This time of year is always such a rush to get stuff for the people in your life. Mostly it's stuff that is more quirky than functional. It's not that I'm opposed to getting funny gifts – I just think that there are sometimes things that get overlooked. Wow, babbling much?
This is my list of gift ideas – things that I have found that make my job a little more pleasant.
1. Battery Holder
I always have extra batteries in my bag for my flash, triggers, or audio recorder. The worst is when you pop open your bag for whatever reason and batteries come cascading out into the dirt or across the floor. I found this little holder by accident while I was browsing for something else. And it was cheap as chips.
You're gonna expect something like "keep your lens in a sock" or "throw you spare batteries in a sock" (no, you should get the battery holder). Which aren't bad ideas to be honest. The truth is that while I spend a lot of time on my feet there is no compromise for me when it comes to comfortable socks. My sock drawer is heccies.
3. Lexar Workflow Card Reader
I know that I've mentioned these before. They're purpose-built card readers. You buy the one that works with the storage that you use. I have a SD reader and a XQD reader. They work very well. I am very happy with them... the next item on the list makes them work very well together!
4. Lexar Professional Workflow Hub
The Lexar Professional Workhub is wall-powered multi-slot hub for your card readers, hard-drives, two-port USB, micro-SD reader, compact flash, XQD reader, CFast reader – whatever the combination is that suits your workflow. This device helps a bunch because I don't have USB ports on my machine so I can plug in all the devices that I need and then just plug in the hub and it acts like a muti-port USB.
5. Storage +++
When it comes to content creation; there should be no shortage of batteries and storage media. I have more cards than I think I need but I've been in situations where I've used all of them. Down to the last little bit of space. It's always a good idea. Someone is probably getting a drone, or a GoPro, or a new camera this year, and the micro-SD is a good choice. It's even bundled with a nifty USB adaptor.
6. Film Camera
Digital is amazing. Film is the old school. I learnt how to develop film in a darkroom. Wow. Old man. What I like about using film (more specifically my Instax) is that it forces you to take a little more time with the frame that you're capturing. I like to look at what I'm shooting and ask myself why I've framed it – am I wasting this frame? It forces introspection for me. Also it's usually inexpensive to get a film camera unless you're buying a hectic camera.
My qualm about fresh, comfortable socks translates in my quest for comfortable shoes. I'm not too phased by the Jawnz XXV Super-Banana-limited-edition-donate-your-liver-raffle but I will hunt for a pair of shoes if I know they're comfortable. Puma has been making those shoes for the longest time. The Trinomic and the Suede silhouettes are my first-choice when it comes to buying kicks.
8. Hurricane Blower
This is the essential for your bag. You should definitely have one of these! The long-nosed hurricane blower is my choice item – the short-nosed one does not work well. There is a lot of noise about these not working or causing more dust but I can guarantee that when you're at a festival this will be what you use before you take your camera to be cleaned professionally. Where I've found the rocket-shaped air blower is ridiculously expensive this one was way cheaper.
9. Ceramic Ear Plugs
If nothing else; get yourself proper ear plugs! I cannot stress enough how important this is. I am the guy who hands out ear plugs to all my friends at festivals. Make a booking at the Ear Institute and get this done. It wasn't crazy expensive but at the end of the day it'll cost you more to try and save your hearing without them.
10. Adata Powerbank
I'm so pedantic about powerbanks. I've been through a few. The really expensive one that I had was the first to bust. This Adata powerbank is actually really decent and it's not gonna cost you a pound of flesh. It even has a toerch!
Remember that film camera? Shooting Instax cost me features because, "it's not film", but I don't care. This is the most fun that I have had collecting my memories. I have a little box of these snaps (they discontinued the little Instax folders for the wide cameras) that span years now. I should probably do something with them.
12. Bluetooth Speaker
This little thing is amazing. Whether you use it while you're editing or while you're shooting, it's a rad little piece of gear to have. This was actually a gift from @tashmontlake. It comes with a jack-to-jack and it's waterproof too. Or splash-proof. You can use it in the shower.
Gifts that I do not think are a good idea: Lens mug. No photo (because I don't have one).