5 Gift Ideas for Portrait Photographers

5 Gift Ideas for Portrait Photographers

It is October already! Can you believe it? That also means the holidays are around the corner, and I'm sure many of you would love to receive some amazing camera gear or even treat yourself to something nice. In this article, I pick five items that would be ideal for any new or experienced portrait photographer. 


My first pick for this will be the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 lens. Of course, if you shoot with other systems, then you should be able to find the alternative options available. I love this lens and focal length for portraits, the shallow depth of field with beautiful bokeh, the fast response and focusing and light weight, which is perfect for on-the-go shooting. At the price point of $598, it is a bargain for the quality you receive. 

Of course, if given the chance, I would love an f/1.4 or f/1.2, but those lenses come at significant price increases, whereas the f/1.8 is a very good sweet spot. 

The Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 is a fantastic lens.


The Godox AD200 kit with trigger is an affordable, lightweight solution for off-camera flash. In this kit, you have a bulb head and speedlight head, which give you different types of light. You can go for more harsh direct light or combine either of these heads with softboxes, beauty dishes, etc. to really have fun and gain the effect you are striving for. 

For beginners, this kit is a great option that does not break the bank. If you have more money to play around with, however, and are an experienced photographer, you may want to consider the Profoto range of lights. 

Godox AD200 kit

Light Modifiers

As with flashes or other types of lights, there are plenty of choices available out there, and light modifiers comes under no exceptions. There are all kinds of modifiers you can use either on the go or in the studio. Whether you want a strip box, square box, octabox, or beauty dish, each one of these options is going to offer you a different look with your portraits. 

One thing to consider is different lights may require different brackets to attach your modifier, so please bear this in mind when making your choice. As I chose the Godox AD200 as my light, I originally combined this with the Godox softbox and bracket kit, which is an affordable option for beginners.

Godox Softbox and Bracket


If you prefer shooting in a studio environment, then backdrops can plan an important role in your day-to-day productions. As you are in a near fixed location, it is best to try different backdrops or fabrics to give your images that extra dimension. There are many types of backdrops to choose from, such as paper, canvas, fabric, and collapsible. All of them certainly have their uses, such as with paper backdrops, when they get too scrunched up or dirty, you can tear off that part and keep going, but it will run out eventually. 

Canvas and fabric are probably my favorites to choose from, as not only are they easy to use, but they also have great textures, which can really add depth to your images. I love the canvas backdrops from Westcott and in particular, this one called Grunge Concrete is very neat. 

Westcott Canvas - Grunge Concrete

Cleaning Kits

So, you have the camera already, you now have the lens, light, modifiers, and a backdrop. What else could you need? To be honest, a photographer is probably never done when it comes to buying stuff, especially with Gear Acquisition Syndrome. For my last choice, I have to go with the humble cleaning kit, as it is just something that every photographer must have!

Cleaning kits are often very affordable, and this one comes in a nice case, so it is very portable or handy in the studio. With shooting mirrorless, sensor swabs and a rocket blower are no doubt my most used items, so a kit like this is worth its weight in gold!

Cleaning Kit


That is my five gift ideas for portrait photographers. Whether you are a beginner to photography or an experienced photographer, there is something here for everyone.

What is on your wishlist this holiday season, or is there anything else that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below. 

Greg Sheard's picture

Greg Sheard is a Scottish based photographer, focusing on wildlife, landscape and portrait work. Greg's mission in life is too help those who suffer with mental health issues and be a voice for the millions of people around the world who need that care, attention and awareness.

Log in or register to post comments