5 Gift Ideas for Amateur Food Photographers

Happy Black Friday, American friends of Crustcrumbs.  Any amateur food photographers in your life?  A wife who wants to start a food blog?  A friend who takes pictures of all his meals?  Here are 5 Christmas gift ideas that any new foodie photographer will love.

1. A reflector!

I will write about this in another post very soon, but I think a reflector is one of the most important tools in a photographer’s kit.  A 5-in-1 reflector (gold, silver, white, black, and translucent) is very useful, especially when shooting with natural window light, when you want to bounce some of the light back onto the other side of your food.  You can get one for under $30, and you can use it to bounce light, block light, and filter harsh light.  You can also get a stand and arm, or you can do what I do and make John hold it for you.

Using a reflector in food photography

They come in all sizes.  Some collapse for easy storage.  Photojojo even sells a miniature reflector for $15 that can fit into your pocket, so you can bring it to restaurants and really annoy the waitstaff.

My own reflector is from Paul C. Buff.

2. A lens!

Nifty Fifty

If someone you know is just starting out in photography, you’ve probably heard them complaining that their camera + kit lens takes crappy pictures in low light.  One of the best bang-for-your-buck lenses you can buy is a 50mm 1.8 lens.  Nikon and Canon both have versions for around $100-125. This is the Nikon version. This is the Canon version.  You really can’t go wrong with this lens, and I think everyone should buy one when they are starting out in photography.  It’s not so great for taking pictures of groups of people indoors (unless you have a very large room), but for food it’s excellent.  It will give your photographer friend great bokeh (the blurry part of the image) and let in a lot more light than a standard kit lens.  With this lens, your happy gift receiver can put away their pop-up flash so they stop taking photos like Martha Stewart’s.

If you want to spend about 4-8 times more money, a macro lens is also a good idea (Canon) (Nikon).

3. A tripod!


This is really boring, but a good idea for food photography.  You can get a tripod for 20 bucks, and it will do an okay job, especially if you buy a remote trigger (to fit the camera model) or shutter release cable, which will reduce camera shake. Or, if you really love the gift receiver, you’ll buy them a good Manfrotto (don’t forget to buy a ball head to go with the tripod legs if you aren’t buying a complete tripod).

4. A camera bag!

epiphanie sydney epiphanie ginger epiphanie charlotte epiphanie lola epiphanie lyric

Great for bringing your camera around so you can take food photos everywhere you go!

I have 4 camera bags from Epiphanie, because I am an addict. They are awesome bags, and I don’t feel silly lugging a huge backpack everywhere that screams “THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF GEAR IN HERE!”  They also have men’s bags.  I have the London, and I get complimented on it every time I leave the house.  Some ladies also like Kelly Moore bags.

5. A copy of Lightroom!

lightrom screenshot

Bold statement here: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the best tool for editing photos.  Every digital photographer needs a copy of Lightroom.  If your photographer friend already has Lightroom, maybe buy them some editing presets (to make their photos look pretty), like VSCO or Pretty Presets.

Happy shopping!

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