Let’s say you have a food photographer in your life and are looking for the perfect gift, but don’t know where to start. No worries, because among these gift ideas for food photographers and bloggers you’ll find something great for your friend.
Photography is expensive and you are afraid to break the bank to make a great gift. Good news for you is that you can easily find useful gifts for under 100$ that will make your foodie friend happy.
If you need a few ideas, then read on.
Gift ideas for food photographers and bloggers
In this article, you find a list of ideas that make useful gifts for your food photographers and food blogger friends.
The items I recommend you are all part of my collection of props and gear and I’m sure your friend will love them.
The author of this blog was not paid to write this post. All the links are NOT affiliated.
Linen napkins and aprons
Napkins are never enough, especially good quality ones. Napkins are important elements in a food photo and can be used in many different ways.
I always recommend purchasing linen napkins: linen is by far the best type of fabric for napkins, as it folds and drapes in a very nice way. On the contrary, cotton napkins look often staged and stiff.
My advice is to choose neutral shades – like grey or cream – or colors that are not too vivid – like pale pink – as they tend to steal the attention from the food and are more difficult to photograph.
Aprons are also a great gift idea, as they are very useful in photos with a human element.
You can easily find linen napkins on Etsy, H&M home or in any department store of your area. Often linen napkins are sold individually or in a set of 2, which is great as you don’t need many of the same color.
Cookbooks are a great source of inspiration for recipes, food photography and food styling. There are several titles that every foodie should own, but today I want to talk about three books that will help your friend developing great recipes.
“The Flavour Thesaurus” by Niki Segnit is a complete guide to the 99 most essential ingredients and their numerous flavour combinations. This book will help your friend understand why some ingredients combinations work great together, and which are the best pairings for each ingredient.
“Lateral Cooking” by Niki Segnit is more than a simple cookbook. Lateral Cooking is organised into 77 ‘starting-point’ recipes, including plenty of tips for substituting ingredients and reducing the phenomenal variety of world cuisine down to its bare essentials – and then building it back up again. The recipes in each chapter are arranged on a continuum, passing from one to another with just a tweak or two to the method or ingredients. This book will help your friend developing new recipes starting with a deep knoledge of the basics.
“Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat is divided into two parts: the first half of the book teaches the fundamentals of cooking through four elements (salt, fat, acid, heat), giving easy to understand scientific explanations. The second half has a list of 100 recipes and dozens of variations. The whole book features many illustrations and infographics. This book will help your friend developing great recipes using food science.
Food photography books
If your friend is a beginner food photographer, or simply loves to collect books on food photography, you should consider the books below.
“Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling” by Helene Dujardin is the first food photography book I bought. This book covers all the basics, like camera settings, composition techniques, use of light, food styling… It’s easy to understand and illustrated with many images that help the reader better understand the concepts. This book may be hard to find, since it was published in 2011, but if you manage to find a copy, it will definetly make your foodie friend happy.
“How to Photograph Food: Compose, Shoot, and Edit Appetizing Images” by Beata Lubas guides you through all the aspects of food photography, from camera settings to food styling. This book contains also basic notions on post processing with Lightroom and a very useful chapter on mindset. It’s a pleasure to browse this book and the beautiful photos of Bea Lubas are the cherry on top.
“Picture Perfect Food: Master the Art of Food Photography with 52 Bite-Sized Tutorials” by Joanie Simon contains 52 lessons on food photography with exercises, tips and tutorials. The lessons cover many topics, like composition, lighting, camera settings and useful tips on how to style tricky foods. I love that this book has one lesson per week, which makes it very approachable.
“Creative food photography: How to capture exceptional images of food” by Kimberly Espinel is the perfect book for food photographers that shoot manual mode and know the basics, but are looking for something more. This book doesn’t cover basic informations, but covers all the creative sides of food photography. Kimberly helps you to play with new ideas and grow in confidence as you discover your own unique style. This book is a must have for any intermediate food photographer.
Ceramic plates and bowls
Unique hand made pieces are a great gift idea for any food photographer. Cups, bowls, plates… The choices are endless.
Look for plain white matt pieces with small details and remember that, for food photography, smaller props are better than bigger ones.
My favourite evergreen pieces are 15-18 cm shallow bowls for soups or pasta, 12-15 cm dessert plates and pinch bowls (3-5 cm bowls for garnishes). If your friend loves to shoot large table scenes, consider buying a serving plate as they are the focus of this kind of photo.
You can find unique props on Etsy or at pottery shops in your area. Ceramists often offer private or group lessons: a voucher for a pottery class could also make a great gift for your friend.
Nordic Ware bundt pan
A bundt pan from Nordic Ware is a dream of every home baker.
These pans are quite expensive, but their quality and beautiful shapes worth every penny spent. They come in different shapes and sizes, so there is plenty of choice.
You can find Nordic Ware bundt pans in many department stores, kitchenware shops or on Amazon.
Cutting boards are multi purpose pieces: they can be used in process photos featuring cutted ingredients, as a serving platter or just to add a layer of interest under the hero dish.
Weathered wood cutting boards are a great option, as they tell a unique story. When in doubt, stay away from yellowish or reddish wooden cutting boards, as they tend to add an unwanted color cast.
If your friend prefers a clean and modern look, a marble cutting board will make a great gift.
If your friend is a cocktail fan or shoots beverages too, then a set of vintage glassware is something good to gift.
I recommend purchasing glasses that are common for many cocktails and to avoid too much detailed ones as they tend to be more memorable. Coupe glasses are my favourites, but there are many other shapes to choose from. Thin-walled glasses are the most beautiful, but they tend to be more expensive.
You can find unique vintage glassware in any flea market and antique store of your area or on Etsy, but if you are not a fan of second-hand objects, there are many brands that sell new vintage inspired glassware.
Useful accessories for food photographers
These are accessories that any food photographer needs. You can easily find all the articles below on Amazon or in any large electronics store.
A spare camera battery
If you know which camera your friend uses, a spare camera battery could be a useful gift.
There is nothing worse for a food photographer than losing the perfect photo because the camera battery is dead. Here is when a spare camera battery comes to the rescue. You can easily find spare batteries on the camera manufacturer’s website.
SD cards are never enough, especially if your food photographer friend is also a traveller.
Mine are all from SanDisk of around 16-64 GB, because I prefer purchasing them with less storage capacity in case they are lost or corrupted. At the moment, SanDisk “Extreme Pro” memory cards the best options.
A photographer tends to collect many GB of files in one year of work, so hard drives are always a great gift idea.
As I said for SD cards, it is better to choose hard drives with less storage space because fewer images would be lost in case of loss or damage.
Heavy duty clamps
Food photographers are often alone in the studio, so clamps are an excellent way to get a couple of extra hands for a few dollars. They are useful to hold reflectors or diffusers and to keep your backgrounds in place.
Hope you found something interesting among these gift ideas for food photographers and bloggers. Do you have any ideas you’d like to add? What would you like to receive?