What presents to choose for christmas

Photo by live14zawa/Flickr Animation by Google+ Autoawesomeness
Photo by live14zawa/Flickr Animation by Google+ Autoawesomeness

Photo by live14zawa/Flickr
Animation by Google+ Autoawesomeness

It is a common question every year what christmas present to buy to our friends fond of photography. What, where, how and for how much? Or why not that?

I personally don’t like to give presents just because it is a habit so I must to do.  I think rather we should only give presents if we really know what the other person needs or what would make him/her happy. But christmas traditions are getting far from this approach, and all the ad campaigns of the shops aim to deter us from this rude but practical thikning.
So here are some of my ideas – mostly only groups of products – what you can buy to make a photographing friend happy as a gift. As well as some of the drawbacks of these presents and thoughts on why not to choose them, but I will have a more in-depth article about this (available only in poor Google translation at the moment).

Who is not satisfied with this draft list I have some more present ideas too.

  1. Fine art exhibition/book:
    +value forever, timeless, in many cases it gives more useful visual knowledge than any photography books
    -can be expensive, not all photography loving people see it’s importance the same way, who really values it may already have it

  2. Photo frame (analog):
    +small, relatively cheap, anyone can use it, cant really be a mistake
    -one may not like it, some don’t like decorations and others may already have it

  3. Tissues, and other lens and equipment cleaning equipment:
    +small, camera and brand independent, not too expensive and it needs replacement from time-to time
    -one may have preferences, connection to some brands or types

  4. PenDrive:
    +small, relatively cheap, anyone can use it, no problem if you have one or two not connected to camera or computer brands
    -not everyone uses it, if you have larger than a smaller one can become useless

  5. MP3 player:
    +not too expensive, can function as a pendrive as well, anyone can have use of it especially if one doesn’t have one
    -not everyone wants to use/have one, one can have connections to brands (for example only iPod/iPhone)

  6. Memory cards:
    +not too expensive and it’s never enough
    -strongly connected to what kind one’s camera uses, size really does matter and certain types can be very expensive

  7. Card reader:
    +not too expensive, valuable tool to have, everyone can use it, if you have one a backup never hurts, multi card readers can’t cause compatibility issues
    -one may have built in ones he/she uses, can be redundant and many people don’t use external ones

  8. Batteries:
    +small, not too expensive, can come handy any time and it is never enough
    -worth to know the type one uses

  9. Cap, hat, T-shirt, other clothes (connected to photography):
    +can be cheap or even free promo gift from some manufacturers, some wear these regularly and are happy with logos or Pro Photographer texts on them
    -some times it can be really expensive, one may prefer other brand than on the gift, not everyone wants to advertise brands on his clothes. Some people don’t even tell what brands they use and others even try to hide it tapeing logos down

  10. Camera bag and other pouches:
    +can be cheap or more expensive, protects camera and gear, practical to have one or two
    -one may have it already, may not need more, size and type can be really an issue just like preferences

  11. Magazines (single issues or subscription):
    +can be interesting and really valuable present
    -can be really expensive, may also be redundant and not everyone likes them especially some certain ones so preferences apply

  12. Photography books:
    +may have nice photos, can be educational
    -possibly expensive, one may already have it on the self, you have to match the topic and the level of the other to find an interesting one, and not everyone is interested

  13. Photo printer:
    +can be expensive, can be handy if one needs it but doesn’t have and produces instant product
    -on a long term it costs more to support than to buy it, cartridges and paper costs more than the printer itself, a photo shop can be cheaper and not everyone wants paper prints especially if one has a digital frame, computer or bonds to a green and paper free office or even society

  14. Scanner:
    +helps digitize photos on paper or film as well as other documents, and it is environment friendly
    -it can cost more and one may need the best ones as well as not everyone needs it really

  15. Digital photo frame:
    +new and trendy, fun decoration, esay to use and environment friendly solution
    -not everyone wants to have one, not the same as a photo in print, some don’t like decorations and others may already have it

  16. Nice photos, posters, calendars for decoration:
    +looks good on the wall, can help learning curve
    -can be expensive, one may have it already, not everyone likes it and you have to match other’s interest

  17. Hard drives, backup solutions (internal and external HDDs):
    +extra storage space always comes handy, good for backup
    -can cost a lot more and one may have preferences and technical restrictions (ie. like OS)

  18. Photo courses, workshops:
    +can help education and learning curve
    -can be really expensive, you have to match the interest and current level to be valuable, not everyone likes these

  19. Camera parts / equipments (lens, flash, others):
    +usually more valuable, can add greatly to the photo experience and efficiency
    -can cost a lot more, compatibility is a real issue, needs more knowledge (even to choose), preference and personal needs can be more of a problem

  20. Compact camera:
    +can be a real value, anyone can find it handy if one doesn’t have oen already
    -costs a lot, one may have a personal favorit or even may have one at home, may need more accessories to be useful (acus, cards, etc)

  21. Camera stand, tripod, monopod:
    +can be cheaper or more expensive, can be valuable accessory, compatibility less problematic
    -there are many types, personal preferences may be elemental, not everyone needs it

  22. Studio set:
    +not everyone has one, can be handy for some, may photographers would like to have one
    -can be really expensive, not everyone needs it, compatibility issues may rise and personal or brand preferences may apply

  23. DSLR or MILC camera:
    +not everyone has one, can be a real value and great present
    -can be really expensive, personal and brand preferences may apply, compatibility can be an issue, needs and demands need to be matched

  24. Computer / Laptop:
    +comes handy to store, manage and develop your photos, can use to many things and is a great value
    -can be expensive, personal and brand preference can be an issue, it is better to match needs and demands
  25. Photo editing software:
    +useful gift, may come handy for everyone, they are becoming cheaper and cheaper, it is better to use legal software than illegal
    -not everyone values them (especially those who don’t have a problem with pirated software), one can have it legally and doesn’t need a second one, it never hurts to know their taste and needs
  26. Coupons and vouchers:
    +makes an easy present choice, the gifted person can choose whatever he/she wants, it can be used for more than one thing, if one needs extra things can add to the package, it is harder to make a mistake
    -not a specific form of present, one might prefer other shops, brands, companies, there might be no supply of the things one would like to buy, not always the cheapest option one might choose.

The message between the words is: try to match what you imagine and what others would like and what they need. More importantly what they really feel important and necessary. And maybe it is better to buy it together leaving less room for errors. Or rather don’t give any presents connected to photography!

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