilliant little gift, you'll never again have to watch dad sat pathetically on the couch fiddling with dials and forlornly trying to focus on the dog. 

These Photography Idea Cards literally provide flashes of inspiration. From simple around-the-house suggestions to elaborate scenes that need a bit of thought and setup, just pick a card out of the pack and you've instantly got a subject to go and shoot. These are also great for organizing photo scavenger hunts, and are a fun way to get the entire family taking a few snaps and sharing their creative juices. 

10) Lastolite HaloCompact collapsible reflector

A reflector that folds down to the size of a hot dog

Folds MUCH smaller than other reflectors
Has a 1/4-inch screw mount
Reflection and diffusion options
Pricier than most (but not the priciest)

A reflector is something that just about every photographer should have in their bag. However, because they can be so bulky even when folded down, the choice is often to either take a bigger camera bag or leave the reflector behind. That's no longer an issue, though, with the Lastolite HaloCompact – a reflector that doesn't just fold down, but completely collapses to take up about as much space as a hot dog. 

The HaloCompact comes out of its bag as a series of connected rods that spring together, on top of which you can clip either a reflector or a diffusion cover (see video above). Et voila! You now have a fully structured reflector that only takes up a fraction of the space, meaning you can finally put one in a small kit bag. 

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