7 Knick Knacks That Belong In Any Portrait Photographer's Stocking This Christmas

7 Knick Knacks That Belong In Any Portrait Photographer's Stocking This Christmas

Christmas is two weeks away and you are probably starting to panic about your lack of gift buying progress. Have no fear, Fstoppers is here! The stocking is a perfect opportunity to make your resident portrait photographer's Christmas magnificently jolly as there are so many wonderful little toys that fit into an oversized sock. In this post you will find an assortment of fantastic small pieces of gear that will stuff any photographer's heart full of joy this holiday season.

1. Mag-Mod

For Any photographer who regularly uses flash the Mag-Mod light modification system is a godsend. Personally, I was skeptical to begin with and felt that I was doing just fine with sheets of gels, a pair of scissors, and a roll of gaffer tape. I was wrong, this handy little kit is worth every penny as it makes a photographer's life much easier during a shoot when swapping gels in and out quickly offers tremendous benefit.

2.  A Justin Clamp

Justin clamps are one of those nifty little tools that most photographers have never heard of but can make everyone's life much better. They enable a photographer to attach a small light to a wide variety of surfaces and also can mount onto light stands to hold a reflector. Mine never leave my camera bag and have been lifesavers on more than one occasion. 

3.  Diffusion Material 

A sheet of white fabric? I must be kidding, right? Wrong! Diffusion sheets are amazing. Most photographers already have plenty of it built into reflectors or light modifiers but very few photographers actually have a nice big sheet of the stuff. Why is it so useful? Because it allows the photographer to create a giant light modifier in a pinch or they can use it to soften harsh unwanted light such as what may be coming through a massive window.

4. Sand Bags

Every portrait photographer I know purchases light stands and lights at some point. They almost never purchase sand bags making their photo sets considerably more dangerous than need be. A sand bag is cheap and offers a perfect gift that any portrait photographer will appreciate. Pro Tip: Don't fill the bag with sand before putting it in the stocking!

5. X-Rite Color Checker Passport

White balance management can often be a pain during a complex shoot. Most photographers end up just trying to get close then make the fix in post. That fix in post often is done by eye and rarely is perfectly accurate. A Color Checker Passport takes the guessing out of color management, it is a fantastic tool for helping photographers achieve accurate colors during every shoot. 

6. A Screen Calibrator

Another often forgotten aspect of a photographer's work flow is ensuring that their screen is accurately calibrated for editing photos for print. Many photographers don't bother investing in a tool to accurately calibrate their screen only to bemoan inaccurate colors when the time comes to print. Even an entry level screen calibrator can go a long way towards improving a photographer's workflow.

7. The Fstoppers Flash Disc

​Finally, the best is left for last! Most photographers truck around large modifiers from shoot to shoot but sometimes a photographer needs a simple diffuser to toss onto their lights that can be stuffed into a jacket pocket. The Fstoppers Flash Disc is the perfect light modifier for the situation that demands portability. It also comes with a built in grey card that can be used to set your white balance for ambient and artificial light.

Merry Christmas!

That's it! You are now done procrastinating, get out and finish that shopping so you can shed that Christmas stress! Instead you should be busy hanging out around the mistletoe. But first, don't hesitate to head down to the comments and share some of your best stocking stuffer ideas!


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Stephen Kampff's picture

Great ideas! Although while I always want more, I couldn't imagine buying somebody a sandbag for Christmas ha

Brian Simon's picture

What if you hide the real gift in the sandbag... another sandbag!

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Still trying to figure out how to marry MagMod and Flash Disk nicely.