Three Gifts for Photographers

1. The Gift of Creativity
Many photographers go through phases in which they lack inspiration. They have the gear but it all begins to feel a little bit “been there, done that”. Why not shake things up with an affordable gift that encourages them to look at photography a new way? Ideas include a second-hand film camera (if your significant other is now digital-only), an unusual lens like a Lensbaby or even an instant camera like an old Polaroid or a Fujifilm Instax. Alternatively, find out there if there are any interesting workshops happening nearby.

New equipment can be both cheap and fun

2. The Gift of the Physical

In a similar vein, modern-day photographers tend to spend much of their photo-related life in the digital realm – but the images vanish when the phone, computer or tablet is turned off. Have one of your loved one’s favourite photos printed at a large size and framed or go for a canvas or panel print.

Add some art to your walls with photo prints.

3. The Gift of Inspiration
To put it bluntly, photographers are often nerds. How often have you seen your partner stare longingly as somebody walks past holding a certain camera, or peer at an otherwise unremarkable billboard as they try to figure out how a particular photo was shot? Photo books focused on the work of a certain artist or genre can provide invaluable new ideas and hours of thought about equipment, methods and approaches.  

Informative and a source of inspiration: photo books.

Three Gifts from Photographers

1. The Gift of Memory

We live in an age of images and people often become overwhelmed or lose track of important pictures in the flood of impressions we are subjected to on a daily basis. Cut through this with a print for your loved one, either of a significant memory from your shared past or from their own history. Chances are, the simple gift of a framed photo will bring back not only the memory, but a range of positive emotions as well.

2. The Gift of Sharing
Photography can sometimes be a solitary pursuit. Why not include your partner in your passion? Arrange for a short trip or an excursion to somewhere you like to shoot, or which you would like to explore – then do this together with your partner (obviously, try and find something which also interests them – you may be the world’s greatest macro photographer of sand on construction sites, but it is probably a difficult interest to share with others). Discuss impressions and approaches, place each other within the frame and experiment. You may both learn something.

3. The Gift of Undivided Attention

This suggestion is almost the opposite of the above idea. As photographers, many of us tend to always have a camera with us – after all, it contributes to the way we view the world. We sometimes forget that the act of photography can be distracting or frustrating for our loved ones – so plan an excursion or trip to an interesting place and leave the camera at home. This digital-detox Valentine’s gift can even be taken to extremes: leave your phone behind as well to avoid the temptation of using the phone camera, checking Instagram or reading gear tips during down time.    

And, finally, a suggestion for a joint gift:

This idea requires advance discussions and planning but can create an unforgettable relationship experience. If you are a photographer, ask your partner whether there is something they would like to do and have captured by you. This could be anything from a boudoir shooting to a trip down memory lane, from a photo shoot involving kids or pets to a staged shoot in an unusual environment. If you are a photographer’s partner, suggest something you would like to do and how you imagine doing it. The most important thing here is to ensure that both partners are fully invested and that the experience – and the photos – are the product of two people working closely together to produce something they will both appreciate. The process may turn out to be more important than the photos themselves.