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Christmas Wish List for Beginner Photographers

The holidays are swiftly approaching. This is a very exciting time for photographers! Before I started getting into photography, I never knew how to answer the question:

Renee, what do you want for Christmas?

Infact, I dreaded that question. I was never really into jewelry, makeup, or fashion, which eliminates a lot of girly gift options. Also, I always felt that I had all of the material items that I needed. Until, that is, I got involved in photography. There are SO many ‘toys’ for photographers!

Christmas is an extra special time for photographers, whether beginners or advanced. You just have to know what is out there! That is where I come in. Below is essentially a Christmas list that you can print off and distribute to your loved ones. They may look at you like a crazy person, but in the end you will come out of it much more prepared to take on the world with your camera!

1) 50 mm Lens

It is by no mistake that I listed the 50 mm lens lens first. If you don’t have a 50 mm lens yet, it is a total photography game changer. Prior to getting this lens, I was never super impressed with any of my pictures. They were always missing something– until a friend referred me to my 50 mm lens.  

A 50 mm lens is sometimes referred to as a “normal” lens, because it most closely mimics the way your eyes see the world. Since it is FIXED (doesn’t zoom in or out) at 50 mm, it basically perfects what it does. If you are ready to take the next step in your photography journey, the 50 mm auto-focus lens is non-negotiable. I absolutely love this lens and what it does for my portraits. Since I got this lens, I have people ask me constantly what camera/lens I use OR what professional photographer I hired!

Here is my lens, and a few others that have great reviews. These lenses are usually not too expensive, and I can’t repeat enough- you can NOT go wrong with this lens! This should be at the top of your list!

If you already have a 50 mm lens, I recommend adding a zoom lens to your list instead. I don’t use my zoom lens often, but when I do (for sports or nature) it is fantastic. 

2) External Flash

An external flash is one that you snap onto your camera, and can be angled in different directions. If possible, I try to avoid using a flash and adjust my camera settings.  With that said, there have been MANY times that the lighting is just too dark, and I need to add brightness. If you are getting more serious about photography, you need an external flash in your camera bag!

“My camera already has a flash!” You may be thinking as you get ready to exit out of this post. Just WAIT! The built-in flash in your camera is a bad option. Honestly, it provides such a direct burst of light that it dulls colors, flattens your image, and creates shadows. Here is an example of using the built-in flash vs. an external flash.

Those images speak for themselves! Here are some examples of external flashes with good reviews for you to add to your list!

3) Tripod

Do you have a tripod? If not, you should add it to your list. Even if you only use a tripod on occasion, it is great to have. I have used it several times when I want to be in a picture or when we do “in-home” photo booths for parties.

Two years ago we had family in from all over the country; unfortunately, my regular photographer was out of town! No problem- we went to our favorite outdoor spot and set up a tripod! I am in the above picture- cool huh?

Get Seasons | Desktop by Rebecca Stice as Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets

You can get some pretty affordable tripods, which I recommend if you are not using it often. Here are some options, including the tripod I have:

4) Photo Shoot Gear

If you are at all interested in doing some at home photo shoots to save money and avoid those awkward studio sessions, now is your time to ask for some gear!

What you will need to do your own photo shoot is:

  1. A backdrop
  2. A backdrop support system (to hold it up)

These are easy, affordable, and fun! It takes about 5 minutes to set up the support system (make sure you get one with clamps or purchase clamps), and attach the backdrop. There are SO many backdrops to pick from!

Take a look at these!

5) Other Great Items!

My biggest anxieties the night before a photo shoot or important event are :

  1. Did I charge my camera battery!?
  2. Do I have enough memory on my memory card!?
  3. Is everything I need in my camera bag!?

If you are getting more serious about photography, there are some other items that are great to have! Sometimes having ‘back-ups’ can help if you are in a bind. Great extra items include:

  • Extra camera battery 
  • Extra memory card
  • Waterproof camera bag

Just make sure before ordering any camera batteries or memory cards that they are for your camera model.

Lastly, if you don’t already have an Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop subscriptions (editing software), I absolutely recommend you getting one. These will take your photography to an entirely new level!

Happy Snapping!

Are you looking for more ideas for that special photographer in your life? Check out these 25 brilliant ideas at Veronica June Photography.

Now you are all set with your photography Christmas list. You are ready to start a great new year with improved pictures! What other items would you put on your photography Christmas list?

Make sure you check out some of my other posts on proper lens use, camera lens options, DIY photo shoots/photo booths and more!

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25 Genius Gift Ideas for the Photographer in Your Life! | Veronicajune Photography

Wednesday 6th of November 2019

[…] more great ideas for your favorite photographer, check out this Christmas Wish List for Beginner Photographers from my friend Renee at Golden Slumber […]


Tuesday 4th of December 2018

This is a great list. I agree 100% with you on the 50mm lens, my favorite lens ever! I am curious about the mirrorless camera, any experience with that? Smaller and lighter...I may put this on my Christmas list!


Tuesday 4th of December 2018

I have no experience with the mirrorless cameras, but I am also SOOOO curious!! I may just have to add that to my Christmas list too! :)

blair villanueva

Tuesday 13th of November 2018

Christmas season is the most important part of the year and having new photographs are a must. I need to update my photography skills and make it as a gig.


Monday 12th of November 2018

Love love love the tripod. And I own the 50 mm too...<3


Monday 12th of November 2018

I just ordered for a tripod last week from China. I can wait for it to arrive. Great list you got here.

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