With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it might be useful to offer you some gift ideas for the photography lover in your life, without necessarily having to buy new camera bodies or lenses....what a win!
I've got ideas for every type of photographer, at every age and at every level of experience! Plus discount codes galore, keep an eye out for those.
For the family photographer
For the experienced family photographer, Superfeel prompts would make the most perfect Christmas gift! Superfeel is an approach to family, couple and portrait photography that helps generate create genuine connection in those that are being photographed. Choose from the Superfeel online course or the downloadable photography feel guides; and take 20% off your order using the code NATALIEROBINSON20.
For photographers who would love to move into family photography and are in the UAE, grab your spot at my 'Business of Family Photography' workshop in January 2022. Alongside Lianne Dawes, we will guide you through everything you need to know about starting your own family photography business. You can use the code 'wintergifts' for a 15% discount.
For photographers at any level, consider booking them into a portfolio review with Lianne and me. Over the course of 45 minutes we go through a pre-submitted portfolio of 20 images, looking for themes in your work and pulling out strengths and areas for development to help accelerate your photography work over the next few months. Get in touch with me to find out more about portfolio review vouchers.
For the memory keeper
Head over to the Illuminate Classes website and check out 'The Family Historian' by Heather Robinson. I did this course myself a few years ago and the lessons and concepts behind it have stayed with me until this day! For the memory keeper in your family, it is a great way to start their 2022 intentions.
All memory keepers are great at organising and printing photos, but if you are short on time then ask my friend Clare to do it for you! She runs 'Bound in a Book' and takes great delight in creating memory books for her clients. Even better - she does gift vouchers which would make a perfect Christmas gift.
Also spotted recently, you can now create your own family photo calendars with Cherrypix. Head to the website and sign up to the newsletter for a 10% discount on beautiful photo prints, canvases and photobooks.
Typically the memory keeper is the one finding themselves behind the camera, so maybe it's time to surprise your loved one with a photography gift voucher. Most family photographers will offer this - if you would like more info from me then I would be happy to send you some details and we can pencil in a date. Use the code 'news' for 15% off my vouchers.
For the film lover
Gulf Photo Plus are the region's leading photography educator AND they run an introduction to shooting and developing film workshop. Even better, you can use the code 'wintergifts' to secure 15% off all workshops and photowalks.
B+H Photo, based in the USA, are my go-to place for purchasing film and has super-fast delivery! My latest purchases included 'Psychedelic Blues' film which I purchased through B+H and is a really quirky film stock if your photography lover wants something different to experiment with. If you're running short on time, head to Gulf Photo Plus in Alserkal Avenue directly to purchase film from them. You can see what they have in stock on their website.
Looking for a specific film camera or lens? My two go-to UAE based camera equipment companies are UAE Vintage Photo and Analog the Room, both who I have bought equipment from locally within the last 12 months and they are both super helpful!
Finally, my friend Cami Turpin from Bluehill Images has created a wonderful guide, 'Fast Film: Expose the Creative Power of Instant Film' and is a steal at just US $35.
For the art appreciator
If art prints of the UAE might be on your radar then definitely take a look at these small businesses run by my photographer friends. Alex of Zoom and Bloom can often be found at Villa Margo and Marina Souq, as can Celine and Akemi of Tales of Dubai (who also have a website where you can order directly online). Finally, I couldn't miss an opportunity to mention by good friend Katarina Premfors who sells her UAE prints through MMG art gallery.
Fancy printing your photography lovers images yourself? Then head to Draft Frames online, where you can upload your images and have them delivered straight to your home. Draft is the sister brand to Drawdeck, who stock a wonderful range of wall art that is also definitely worth exploring.
Finally, if a magazine subscription might be up their street, take a look at Click Magazine and This Detailed Life Magazines. Both are jam-packed with beautiful images and inspirational articles; and what is better than a gift that keeps arriving at their front door throughout the year!
For the high achiever
For the high achieving photographer in your life, consider hooking them up with me for some photography mentoring. This past 12 months I have mentored a number of photographers from complete beginner to seasoned professional and with my background in learning and development this is part of my role that I absolutely love. I have three mentoring levels available depending on what might suit your budget the best and you can used the code 'news' for 15% off.
Every high achiever needs a few tricks up their sleeve. Look no further than the Lensbaby Omni wands! These are creative filters that can be used artistically to bring colour, magic and different effects to images. Plus you can get a 10% discount by using my friend Amy Ryan's Lensbaby ambassador code, 'wAMY'. Order quickly for pre-Christmas delivery; or print the details out and gift it as an 'its in the post' voucher!
Sign your photography lover up to my free 'Fused', 52-week challenge where the focus is on creating and sharing a double exposure a week, over 52 weeks. Taking part on Instagram, I have a wonderful group of photographers from all over the world committing to sharing their creations every Friday. Get in touch with me on Instagram to find out more.
Speaking of 'Fused', I also have a guide to double exposures that is a bargain at 200 dhs! Fused is aimed at all levels of photographer, from total beginner to professionals who might be keen to push their creativity in a new direction.
For the dreamer
For the dreamers I have three essentials:
1) A 'Now now' class subscription
2) A Lensbaby Velvet 28mm lens (remember you can use Amy Ryan's code wAMY for 15% off!)
3) 'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert
That is all. They will be set for life.
For the younger ones
This one is super simple! For budding junior photographers, you can't go wrong with an instant film Polariod camera. The one that I have is the I-type and Virgin Megastore have a ready-made package with film that you can order online.
An alternative to a Polaroid would be a Go Pro with a Telesin dome. The advantage of the dome is that it allows your daughter / son to nail those half inside / half outside images perfectly which you can't do with a Go Pro alone. Beyond the Beach have some great deals on older Go Pro's (Hero 7 or 8) and you can get the accompanying Telesin dome from Amazon (just ensure you purchase the correct dome for the right Go Pro model!).
For 10-13 year olds who are keen to learn photography, add your name to the GPP Kids Photography camp waiting list. These normally run over the summer period.
For the book lover
Currently next to my bed are:
'Find your voice' by Noor Unnahar,
'The Listening Path' by Julia Cameron
'Find your artistic voice' by Lisa Congdon,
Pilgrim Soul: creative thinking journal,
'Shine from within' and 'Along the way' by Nikki Banas,
'Home body' and 'Milk and Honey' by Rupi Kaur.
If in doubt, gift a Magrudy's gift voucher to your photography book loving lover!
For the course addict
This is totally me! I've done A LOT of courses over the years and my favourites by far have been 'The Family Historian' by Heather Robinson, 'Finding myself in portraits' by Rachel Larsen Weaver, 'The Creative Approach' by Ardelle Neubert and anything that Sarah Cornish and Yan Palmer have ever written.
On my wish list for 2022 would be:
- 'Written and Illustrated' by Amy Grace,
- Yan Palmer and Bec Griffiths' 'Naked Marketing School' and
- 'The Imperfectionist' by Jyo Bhamidipati.
For the accessory lover
I'm thinking camera straps, a new camera bag and magical creative toys?!
Here are a couple of ideas. If you're ordering from overseas, make a paper gift voucher for your photography lover with a little message saying 'arriving in the new year'!
Camera straps: I get all of my camera neck straps from Blue Bird Chic via Etsy. I love them because they are just so 'me', plus they are super comfortable around my neck, washable and connected so tightly to my camera body.
Camera bags: I have a 'professional' camera bag as well as a more casual one too. My pro one is a Benro 'Beyond' rucksack and it fits my two camera bodies + lenses, a spare lens and my film camera, plus it has lots of pockets for batteries, SD cards, film.
For something a lot more pretty, I have my eye on every. single. bag made by Epiphanie.
Underwater bag: your photography lover needs a Dicapac underwater bag in their life! I have been shooting with my Dicapac bag for around 3 years so far. I use my oldest camera body and the kit lens that came with my camera; because although this bag has never leaked in 3 years....you never know right.
For the adventurer
The most epic adventures (to me) are retreats, when I get to travel alone or with a friend for a few days away from my normal routine.
Retreats on my radar for 2022 are:
- Jesh de Rox's 'Kindred meditation' retreat (in fact I am booked for Goa in April, fingers crossed).
- Yan Palmer, Rachel Larsen Weaver and Adrienne Oliver's 'retreeeat' in August 2022
- Chandra Sandoval's 'finding wonder' retreats to Morocco, Tucson and Portland.
I shall keep dreaming that one day I'll make it to all of these!
Looking for a smaller adventure, closer to home, for your photography lover? Gift them a Gulf Photo Plus photowalk voucher and come and meet me in Bur Dubai or Al Qudra. Use the code 'wintergifts' for 15% off.
Finally, idea number 55.
Grab a Christmas stocking and fill it with potential photography props. I'm thinking dried flowers, glittery pom poms, seashells, a little mirror, a fan, a colourful umbrella, cling film, aluminium foil, a slinky, a colourful scarf, a prism.....all of these little things will definitely encourage creative thinking in your photography lover! (Thank you to my online friend Wendy Alweyn for this idea).
And that's a wrap! I would love to know what you end up purchasing for the photography lover in your life. And remember if you are feeling inspired by any of these ideas for yourself, send this article to your other half ;-)
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a creative 2022!