What do street photographers really need? Give them a compelling scene, contrasting characters, and a stealth camera to capture it all, and they’re happy. While there aren’t really accessories that can make or break a street photographer’s ability to create, there are certainly things to make the workflow smoother, the load lighter, and the photos a little better. Let’s check out a few options you might consider gifting, below.
Lightweight and easily concealed, compact cameras are the preferred choice of street photographers. Unfortunately, these kinds of cameras aren’t always accessible, due to poor ergonomics, which is why a camera grip can be a great gift. By attaching a thumb or hand grip, it’s possible to make your compact camera tenable without sacrificing its stealth or functionality. Even if handling isn’t an issue, you might consider snagging a grip to make shooting feel a little more comfortable and secure.
Read More: Recommended Cameras for Street Photography
Compact cameras often lack a built-in optical or electronic viewfinder, which can be an issue for photographers who dislike LCD screens. Luckily, viewfinders can be easily affixed to most cameras to suit your compositional needs with discretion and efficiency. Just be sure to check your camera’s compatibility before purchasing.
If you are the type of gift-giver who loves to impress, it’s hard to beat a nice camera lens. Many street photographers regard a 35mm focal length as the “sweet spot” for lenses, if you are looking to kick off your search. You might also take inspiration from Leica’s Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH Lens, which features a fast f/2 maximum aperture and Leica’s superb optical quality. In fact, you might consider gifting this lens to a lucky M-mount camera user in your life.
We’re pivoting hard from luxe camera lenses to something far less expensive―camera straps. Straps can be a great gift, but it’s important to get the right one for your street photographer’s shooting style and personal preferences.
For example, Peak Design’s Cuff Camera Wrist Strap is great for photographers who prefer to keep their camera pocketed until it’s time to shoot. The low-profile wrist cuff and anchor link design makes alternating between handheld shooting and concealing incredibly easy, offering discreet security without some of the clumsiness of a traditional camera strap.
However, standard neck straps have a lot to offer street photographers, as well. You might consider BlackRapid’s Sport Breathe Camera Strap, which affords easy and fast access to your camera with its unique cross-body design. These straps are specifically designed for left or right- handed photographers, so be sure to order the correct one.
Speaking of securing your camera, a protective lens filter is a great gift for photographers looking to avoid some of the damage a lens might incur with the bump and grind of the streets and subways. You won’t even notice it’s on, but when you need it, you’ll be glad it’s there.
Bags and Pouches
If you really want to enjoy a full day of shooting, having a small, lightweight bag is key. Fanny packs have made quite a comeback in recent years and are a great gift option to consider for a street photographer. Whether you opt to wear it cross-body style or on your waist, you will have easy access to your camera and other essential gear.
Now is also a good time to mention dry pouches, which we recommend especially for the inclement weather of the spring and summer. They’re easy to tuck inside your bag and will protect your gear from a random summer storm, or the water bottle you didn’t close securely.
If having a dedicated camera bag isn’t your giftee’s style, you might consider getting a protective wrap instead. Wraps are great because they are flexible and adjustable, providing quick access to their contents. They also come in bright colors to find exactly what you’re looking for easily.
Theres nothing worse than having to cut a shoot short because you ran out of power. Power banks are useful even if you’re not a photographer, so gifting a nice one is sure to please.
Memory Card Cases
When you’re out for a day of shooting, it never hurts to have more than one memory card, which is why we think memory card cases make an excellent gift. You might consider this Ruggard case, which is compact and practical for a street photographer’s small everyday carry bag.
Film and Film Cameras
While we’ve talked a lot about products for digital shooters, film photography continues to be an extremely popular niche within the street-photography community. If you’re gifting to a film shooter, you can’t go wrong with a bulk order of their favorite film stock, and maybe a few experimental rolls that they would never think to buy. Used film cameras are another great gift for film newbies and pros alike. With so many quirky film cameras out there for not that much money, you can easily get your hands on something neat to spice up your photographer’s workflow.
If you’re a street photographer, what gifts would you like to receive? Let us know in the Comments section, below.