The holiday gift guide for the crafty photographer is near and dear to my heart because I am a crafty photographer. I own more craft supplies than I care to admit and love experimenting with all different types of creative projects. Instead of researching great holiday deals or talking to everyone I know about what they would buy for the crafty photographer in their life, I'm simply sharing the items I own and use all the time for my creative photography.
I feel like a broken record talking about the 50mm f/1.8 lens. But it really is such a great tool for creative photography and beyond. 50mm is an ideal focal length for portraits, street photography, and much more. I use it far more often than any other lens for my blog photography and creative shooting. The focal length is extremely versatile, and the wide 1.8 aperture lets you play around with shooting in virtually any light level. The possibilities are endless.
The Lensbaby is actually the only item in this holiday gift guide I don't own myself. Lensbaby produces simple prime lenses that allow you to experiment with bokeh and other fun photography techniques without breaking the bank. They offer prime lenses at varying focal lengths, all for under $500. My friend Natasha has a couple of fantastic examples of images she's created with her Lensbaby as well as inspiration and suggestions for other creative possibilities with Lensbaby images. Check them out here: Seaside Sunset Bokeh Freebie Pack | In-Camera Bokeh Overlay Freebies.
Printed paper and vinyl backdrops
Patterned paper and vinyl backdrops allow you to create staged or styled photography setups quickly and easily. Having a backdrop eliminates distraction and creates a professional, cohesive aesthetic for your images. If you're taking portraits or experimenting with creative techniques that may be messy, such as freezing water drops with a flash, vinyl is a great option because it's simple to clean and reuse. My favorite Etsy shops for vinyl backdrops are InkandElm and MyBackdropShop.I also love to use patterned paper for creative photography because there are so many designs available. As patterned paper is cheaper, I don't worry too much about keeping it in great condition. When you've trashed it, simply throw it out and roll out some new paper. My favorite online source for patterned paper is Pacon's Ella Bella line. I also recommend browsing the large paper rolls as well as smaller scrapbook paper options at Michaels.
Fun dishes, silverware, and other kitchen items
Adding a few carefully selected props to a styled shoot helps tell a story, creating a stronger image. I share some of my best examples of styled food shots in 10 Steps to Improve Your Food Photography. Think about gifting the crafty photographer in your life fun dishes, silverware, or other kitchen gear that they might not purchase for themselves. Hit your favorite thrift or secondhand shop, and keep an eye out for holiday deals from popular kitchen retailers, such as Crate and Barrel.
Seasonal props and other decor items
DIY Heart Shaped Bokeh How to for Valentine's Day is a perfect example of how you can create fun holiday images without breaking the bank. I love to hit the dollar store and the dollar section at Target and other big box stores for seasonal and holiday props and other decor items. I also keep a handful of versatile photography props on hand, such as Scrabble tiles and blue Ball jars, which are easy to mix and match for an extensive range of shots.
Christmas lights and fairy lights
I'm a huge sucker for Christmas lights and have been known to dig through the Christmas decorations, so I can pull out the lights for a photo shoot. I also own a few dedicated solid color light strands I use solely for photography (luckily, they're cheap and don't take up a lot of space). In addition to potential for creative bokeh, Christmas lights make for a great prop or add a fun pop of color to creative shoots. The holidays are a perfect time to splurge on a few strands for a crafty photographer, as you'll find a wide range of colors and styles at every big box and home improvement store. You can also shop for lights online at Amazon all year round.I also love using fairy lights in my photography for a lighter touch. Jessica of How Sweet Eats has some fantastic styled photos with fairy lights in her espresso martinis recipe. Fairy lights are fun for a whimsical photo shoot, too.
Creative photography course
My favorite source for creative classes is Alisa Burke. I'm not sponsored to promote her classes, nor do I receive any compensation if you sign up for or gift one of her classes. I've just been a huge Alisa fan for years now and absolutely love the online classes I've taken with her. Currently, she offers two photography classes: Snapshot Delight and Photo Play. Honestly, I think any of her classes will enhance your creative photography skills, so don't be afraid to think out of the box for gift giving this season.
What camera gear is on your holiday wish list this year?Is there anything else you’d like to see in this holiday gift guide for the crafty photographer?
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