With Christmas fast approaching it’s getting to that time of year when people start asking what you want – a question I always find impossible to answer. But even when I’m void of ideas there is always something I beg people not to get me; camera or photography-related presents! Without meaning to sound ungrateful, the last thing I want is a mug shaped like a lens or a rubbish air blower.
As a photographer, the items on my wishlist are usually pretty expensive. That means that unless someone is feeling insanely generous it’s unlikely I’m going to get the photography lighting kit of my dreams (two Profoto B10 X Plus studio heads with all the light shaping accessories) or the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens I have wanted forever.
Just to clarify, I would never ask for these items either, I have never been one for excessive spending at Christmas, so to expect it back would be absurd, but in the past I have received DSLR holsters I’ll never use, or packs of scratchy lens clothes that remain in a junk drawer.
That’s not to say there aren’t some really good, affordable presents out there for photographers. I just think the person you’re buying for needs to specify that they want them, or you need to know the recipient so well you could handpick a coffee table book or print they will love. I have previously received an Instax Mini, a 35mm film camera, a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens and a prism but all of these have been on a wishlist so the person buying them knew they’d be put to good use.
I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the excuse to eat and drink excessively, the coming together of friends and family and of course watching Christmas films on repeat, but what I cannot stand is present giving for giving sake. I have a soft spot for handmade or unique presents – perhaps a photo book, personalized photo calendar or a digital photo frame already loaded with photos.
But I cannot stress enough how much I do not want to be on the receiving end of photography-themed Christmas tat. Christmas isn’t about how much stuff you get or how much someone spends but if you are going to be giving presents this year, try and make sure they will not go to waste!
If you're still looking for gifts and you do know who you're buying for, then we have an extensive guide to the best books on photography.