Drone World Photography Articles

Drone Photography Business Ideas

drone photography business ideasImage Credit: stevanovicigor via iStock

When I think of drone photography, my mind immediately gravitates to the beautiful aerial photos and videos of landscapes that I see all over the internet.

And while starting a drone-based landscape photography business would be my first choice, it certainly isn't the only thing you can do with a drone to make money as a photographer.

In fact, there is a surprising array of very different photographic pursuits that you can undertake with a drone.

In addition, there's also plenty of non-photography related drone photography business ideas out there as well.

If you're itching to start a new business with your drone, you might consider one of the following three ideas.

Drone Photography Business Ideas: Real Estate Photography

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The manner in which people look for homes has totally changed over the last couple of decades.

Where in the 1990s people were most likely to go into a realtor's office and make an appointment to see homes, today, people hop on their phones and look at online listings.

That being the case, realtors have put a lot of time and money into perfecting their photography and videography skills to put the best foot forward in online listings.

But realtors are as busy as they come, and with those hectic schedules, they often need to hire photographers to handle the photo-taking and videography aspect of listing a property for sale.

That's where you and your drone come in...

By contracting with realtors in your area, you can build a solid drone photography business by simply providing photography and videography services.

Learn More:

Home Inspections

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A related real estate drone business to consider is offering home inspections.

The inspection process looks at every aspect of the home from the foundation up to the chimney.

Granted, some items that need to be inspected are easier to access than others, which is why having a drone can be so helpful.

Using a drone like the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition, you can quickly, easily, and safely inspect the roof, windows, chimneys, and other features that are high off the ground.

Even better, with a drone you can offer inspection services for multi-story homes, apartment buildings, condos, and the like, too.

Learn More:

Commercial & Industrial Inspections 

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Single-family and multi-family homes aren't the only structures that need to be inspected.

There are plenty of opportunities in the commercial and industrial realms to start a successful drone photography business.

For example, you could offer inspection services for commercial properties like high-rise buildings or warehouses.

As another example, you could focus on providing inspection services for things like bridges, wind turbines, and mobile phone towers.

Each of these types of properties need to be inspected on a regular basis, but due to their height and size, it's difficult (and dangerous) for people to do so directly.

Again, armed with the right kind of drone, you can offer detailed inspection services at a price that will save your clients money and keep everyone out of harm's way at the same time.

Speaking of the right drone, if you ask me, the ideal rig for a commercial drone business is the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition by Drone World.

This custom-designed kit has everything you need to start a drone photography business, from the Inspire 2 drone to an enhanced helical antenna with extended reception, a Zenmuse X4S 360-degree 4K gimbal camera, propellers, and camera filters.

What's more, this kit also includes four TB50 intelligent flight batteries, a  four-battery charging hub, a 64GB memory card and reader, a 10,400mah portable battery bank, a controller sunshade for unobstructed views as you fly, and an awesome hard case to carry it all in.

If this all sounds impressive, it is...

The folks at Drone World spent months designing this kit for the ultimate in flight experiences.

This is no weekender drone to enjoy at the park once a month - instead, this is a professional drone that's specifically designed for pilots that need the ultimate in performance.

With multiple tracking modes that allow the drone to follow a particular subject, a tap-to-fly feature for quick liftoffs, a return-to-home feature that ensures the drone gets back to you safely, and other high-tech gadgetry, I can think of no better drone to rely on when starting a drone photography business!

See the Inspire 2 Eagle Edition in action in the video above, or visit Drone World to learn more.

Learn More:

How to Start a Drone Photography Business

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I recently wrote an article about how to start a drone photography business, and in it, I outlined some of the critical factors you need to consider when doing so. They include:

  • Getting certified as a drone pilot
  • Learning about regulations governing drone flights
  • Determining the structure of your business
  • Getting the proper gear

Checking off each item on that short list will help you get your business going in the right direction and help you flourish as a drone photographer.

But don't forget that there is increasing competition amongst drone photography businesses because drones are becoming more and more affordable.

That means that you are sure to face more and more competition as the years go by.

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To ensure you continue to get clients, you need to focus on your branding and marketing strategy such that your unique selling proposition is front and center with the buying public.

On the one hand, this means having a consistent message about who you are, what you do, and what your company is all about.

On the other hand, this also means setting yourself apart from the crowd in some way.

To do so, focus on your unique talents, skills, or training, explain to customers why the drones you use are better than all the rest, find a niche - like real estate photography or mapping and surveying - and become the top provider of that service in your area.

The point is that you can't expect clients to come flocking your way simply because you've started a business and have an awesome drone.

Instead, continually work to get better, fine-tune your marketing, and make a concerted effort to create a brand with which customers can identify and trust.



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Drone Photography Business Tips

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Starting a photography business is tough work, but if you follow a well-laid-out plan, you can find success sooner rather than later.

The key to a successful business of any kind is spending the time to plan and prepare, that way when you're ready to open your doors, you already have a solid business foundation upon which to grow.

Here's a few critical drone photography business tips to help you create the solid foundation you need to be successful.

Determine Your Pricing Structure Ahead of Time

Before you even publish your website or start handing out business cards, you need to figure out how you'll charge your clients for your services - and how much you'll charge them as well.

How much you charge will depend on a lot of factors that are specific to your business, like how much overhead you have and how much the market in your local area is willing to pay for aerial photography services.

But how you charge your clients is far less specific. When you break it down, there's two highly common ways that a drone photography business charges its customers.

Charge By the Hour

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Charging by the hour is an attractive option because you get paid for how much time you spend on the job.

As a very simplified example, if it usually takes you two hours of flight time to get the photos you need for a real estate shoot and another two hours to edit those photos, and you want to make $800, you'd need to charge $200 per hour to meet your income goal.

But if you end up spending five hours on the project, you would earn another $100 for that extra time.

This helps protect you from putting in tons of overtime without compensation. Of course, it also means that if there's a lot of overtime involved, you might have unhappy clients on your hands.

Give Clients a Custom Quote

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The other option here is to price your drone photography services based on each job.

Custom quoting might sound easy to do - you look at the project requirements and offer the client a price estimate to get the job done.

However, custom quoting can get a little complicated because you have to be absolutely sure how long it will take you to complete each aspect of the job. If you don't, you could find yourself working many more hours than you expected, but without compensation for that time.

The key to custom quoting is to not corner yourself with a specific amount.

Instead, lay out your fees for each aspect of the project using a range of pricing.

For example, rather than saying that you charge $50 for each edited image, offer your clients a price range, say $50-$75 per edited image.

Doing so gives you a little leeway and income protection because not every image takes the same amount of time to edit.

It's important to note that when you offer a custom quote that the final price range not be overly wide. Clients don't want to get a quote that ranges from $1,000-$3,000.

Instead, offer them a more defined quote, say $1,500, with the caveat that the price range might be $1,400-$1,600.

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Find Your Niche

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When starting a drone photography business, it might seem like a good idea to try to be everything to everyone.

However, that's usually the worst thing you can do. Jack of all trades, master of none, right?

The great thing about drone photography is that there are many different business ideas for you to pursue.

You can specialize in real estate photography, aerial inspections, or wedding photography, just as three examples.

By finding your niche and specializing in a specific area of drone photography, you'll have an easier time developing your expertise in the field. You'll also have an easier time marketing yourself because you'll have a very specific area of expertise to offer clients.

Just imagine trying to market yourself as the best real estate and wedding photographer in your area...it just won't work!

Develop a Marketing Plan

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In today's day and age, it might seem like if you have a website, a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel that you'll be swarmed with people ready to hire you.

And while all of those things are important to have, just being online doesn't mean that you'll connect with people that need the services you offer.

In addition to having a strong online presence, you also need to "pound the pavement" and get your name and face out amongst the people in your area.

That might mean attending a local trade show, joining the Chamber of Commerce, or seeking out partnerships with other local businesses to increase awareness of your business.

The point is that you need to cast a net that's specific to your local area as well as one that's a bit more far and wide.

To do that, your marketing plan should make use of "old school" tactics like rubbing elbows with local business people as well as "new school" tactics like targeted ads on Facebook.

Learn More:

Get Geared Up

Of course, one of the most important tasks ahead of you as you build your drone photography business is to get geared up with a drone that will allow you to accomplish your business goals.

And while some people recommend that you start small and work your way up to a more capable, professional-grade drone, I have a different take on it.

Are smaller, consumer-grade drones easier to fly? Sure. That makes the task of becoming a better pilot and drone photography easier as well.

However, why spend money on a drone that you know won't be up to the task down the road?

Instead, you might as well get a drone that will be a long-term investment for the future of your business.

From my point of view, the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition by Drone World ticks all the boxes for doing just that.

Drone World designed this kit with commercial drone photographers in mind.

That means that this is no child's toy - this is a serious piece of machinery that you can depend on to help you grow your business.

The Inspire 2 Eagle Edition has an upgraded HD Helical Antenna that gives you four-times better performance than previous models.

In other words, with the improved signal, you not only get to fly the drone farther but you also get 720p resolution with virtually no latency.

On top of that, this antenna ensures improved control over the drone, even at greater distances. That means you can offer your clients a higher standard of safety. Who wouldn't want that?

This thing is loaded for bear with tons of accessories that will help you take better photos and videos for your clients, too.

Just consider this list of goodies that's included with this drone:

  • A polarizing filter that minimizes glare and boosts contrast in the sky
  • A variable neutral density filter that allows you to slow the shutter for ultra-smooth videos
  • A dual-stacked neutral density/polarizing filter
  • A 240GB CINESSD card
  • A 64GB memory card
  • Two batteries for extended flying time
  • A battery hub and charger
  • A controller sunshade

You even get an awesome hard case to transport your drone and all these accessories.

As we all know, in photography, it isn't the gear you use, it's how you use your gear.

If you don't know what you're doing, a top-end drone isn't going to magically turn you into a great drone photographer.

However, if you put in the time and effort to learn how to pilot a drone and improve your skills as a photographer, a drone like the Inspire 2 Eagle Edition will certainly get you farther as you build your drone photography business!



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Everything You Need to Know About the DJI Mavic 2

dji mavic 2 reviewYouTube Screenshot/DJI

DJI released its Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom drones today, and early indications are that they are likely DJI's most advanced drones to date.

With these two new models, DJI has effectively given its most popular drone double-duty, with the Mavic 2 being the more direct successor to the Mavic Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom being a special bonus for pilots and photographers that need a drone-based camera with more reach.

Here's the scoop on both drones.

DJI Mavic 2 vs DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

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Perhaps the most exciting feature on the Mavic 2 is its onboard Hasselblad camera.

The camera has a one-inch 20MP CMOS sensor, which is the exact same one found in the Phantom 4 Pro.

mavic 2 in flight

The camera's lens has an aperture range of f/2.8-f/11, which offers excellent variability for taking photos in low-light situations.

The camera even has professional color profiles for video which will make it easier for videographers to adjust their footage as they see fit in post-processing.

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Meanwhile, the Mavic 2 Zoom is geared more towards pilots that seek more versatility with the lens's zoom capabilities.

The Mavic 2 Zoom does that with a lens that shoots from 24mm to 48mm in 12MP photos.

Though the images have less resolution than those with the 20MP camera on the Mavic 2, DJI claims that its super resolution mode on the Mavic 2 Zoom allows you to overcome that in some regards by taking nine photos and creating one 48MP image with them.

The Zoom has a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor as well.

See the Mavic 2 Zoom in action in the video above by COOPH.

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Shared Features of the Mavic 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom

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Both of these rigs have a top speed of 44 miles per hour with a flight time of up to 31 minutes.

Each drone has 10 obstacle-avoiding sensors, too, which will likely come in handy when flying at that 44 mph top speed.

mavic 2 zoom in flight

To aid in better flying, DJI has upgraded its excellent image transmission system to OcuSync 2.0, which gives you a live 1080p feed via your phone to the remote from up to nearly five miles away. 

On top of that, both the Mavic 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom shoot 4K video at up to 100MB per second. There's 8GB of onboard storage which is expandable by adding a microSD card to the fold.

mavic 2 folded

Each one has new shooting modes, too, which allow you to shoot hyperlapse videos in-camera. Add to that improved subject tracking software as well.

Happily, both drones still fold up neat and tidy like the original Mavic Pro.

For more details on both the Mavic 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom, check out the video above by DJI.

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DJI Mavic 2 and Mavic 2 Zoom Pricing and Availability

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Clearly, DJI has positioned the new iterations of the Mavic to be a mid-range option in their lineup.

The DJI Spark is a fine entry-level option while the Mavic Air is solidly in the mid-range area. That means that these new Mavic 2 drones now occupy the space between the Mavic Air and the Phantom.

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In fact, the Mavic 2 drones probably resemble the Phantom more than any other DJI drone, at least in terms of their features and capabilities.

Of course, all that prosumer-level tech is crammed into a tiny form factor that makes it as portable as its predecessor.

But, all that technology comes at a price. The Mavic 2 Zoom starts at $1,249, and the Mavic 2 Pro starts at $1,499.

Learn More:

Via DJI and The Verge



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How to Start a Drone Photography Business

drone photography business

Where just a few years ago, drones were a novelty item that only wealthy people (or the military) could afford, today there is a market ripe with high-quality, feature-packed drones at affordable prices.

That means that drones are becoming a more and more important aspect of photography, and to a larger extent, our society and economy as well.

With the growing popularity of drones and the increasing uses for them for making money, it makes sense to think about starting a drone photography business.

But before you go out and buy a drone and start advertising your services, there's a few things you should know...

First Things First: Get Certified

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If you've got a little drone you fly around for fun, there's regulations to follow (like how high you can fly), but you don't need any kind of certificate or license to do so.

That's not the case if you're flying a drone for commercial purposes.

Before you ever take flight with your drone, you need to first take part in an FAA-approved training program. Specifically, you need to have a Remote Pilot Certificate to fly drones commercially.

According to the FAA, there are numerous requirements you must meet in order to get the certificate. These include:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
  • Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center

The FAA provides study materials and links to relevant resources if you follow the link above.

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As part of this process, you'll also need to register your drone with the FAA to be in compliance with the FAA's Part 107 rules for UAVs.

Furthermore, you'll want to complete the FAA's Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA).

The purpose of IACRA is to help you navigate the airman application process and ensure you've met all relevant regulatory and policy requirements for flying a commercial drone.

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Learn About Drone Regulations

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Not only are drone regulations important for your safety and the safety of others on the ground, but they're also important for your business so you're sure to be on the right side of the law at all times.

That includes keeping abreast of local, state, and federal regulations that govern the use of commercial drones.

The FAA's Part 107 guideline is an excellent resource for learning about you can and cannot do with your drone.

For example, Part 107 stipulates that:

You can fly during daylight or in twilight (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting. Minimum weather visibility is three miles from your control station. The maximum allowable altitude is 400 feet above the ground, and higher if your drone remains within 400 feet of a structure. The maximum speed is 100 mph (87 knots). You can’t fly a small UAS over anyone who is not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, or not inside a covered stationary vehicle. No operations from a moving vehicle are allowed unless you are flying over a sparsely populated area.

Naturally, understanding the limits that are placed on you as a commercial drone pilot will help you maintain a safe record and build a solid reputation as a professional pilot.

Determine Your Business Structure

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Another key component of starting a drone photography business is determining how your business will be structured.

That is, will you be a sole proprietor, an LLC, an S-corporation or something else?

A sole proprietorship is the easiest to create, but leaves you open to any debt or legal obligations that arise from your business.

An LLC, on the other hand, is a little more complex to set up, but it protects you from personal liability in many cases. Additionally, you can pass profits and losses through your personal income without paying corporate taxes, which can be a huge advantage come tax time.

S-corporations and other types of corporations are by far the most complex business structures that are usually reserved for high-risk businesses, businesses that need to raise capital, or businesses that will eventually go public and have shareholders.

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Whatever structure you elect to use, you also need to zero in on the types of drone services you will offer. 

That is, will you specialize in high-end real estate photography and videography or focus on aerial mapping services for farmers?

Do you want to establish yourself as a drone instructor to teach others how to fly and take photos with drones or become a drone filmmaker?

Finding a niche is important when starting a business of any kind as that will help you gain footing and build a reputation for that specific kind of drone photography business.

Get Geared Up

drone world inspire 2 eagle

Of course, you can't have a drone business without a drone...

The great thing about drones is that there are so many available today. That can be a double-edged sword, though, because with such a vast selection, it can be difficult to figure out what drone would be best for your business.

I've got a recommendation that will help you narrow the field and zero in on one of the best drone packages that's available today: it's the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition Kit from Drone World.

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To say that this drone kit is legit is a massive understatement.

Designed by Drone World specifically for prosumers and commercial applications, the Eagle Edition Kit offers the kind of performance and features that any commercial drone pilot would want.

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That includes a new HD Helical Antenna (shown above) that gives you four-times better performance - a must-have when your reputation as a great pilot is on the line.

Thanks to its improved performance, you can enjoy 720p resolution with minimal latency, as well as enhanced safety. In other words, you get more consistent and reliable video from your drone while also being able to fly with greater safety and confidence.

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You'll also appreciate the fact that this kit comes with a variety of filters that help you enhance your photos and videos.

That includes a polarizing filter for minimizing glare and maximizing contrast in the sky, a variable neutral density filter that allows you to slow the shutter down to get dreamy, cinematic shots, and two dual-stacked neutral density/polarizing filter combinations that give you the best of both worlds.

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And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Consider this incredible list of goodies that's included in this kit:

  • Two batteries with a battery hub and charger for simultaneous charging
  • A 240GB CINESSD Card
  • A 64GB memory card
  • A controller sunshade
  • An Apple Lightning/USB cable
  • A portable battery charger
  • A mini FPV drone just for fun 

drone world inspire 2 eagle case

Also included in the kit is the awesome hard wheeled case shown above.

The case will accommodate all your gear, including up to 16 batteries, a battery charger, up to three camera lenses, a remote, a monitor, and of course, the Inspire 2 drone.

The case is built like a tank, too, with ultra-tough synergy base foam to protect your gear and a waterproof design to keep it dry.

In other words, if you're thinking about venturing into the world of commercial drone photography, get certified to fly, learn about relevant regulations, set up your business, and then get outfitted with a drone that is purpose-built for commercial flying like the Drone World Inspire 2 Eagle Edition. Learn more about this awesome rig in the video above.

There are certainly other steps involved in starting a business, but these will help you get off on the right foot.

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Introduction to Drone Photography

introduction to drone photographyImage Credit: Alla Simacheva via iStock

If you haven't joined the drone photography revolution, you're behind the times, my friend!

Drones aren't just a gimmick or a toy - they are legitimate photography workhorses that allow you to create photos from a completely different perspective.

That makes them a valuable tool for any photographer...

If you're ready to take the leap and start using a drone, consider this introduction to drone photography an ideal place to start!

Editor's Tip: I use the DJI Mavic Airas an example drone in this article because it's an ideal combination of portability, size, features, and price for beginner drone photographers.

Introduction to Drone Photography: The RAW Rule Still Applies

aerial view of blue river in the mountains picture id853210602Image Credit: Oleh_Slobodeniuk via iStock

Ask any photographer what the best image format is, and they'll tell you RAW.

Sure, JPG files take up way less room on a memory card, but that's because JPGs are compressed, which means they lose some of the data collected by the camera's sensor.

When it comes time to process your drone photos, you want all the data possible to make processing easier. That's precisely what RAW does.

What's more, since drones have lower-resolution cameras (i.e., the DJI Mavic Air has a 12-megapixel camera), you need to preserve as much of the detail it captures as possible.

So, when you unpack your drone and start setting it up, one of the first things you should do is set it up to shoot in RAW format.

Drone Photography Tip: Use the HDR Feature

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The chances are good that when you're flying your drone, you'll encounter challenging lighting conditions at some point.

Primarily, scenes with a lot of dynamic range (the range of values from bright to dark) are difficult for any camera to overcome.

That's where HDR comes in.

HDR photos are actually composites of several different photos, each one taken in rapid-fire fashion using different exposure settings.

So, your drone will take a photo that's exposed for the highlights, another that's exposed for the midtones, and another that's exposed for the shadows.

Then, all those images are combined into one shot that's well-exposed throughout the range of light values.

Better still, drones like the DJI Mavic Air have highly advanced HDR algorithms that help you get the perfect exposure settings according to the available lighting.

That is, you don't have to make a ton of adjustments to get a well-exposed image - the drone does it intelligently!

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Make the Most of the Drone's Lens

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Typically, drones have wide-angle lenses, which makes them perfect for landscape photography from the sky.

For example, the DJI Mavic Air has a 24mm f/2.8 lens that's ideal for capturing sweeping views of the landscape below.

Since wide-angle lenses have a wider field of view, that means that you can capture more of the scene in one shot than you can with a standard or telephoto lens.

When creating wide-angle shots like these, it's important to have a strong subject that draws the attention of viewers - otherwise the photo might look a little empty or viewers might be confused as to where they're supposed to look.

drone photography tipsImage Credit: Orbon Alija via iStock

Additionally, play with the perspective from which you take drone photos.

That is, not everything has to be taken from 50 feet in the sky...

Hover your drone 10 feet up, 20 feet up, 30 feet up, and so forth, taking sample images as you go. Then compare the results to see which altitude and point of view best helps you to capture the subject.

Editor's Tip: Drones can be heavily modified to make them even better tools for photography. See how you can turn the DJI Mavic Air into your ultimate photography machine.

Watch Those Camera Settings

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Drone cameras allow you to manipulate all kinds of camera settings when you shoot in manual mode (which you should definitely do).

To improve the quality of your images, try to shoot at the lowest ISO possible whenever possible.

Since higher ISO values are associated with increased digital noise in photos, keeping the ISO low (i.e., 100 or 200) will help you get cleaner-looking shots.

Something else to consider is the shutter speed that you use.

Many drones have a wide range of shutter speeds (i.e., 8 seconds to 1/8000 seconds on the DJI Mavic Air) that allow you to completely change how your photos look.

Naturally, the longer the shutter speed, the more motion blur that will appear, which is great for creating dreamy landscapes with beautifully blurred clouds or water.

On the other hand, to freeze motion (and to minimize camera shake), choosing a faster shutter speed is advisable.

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You Don't Need a Top-of-the-Line Drone

dji mavic air specs

Just like some photographers do when they shop for a traditional camera, they think that buying the biggest, most expensive drone is the key to mastering drone photography. That's just not the case!

While it would be awesome to have a DJI Inspire 2, not all of us can afford one.

That's why the DJI Mavic Pro is such a great option for beginner drone photographers.

Not only does the Mavic Pro have all the features you need to take better photos - a great sensor, a capable lens, manual camera controls, and so forth - but it's also got a price that many people can afford.

For less than $800, you can get the Mavic Air, a foldable remote, a battery, battery charger, power cables, 8 propellers, propeller guards, a carrying case, and more. That's not a bad deal at all!

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But don't think that because this is one of DJI's more affordable drones that you don't get tons of awesome features...

Instead, the DJI Mavic Air specs are quite impressive. There's 8GB on onboard storage for all the photos you take, and the drone's camera is capable of shooting 4K video at 30fps to go along with all the still images you take.

In fact, the Mavic Air's camera records at 100MBPS, which is a higher bitrate than the more expensive Mavic Pro!

The three-axis gimbal is a fantastic feature, too, as it helps stabilize the camera for cleaner, crisper, and sharper photos and videos.

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The Mavic Air can speed through the skies at 42.5 MPH, has a one-touch return to home feature, and sports a 21-minute flight time.

It's also easy to maneuver and control because DJI has packed this thing with tons of futuristic features like hand gesture controls for taking off and taking photos.

In fact, the Mavic Air sports something called ActiveTrack, which can sense up to 16 selectable subjects at the same time so you can choose the subject you want to track on the fly.

You can see these and other amazing features of this drone in the video above by Drone World.

In other words, getting started in drone photography doesn't have to be difficult or complicated.

If you adhere to the basic rules of photography, get a drone that makes learning how to fly a simpler and easier process, and practice your craft often, I think you'll find that drone photography might come pretty naturally to you!

All you can do is try it out, right?



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Tips for Starting a Real Estate Photography Business

how to start a photography businessImage Credit: Creative-Family via iStock

Starting a photography business is a difficult task, but in today's world in which we have vast arrays of applications of photography (and technologies to do it with), there's more opportunities than ever to put your photography skills to use in a business setting.

One aspect of photography that's really taken off - pardon the pun - is drone photography.

Drones are no longer prohibitively expensive, so even beginners can buy a drone with a highly capable camera and put it to use.

And of the best applications for drone photography in the business realm is real estate.

That being the case, here's a few crucial tips to keep in mind when starting a real estate photography business.

Plan and Prepare

photography business tipsImage Credit: TLFurrer via iStock 

Like anything, developing a solid real estate photography business requires that you spend a great deal of time planning and preparing. That means tackling things like:

  • Developing a business plan that outlines your startup costs, your target market, the type of business you wish to form, your business name, and so forth.
  • Establishing a legal business to protect your personal assets should you be sued or the business goes under.
  • Registering for taxes and opening a business bank account that's separate from your personal bank account.
  • Developing your business brand and devising a marketing strategy, including advertising, creating social media accounts, and having a website.

Of course, starting a new business requires much, much more than the short bulleted list above, but these represent some crucial first steps to take if you want to build something successful.

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Get Some Practice

remote controller picture id1010677822Image Credit: @jansmartino via iStock 

Naturally, you also want to prepare yourself to be a high-quality drone photographer and pilot, and that means practicing, and practicing a lot.

Though the idea is obviously the same, drone photography requires many more hard skills to master than simply picking up a DSLR and taking photos from your eye level.

Even if you've got some experience in using drones for photography, it's still important to:

  • Practice flying in an open area - like a field - away from people, homes, and other potential hazards.
  • Defer to other aircraft when flying, and obey all FAA regulations regarding drone flights. Also be sure to register your drone with the FAA.
  • Avoid flying in bad weather to protect your drone and minimize the possibility of wind, rain, and other elements causing a crash.
  • Practice both still photography and videography, as both will come in handy for marketing yourself as a real estate photographer. That includes learning the best angles and flight paths as well as learning the best camera settings to get the best shots.

Again, there's a lot more to becoming a master drone pilot and drone photographer, but knocking each of the above items off your to-do list will certainly help! 

Learn More:

Get a Drone That's Up to the Task

Before you can practice your craft as a real estate drone photographer, you need to equip yourself with a drone that's up to the daily task of real estate photography.

I think I have just the drone for that...

The DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition by Drone World is as impressive a drone as I've seen, and with its robust set of features and add-ons, it's one of the best drones for commercial use on the market today.

That's because Drone World designed this kit with prosumers and commercial drone photography in mind. That means it has the ultimate in performance and features that a commercial drone pilot could want.

For starters, this rig has a new HD Helical Antenna that offers four-times better performance.

That means you can fly the drone farther and with greater confidence because of a stronger signal.

That also means that you get to enjoy 720p resolution with minimal latency as well as improved control over the drone for increased safety.

What client wouldn't want a pilot that has better control and can fly safer when the drone is hovering over their home?!

The Inspire 2 Eagle Edition has all the bells and whistles that will help you take the most impactful real estate photos and videos, too.

That includes a filter kit with a polarizing filter that helps minimize glare and boost contrast in the sky. Also included is a variable neutral density filter that gives you the ability to slow the shutter for gorgeously smooth cinematic videos.

As if that's not enough, Drone World has even thrown in a dual-stacked neutral density/polarizing filter combination so you get the best of a polarizer and neutral density filter in one.

Add in a 240GB CINESSD card, a 64GB memory card, two batteries for extended flying time, a battery hub and charger, a controller sunshade, and more, and you have the makings of one heck of a commercial drone bundle!

That's not to mention that this kit even comes with the awesome hard-sided case shown above that gives you a way to easily and safely transport your gear from one appointment to the next!

That means that Drone World really has thought of everything to help you get your drone photography business off the ground.

You get a fantastic, highly-capable drone, all the accessories you need to create high-quality photos and videos, and loads of features that make creating photos and videos an easier process.

What's not to like about that?!

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Final Thoughts

drone photography business tipsImage Credit: Mark Brooks via iStock 

Planning, preparation, practice, and getting the right gear are just a few of the steps you'll need to take when developing a drone photography business.

But like anything else, your success will depend not just on your skill and talents as a photographer, but on your ability to market yourself, meet deadlines, have positive interactions with clients, and so forth.

Drones offer real estate photographers all sorts of benefits, from being able to show the entire property in one frame to being able to inspect the quality of the roof to providing a unique and eye-catching way to document a property.

That being the case, it only makes sense to consider drone photography for real estate as a top choice for a drone photography business.



We Recommend


Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $2,500 - 2018 Edition

gifts for photographers under 2500Image Credit: Linda Raymond via iStock

One of the great things about shopping for a photographer is that there are virtually endless possibilities of gifts you can get them.

That's especially true with a budget of $2,500...

From computers to cameras, lenses to drones, printers to giant canvas prints, and lots of things in between, you can give a thoughtful and functional photography gift this holiday season.

Here are our top picks for gifts for photographers under $2,500.

Lensfinder

Let’s face it - photography gear can be expensive. Really expensive.

That’s a problem year-round, but when you’re holiday shopping and have tons of gifts to buy, it’s even more difficult to justify getting your loved one the $1,000 lens that they really want.

Fortunately, Lensfinder can help in more ways than one.

On the one hand, you can find great deals on pre-owned camera lenses at Lensfinder. 

That means that you can get a truly top-notch lens for the photographer in your life but do so without busting your budget. It’s a win-win!

On the other hand, if you have some old lenses that you don’t use anymore, you can list them for sale on Lensfinder. When the lens sells, you can use it for holiday spending money for the photographer in your life. 

Image Credit: xxmmxx via iStock

The best part? You can list your lenses for sale for free. 

There’s only a transaction fee (just 3.99%) when the lens sells (with a maximum fee of $500). If your lens doesn’t sell, there’s no charge at all!

And for peace of mind, the Lensfinder platform has advanced fraud filtering for both buyers and sellers as well as mediation services in the event that there’s a problem.

Payments are made and received via PayPal, so you can rest easy knowing that the transaction is safe and secure.

In other words, Lensfinder is the ideal solution for your holiday shopping needs. Either use it to find a loved one a killer lens or use it to sell old gear to pad your pockets for holiday spending!

Learn more about Lensfinder

Nikon D750

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One of the things that many photographers don’t like about photography is that cameras can be quite spendy, especially for higher-end full frame rigs.

But there are ways that you can help your favorite photographer get the gear upgrade they want by buying previous models of top-shelf cameras. 

The Nikon D750 is the perfect gift idea this holiday season not only because it offers great performance, but because it has been updated with new models a few times now, it can be found for a good price. 

In fact, Paul’s Photo has D750s in stock for hundreds below the $2,500 mark. You can opt for the camera body by itself for just $1,699.99 or you can opt for the camera and a 24-120mm lens for $2,199.99. That means you can give the gift of professional-grade gear without even coming close to your $2,500 budget.

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The 24-megapixel sensor on the D750 is superb, with an excellent level of sharpness and detail as well as impressive noise control, even when shooting at the camera’s maximum extended ISO, which is a healthy 51200.

Additionally, the D750 has a big 3.2-inch LCD with 1.229 million dots, giving photographers a bright, detailed view of the images they take. To assist in high-angle and low-angle shooting, the D750’s LCD also tilts to give photographers a better view.

There’s headphone and microphone ports for photographers that want to pursue videography - which they can do in full HD at up to 60p - and the body is weather-sealed to protect against rain, snow, dust, and other environmental elements that you definitely don’t want getting into the camera. Speaking of the body, it’s made of magnesium alloy and carbon fiber, so it’s strong and durable while also being lightweight.

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For photographers that need a fast camera to capture action, the D750 is a solid choice with a quick and responsive 51-point autofocus system and a continuous shooting speed of 6.5fps.

And don’t think that this camera is just for professional photographers, either.

Though it has many professional features, the D750 is certainly a camera that enthusiast photographers will appreciate. 

That’s due in part to the fact that the D750 has features like Wi-Fi for quick sharing of photos as well as a layout that’s familiar to Nikon shooters that got their start on cameras like the Nikon D7200. 

In other words, whether the photographer on your list is a seasoned veteran that needs a good second or third camera or an enthusiast that wants to upgrade from an APS-C camera to a full frame, the D750 is a great choice that’s packed full of features.

And, as noted earlier, you can find D750s for a great price at Paul’s Photo!

Learn more about the Nikon D750 Body Only or the Nikon D750 Kit with a 24-120mm Lens

DJI Mavic PRO Platinum MaXX Mod Kit

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For serious drone pilots, the DJI Mavic PRO Platinum MaXX Mod Kit from Drone World is an ideal holiday gift idea. 

This drone has been meticulously designed and tested to ensure the best flying experience possible. With advanced technology, this is one of the most capable drones on the market today. 

That’s thanks in part to the MaXX Mod Kit’s world-first Hot-Swap antenna system. The system includes three custom-made antennas that allow you to fly with a stronger signal for further distances because these antennas gain up to four times more coverage than stock antennas. The carbon fiber propellers also aid in achieving better balance, improved acceleration, and faster speeds. 

But this drone kit isn’t just about flying faster and further. It also includes a Thor Super-Charging Station that charges the Mavic Pro’s batteries four times faster than the stock charger. What’s more, you can charge four batteries and one remote at the same time so you spend less time waiting for your drone to charge and more time actually flying it.

Additionally, this kit includes all the accessories that you need to make the most of having a drone. That includes a backpack and a hard case for transporting your gear, L-series lens filters for taking more pleasing photos and videos, a sunshade for viewing the drone’s live feed in bright conditions, a memory card, a battery bank, prop guards, and much, much more. 

In other words, the DJI Mavic PRO Platinum MaXX Mod Kit is a drone enthusiast’s dream! 

Learn more about the DJI Mavic PRO Platinum MaXX Mod Kit

Epson SureColor P800 Printer

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The final piece of the puzzle for creating gorgeous photos is printing them, and there is no better printer for doing so at home than the Epson SureColor P800

The SC-P800 was designed for unparalleled print quality. It uses Epson’s UltraChrome HD inks that ensure printed images have both vivid colors and unmatched density of blacks, as well as a significantly improved longevity. 

What’s more, the photographer on your shopping list this year can print media up to 17-inches wide whether that’s on poster board, photo paper, or fine art paper.

Epson SureColor P800 Front View with Sample

Does your favorite photographer love black and white photos? The SC-P800 delivers on that front with a special black-and-white mode for beautifully toned professional-looking prints with three-level black ink technology.

What’s more, they won’t run out of ink anytime soon with the SC-P800’s production-capacity cartridges that hold 80ml of ink each.

“While I’ve been using this printer for a short period of time, I’ve noticed very quickly what cards Epson holds over my Canon photo printers. This thing rocks!” - Alex Schult, Founder of PhotographyTalk 

Something else photographers will appreciate about this printer is that it has complete connectivity options. That includes Apple AirPrint as well as Google Cloud Print. The printer also supports USB 2.0, wireless n3, Wi-Fi Direct3, and 100mbit ethernet.

SureColor P800 Left Angle with Paper Wht

This printer also features Epson’s Print Layout utility, which is a standalone application for both Windows and Mac. Print Layout gives photographers a step-by-step selection of frequently used printing options, including color settings, layout, and printer selection that makes printing quick and easy. Just what photographers want! 

Add to that an intuitive interface with an easy-to-use 2.7-inch tilting touch panel color LCD, a compact design that doesn’t take up too much space, a sheet feeder for photo or matte media, and the option of adding a 17-inch-wide roll paper adapter for creating panoramas of up to 10 feet in length, and you have the all the makings of a top-of-the-line printer that any photographer would love to receive this holiday season.

Learn more about the Epson SureColor P800 Printer

CanvasHQ Canvas Prints

What's so great about giving the gift of a canvas print to a photographer is that they can have their own work or the work of someone else printed.

Not only that, but companies like CanvasHQ work with you to create custom-sized prints that will fit perfectly wherever your favorite photographer wants them to hang.

The problem, of course, is that many online printing companies are just plain bad, so a lot of people end up giving prints that either wear out over time or just look terrible right from the start.

That's not the case with CanvasHQ, though...

CanvasHQ uses only the finest canvas and inks to create prints that have ideal color, contrast, and vibrancy.

What's more, they handcraft the frames behind the canvas using kiln-dried wood that's true and straight.

That means that their canvases don't just look like a million bucks, but they're also constructed to last a lifetime.

Speaking of lifetime, their prints come with a lifetime guarantee from fading, cracking, and bubbling. There's also a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you don't fully love your print.

Talk about peace of mind!

And with a budget of $2,500, you can order the photographer on your list a whole house worth of awesome prints!

Learn more about CanvasHQ Canvas Prints.

Holdfast Roamographer Duffle Bag, Camera Bag, and MoneyMaker

This might just be the ultimate photography setup...

If you want to impress a photographer, go ahead and give them a bundle of products from Holdfast.

Holdfast's venerable Roamographer bags not only look incredible, but they're also incredibly functional, too.

Give them the Roamographer Duffle Bag for those long weekends out taking photos.

The duffle is handcrafted out of American Bison hide and has a shearling lined shoulder strap for easy carrying. It's the perfect bag for a quick trip, and with a metal frame that keeps the bag open during packing and unpacking, two boot bags to keep your shoes away from your clothes, and tons of pockets for small items, it'll become their favorite getaway bag.

To carry their gear, you can include a Holdfast Roamographer Camera Bag as well.

Like the duffle, the camera bag has a vintage aesthetic but with modern features.

The camera insert cradles each camera item, ensuring their safety during transit.

The carrier straps accommodate a tripod for easy carrying, and the shearling lined shoulder strap makes it easy on your favorite photographer's shoulder to carry the bag, too.

While you're at it, you can throw in a Holdfast MoneyMaker dual camera system.

The dual straps mean that a photographer can carry up to three cameras in ultimate comfort, and with their gear right at their fingertips for safe carrying.

What's more, for quick shots, their cameras are easy to reach, making the MoneyMaker just about the most functional gear you could give a photographer this holiday season.

And, like all other Holdfast products, the MoneyMaker looks like a million bucks.

You can pick up all three of these products and still have money to spare with a $2,500 budget!

Learn more about Holdfast products.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage

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Microsoft's second-generation Surface Book is a great gift idea for photographers because it's such a versatile and functional computer.

For starters, the Surface Book 2can be used as a traditional laptop or you can fold the screen back and use it as a tablet.

The gorgeous 13.5-inch PixelSense Display offers a 3:2 viewing ratio that's perfect for editing photos, and with improved glass, better sensing elements, and improved touch accuracy over its predecessor, this thing is the height of functionality.

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The Surface Book 2 also got an upgrade in the processor and GPU departments, so it can handle more tasks more quickly.

The improved graphics card selection gives photographers better performance when editing videos as well.

Not all photography tasks require a huge desktop computer, nor do they require a traditional laptop.

That's what makes the Surface Book 2 such a great gift idea for photographers...

They can use it in laptop mode when editing photos, switch to tablet mode to quickly take notes at a client meeting, and continue to switch back and forth as they need throughout the day.

Plus, the Surface Book 2 is available for well under $2,500, so you'll have money left to spend!

Learn more about the Microsoft Surface Book 2

Canon 6D Mark II

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If the photographer you're shopping for is a Canon fan, and they want to upgrade their shooting experience, a Canon 6D Mark II is a great choice for doing so.

Priced at $1,999.99 at Paul's Photo, the 6D Mark II won't bust your budget, yet it provides tons of features that make it such a great camera.

It has a new 26.2-megapixel full frame sensor that offers excellent resolution and a wide dynamic range. That means photographers can take photos that have brighter highlights and deeper shadows without the risk of losing detail in those areas.

Additionally, the 6D Mark II has a massive ISO range that extends to 40,000 natively and 102,400 in its expanded range.

That means that this camera offers excellent low-light performance.

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And though this camera's LCD is on the smallish side, it folds out, is fully articulating, and is touch-enabled.

Not only does that give photographers more leeway when composing low-angle and high-angle shots, but the touchscreen capability also improves the functionality of the camera.

Add in a solid autofocus system, up to +/- 5 EV exposure compensation, 6.5fps burst shooting speed, and features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS, and you have the makings of a highly capable, modern camera that will perform well for years and years to come.

Learn more about the Canon 6D Mark II

Sony Alpha a7III With 28-70mm Lens

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There's no doubt that Sony makes some of the best cameras in the world - I can attest to that fact given that I own one.

So why not impress the heck out of the photographer on your holiday shopping list with an awesome Sony a7III with a 28-70mm lens?

This camera might be small and lightweight, but it packs a mighty punch with a 24-megapixel full frame Exmor R backside illuminated CMOS sensor.

Paired with that is a BIONZ X image processor and front-end LSI for beautifully fast performance.

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Speaking of performance, it's tough to beat the a7III's autofocus system, which sports a whopping 693 AF points.

Add to that 10fps shooting, UHD 4K video capabilities at 30p, and 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization, and you have the makings of one incredible camera...

Of course, this Sony has more tricks up its sleeve with a 2.36-million dot Tru-Finder OLED electronic viewfinder, a 922k-dot tilting LCD with touchscreen capabilities, Pixel Shift multi-shooting, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, and a weather-sealed body.

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Trust me - this camera is an awesome rig that any photographer would appreciate getting this holiday season.

But what makes it even better is that an FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens is part of the deal.

If you ask me, one of the most versatile lenses is the 28-70mm because it gives you all the range you need to work from wide-angle to short telephoto.

Perhaps best of all, this gift idea is $2,199.99, so it's not even close to your $2,500 budget!

Learn more about the Sony Alpha a7III with 28-70mm lens

ProMediaGear TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod

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When it comes to the best tripods on the market, it's tough to argue against ProMediaGear.

These professional-grade tripods are built with versatility and durability in mind.

I own this particular model, and I can tell you without a doubt that no other tripod is going to match the quality of this thing.

It can hold up to 125 pounds of gear, thanks in part to its thick carbon fiber legs. That's a ton of gear!

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The legs also have an independent spread and three-position angle locks, that way you can adjust the tripod to be level no matter the terrain.

The quarter-turn twist locks are a favorite feature of mine because they allow you to set up the tripod in short order, that way you don't miss must-have shots.

I photograph a lot of landscapes, so I appreciate the fact that this tripod has big rubber feet to give it more stability, even on soft soil. There's even metal spikes stored inside the bottoms of each leg for added grip when need be!

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When folded, the TR424L is just 26.3-inches tall. It's not exactly lightweight, but at least it's small enough to fit into your camera bag.

This rig also offers tons of versatility in terms of height.

From a low of just 6.7-inches to a high of 77-inches, you can frame up just about any shot imaginable with this tripod.

If you have a professional photographer on your holiday shopping list, this tripod is a great gift idea. And with a price of $1,200, you'll still have loads of cash left over from your $2,500 budget!

Learn more about the ProMediaGear TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod



We Recommend


Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $5,000 - 2018 Edition

gifts for photographers under 5000Image Credit: evgenyatamanenko via iStock

With a budget of $5,000, you can go hog wild on photography gear for the photographer on your list.

Whether they want a camera or a photography trip, a new drone or a new computer, there are tons of options to consider.

Honestly, the hardest part of having a $5,000 budget is simply deciding how you're going to spend it!

Here's our list of the best gifts for photographers under $5,000.

Lensfinder

Let’s face it - photography gear can be expensive. Really expensive.

That’s a problem year-round, but when you’re holiday shopping and have tons of gifts to buy, it’s even more difficult to justify getting your loved one the $1,000 lens that they really want.

Fortunately, Lensfinder can help in more ways than one.

On the one hand, you can find great deals on pre-owned camera lenses at Lensfinder. 

That means that you can get a truly top-notch lens for the photographer in your life but do so without busting your budget. It’s a win-win!

On the other hand, if you have some old lenses that you don’t use anymore, you can list them for sale on Lensfinder. When the lens sells, you can use it for holiday spending money for the photographer in your life. 

Image Credit: xxmmxx via iStock

The best part? You can list your lenses for sale for free. 

There’s only a transaction fee (just 3.99%) when the lens sells (with a maximum fee of $500). If your lens doesn’t sell, there’s no charge at all!

And for peace of mind, the Lensfinder platform has advanced fraud filtering for both buyers and sellers as well as mediation services in the event that there’s a problem.

Payments are made and received via PayPal, so you can rest easy knowing that the transaction is safe and secure.

In other words, Lensfinder is the ideal solution for your holiday shopping needs. Either use it to find a loved one a killer lens or use it to sell old gear to pad your pockets for holiday spending!

Learn more about Lensfinder

DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition Kit

inspire 2

Designed especially for prosumers, commercial applications, and business applications, the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition Kit by Drone World represents one of the top drone kits that’s currently available.

The DJI Inspire 2 was already a great drone, but after Drone World’s engineers worked their magic, you truly have a beast of a machine. The new HD Helical Antenna offers four-times better performance, including 720p resolution with minimal latency. That means you get more consistent and reliable video feed performance from the drone. You can see this drone kit in action in the video below:

This kit also comes packed with lens filters that allow you to enhance the images you take with the drone. That includes two dual-stacked neutral density/polarizer filters, a polarizer, and a variable neutral density filter that ranges from ND 2 to ND 64.

And to minimize the time you’re charging your Inspire 2’s batteries, this kit includes a battery hub and charger that charges two items simultaneously. Even better, you can plug four devices into the hub and it will automatically charge the two that have the highest battery percentage so you can get back to flying sooner rather than later.

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Other accessories in the Inspire 2 Eagle Edition Kit include a power bank portable battery charger, a 64GB memory card, a controller sunshade for easier video viewing in bright conditions, and an FPV mini drone, among many other items. That’s not to mention that a hard-sided rolling case is also included with room for the drone, up to 16 batteries, a remote, monitors, lenses, and all the other gear you need to tackle professional drone work.

This drone kit takes what was already a fantastic drone and makes it even better. Between the expertly designed and crafted accessories outlined above and the Inspire 2’s inherent capabilities - up to 5.2K recording, a top speed of 67 mph, a dual-battery system with 27-minute flight time, intelligent flight modes, obstacle avoidance, and other technologically-advanced features - you have the makings of a professional filmmaking drone like no other. See these and other features in the video above.

Learn more about the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition Kit

National Photographic Adventures

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National Photographic Adventures is one of the premier photography tour companies in the world.

Spearheaded by master photographer Kevin Vandivier, a 40-year veteran of photography, National Photographic Adventures will put the photographer on your holiday list in some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, providing opportunities to learn and grow as a photographer along the way.

With Kevin's expertise - he's won multiple awards, been published in Life Magazine, National Geographic, and Texas Monthly, and shown his work all over the world - photographers of all skill levels will find a wealth of opportunities to learn from Kevin's experiences.

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Speaking of experiences, National Photographic Adventures specializes in taking participants to unforgettable places.

From Texas Hill Country to Iceland, Monument Valley to Teton National Park, there's no shortage of places for your favorite photographer to experience the beauty of the world with their camera.

Better still, each adventure is limited to just seven people, so each attendee can benefit from one-on-one learning time with Kevin.

From composition to lighting to processing images, photographers on these adventures will learn essential techniques for improving their images.

Each participant's work will also be published in National Photographic Magazine, with several copies given to each attendee for sharing with friends and family.

Taken together, all these benefits make a trip with National Photographic Adventures the ultimate photography gift for 2018! 

Learn more about National Photographic Adventures

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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If the photographer on your shopping list is a Canon fan, why not upgrade their camera experience with a top-of-the-line Canon EOS 5D Mark IV?

The 5D Mark IV is a workhorse of a camera that offers tons of features for photographers that want to step up their game.

The 30.4-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor captures clean, bright images, and the camera's DIGIC 6+ image processor makes the camera a powerful addition to any photographer's kit that's looking for images that have fine detail and high resolution.

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The 5D Mark IV offers excellent low-light shooting capability with a native ISO range of 100-32000.

For occasions when the ISO really needs to be pushed, the camera is capable of shooting at up to ISO 102400.

Even at higher ISOs, the 5D Mark IV offers low-noise images with excellent sharpness in a variety of shooting conditions.

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Of course, the camera is packed with modern features that any photographer will appreciate.

That includes GPS, Wi-Fi, and NFC, an enhanced autofocus system, a weather-sealed body, and a 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD monitor, among many other amenities.

Any Canon shooter would love to have this camera, and with pre-owned models going for around $2,500, you can make that dream come true for your favorite photographer while saving half of your budget!

Learn more about the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Nikon D850

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I shoot with a Nikon D850, and I can personally attest that this is one of the best cameras on the market today. I can say that because I’ve tested and owned cameras from Sony, Nikon, Pentax, FujiFilm, and other manufacturers over the years. In a word, this camera is incredible, and any professional photographer would love to get this for the holidays this year! 

Perhaps that most impressive feature of the D850 is its sensor, a 45.7-megapixel back-illuminated behemoth that produces jaw-droppingly detailed images.

In fact, no other camera has beaten the Nikon D850 when it comes to image quality testing from DxOMark. The D850’s sensor was the first to achieve a perfect 100/100 score, and only the Sony A7R III has ever matched that mark.

Not only does the sensor produce gorgeously detailed images, but it also offers excellent dynamic range so you get beautiful highlights and shadows without losing detail, even when the lighting conditions would challenge other cameras. The sensor also performs beautifully in low-light situations, offering an unmatched level of noise control, even when pushing the ISO to the limits. 

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The D850 also has a fantastic 153-point autofocus system with 99 cross-type points that gives you the ability to set and maintain focus on a variety of subjects, even those that move quickly, like wildlife. The 7fps burst shooting speed is an excellent feature for capturing action as well, and with an optional battery grip, the burst shooting speed can reach 9fps.

The massive buffer - it can handle 170 12-bit RAW files - is a much-appreciated feature for photographers that need to shoot a lot of photos in rapid fashion as well.

As if all that isn’t enough, the D850 has cutting-edge features that truly make it a one-of-a-kind camera. 

It’s got built-in focus stacking that allows you to combine up to 300 images, a silent shutter mode that’s perfect for things like wedding photography, wireless control via Nikon’s SnapBridge, a tilting touchscreen LCD, a weather-sealed body...the list goes on and on.

Aside from the incredible list of specifications this camera has, it’s just a great camera to use. 

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The beefy grip feels good in your hands, and the layout of the buttons and knobs on the camera has that familiar Nikon feel. That makes it easy to learn where everything is so you can make on-the-fly adjustments without even taking the camera away from your eye.

And for a big, professional camera, it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying around a giant rig. I wouldn’t say that the D850 is lightweight, but it at least feels like it’s a svelte camera, even after carrying it around for a few hours. 

So, the moral of the story here is that if you’ve got a budget of $5,000, the Nikon D850 should get strong consideration as the ideal gift for the photographer on your holiday shopping list.

Best of all, with incredible pricing at Paul’s Photo, you can pick up the D850 for your favorite photographer without even coming close to the $5,000 mark!

Learn more about the Nikon D850

Microsoft Surface Studio

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If you really want to impress the photographer on your holiday shopping list, it's hard to go wrong with the Microsoft Surface Studio.

With a gorgeous 28-inch PixelSense display to delight their eyes, the Surface Studio is a fantastic computer for editing photos.

And since the screen is both tilting and touch-enabled, it's also highly functional for editing photos and other daily tasks of being a photographer.

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Throw in the Surface Pen and Surface dial, and you have the ultimate computing package for photographers.

Plus, since the Surface Studio's giant screen has a Zero Gravity Hinge, it's super simple to adjust - very light pressure on the screen will move it backward or forward as needed.

This particular model has an Intel Core i7 processor for fast computing, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of disk space, so it'll be a fast companion with tons of storage for your favorite photographer for years to come!

Learn more about the Microsoft Surface Studio

Nikon Z7 Mirrorless Full Frame Camera and 24-70mm f/4 S Lens

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Nikon just released the Z7 full frame mirrorless camera to much fanfare, and any professional photographer that you're shopping for this holiday season would no doubt love to have one of these in their camera bag.

For starters, the Z7 has a top-of-the-line 45.7-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor that captures beautifully detailed shots.

Paired with an EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine, this camera makes quick work of taking photos, even in sub-optimal conditions.

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The 493-point phase-detect autofocus system helps ensure photographers get their subjects in sharp focus, and the built-in 5-axis vibration reduction comes in handy for handheld shooting without worrying as much about camera shake.

Like any modern camera should have, the Z7 also sports ultra high definition 4K video capabilities at 30p.

Whether shooting photos or video, photographers will appreciate the large 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD as well.

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The Nikon Z7 features a 3.6m-dot electronic viewfinder, 9 fps continuous shooting, and a native ISO range of 64-25600.

There's a top panel dot-matrix OLED screen, an XQD card slot, and the Z7 is compatible with current FX lenses (with an adaptor).

In other words, this little full frame mirrorless camera packs a solid punch, and at just under $4,000 from National Camera Exchange, you can give this camera and a new NIKKOR 24-70mm f/4 S lens this year without even coming close to your $5,000 budget!

Learn more about the Nikon Z7 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

eMotimo spectrum ST4 Run & Gun Bundle

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For the photographer on your list that's itching to add videography to their repertoire, the eMotimo spectrum ST4 Run & Gun Bundlespectrum ST4 Run & Gun Bundle is a perfect gift with a $5,000 budget.

Included in this bundle are a spectrum ST4 4-axis motion control unit, a eMotimo heavy duty L-bracket for mounting a camera, an eMotimo Fz focus motor, and iFootage Shark Slider with both two-foot and four-foot lengths.

Also included is an iFootage integration kit with the motor of your choice, a uSD card with instructions, an Arca compatible quick release clamp for tilt, and an Arca compatible plate for pan axis.

In other words, this bundle is loaded for bear with all the fixings a photographer needs to create breathtaking cinematic films and time-lapse videos!

Learn more about the eMotimo spectrum ST4 Run & Gun Bundle

Arca-Swiss F-Classic 4x5 View Camera

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For discerning photographers that enjoy working in medium format, it’s tough to beat the Arca-Swiss 4x5.

This is a professional-grade tool that is both easily transported and produces high-quality images.

It’s made specifically for 4x5 medium format film and digital backs made to fit medium format digital camera systems.

It’s a fully modular system, too, with a wide array of accessories for everything from viewing to conversion.

Whether it’s used for film or digital prints, this camera will bring a smile to any photographer’s face!

Best of all, it's well below the $5,000 budget mark, so you can give an awesome gift and save a ton of money, too!

Learn more about the Arca-Swiss F-Classic 4x5 View Camera

Amazon Gift Card

Totally stumped regarding gift ideas for photographers on your list?

Why not go the easy route and get them an Amazon gift card?

Though a gift card isn't exactly the sexiest gift, when the photographer in your family sees that you dropped $5,000 into a few gift cards (there's a $2,000 limit per card), they'll love it just the same.

With an Amazon gift card, they can buy whatever they want - a new lens, a second camera body, lighting gear, a laptop - you name it!

As far as flexibility goes, there's nothing better to give a photographer than a gift card with some serious money loaded onto it!

Learn more about Amazon gift cards



We Recommend


Top 10 Gifts for Photographers Under $50 - 2018 Edition

gift ideas for photographersImage Credit: Handemandaci via iStock

If you think photography is an expensive endeavor, you aren't wrong.

I mean, you can easily drop a few thousand dollars on a camera body before you even get to lenses, tripods, camera bags, and other accessories.

But that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of excellent gift ideas for photographers that won't break the bank.

Below, I've outlined some of my favorite budget-friendly photography gear for your consideration for this year's holiday shopping season.

Lensfinder

Let’s face it - photography gear can be expensive. Really expensive.

That’s a problem year-round, but when you’re holiday shopping and have tons of gifts to buy, it’s even more difficult to justify getting your loved one the $1,000 lens that they really want.

Fortunately, Lensfinder can help in more ways than one.

On the one hand, you can find great deals on pre-owned camera lenses at Lensfinder. 

That means that you can get a truly top-notch lens for the photographer in your life but do so without busting your budget. It’s a win-win!

On the other hand, if you have some old lenses that you don’t use anymore, you can list them for sale on Lensfinder. When the lens sells, you can use it for holiday spending money for the photographer in your life. 

Image Credit: xxmmxx via iStock

The best part? You can list your lenses for sale for free. 

There’s only a transaction fee (just 3.99%) when the lens sells (with a maximum fee of $500). If your lens doesn’t sell, there’s no charge at all!

And for peace of mind, the Lensfinder platform has advanced fraud filtering for both buyers and sellers as well as mediation services in the event that there’s a problem.

Payments are made and received via PayPal, so you can rest easy knowing that the transaction is safe and secure.

In other words, Lensfinder is the ideal solution for your holiday shopping needs. Either use it to find a loved one a killer lens or use it to sell old gear to pad your pockets for holiday spending!

Learn more about Lensfinder

Kizoa Online Movie and Video Maker

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An under-the-radar gift you should consider for the photographer on your holiday shopping list is Kizoa, an online movie and video maker that can help any photographer create breathtaking, high-quality videos with excellent production value.

If you’re wondering why a photographer might want to create videos, the answer is simple…

As camera manufacturers have increasingly added more capable video tools to their cameras, it’s easier now than ever before for photographers to take video. And not just any video either, even entry-level and mid-range DSLRs and mirrorless cameras now offer 4K video recording.

But simply taking videos is a lot different than creating beautiful movies. That’s where Kizoa comes in.

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With Kizoa, you get an online video maker that offers a vast library of ready-to-use templates, music, text, special effects, transitions and more. Effortlessly assemble a movie in a matter of minutes with intuitive photo and video editing tools for rotating, straightening and cropping in just a few clicks.

Once you’re done with the video, you can quickly and easily share it on Facebook or YouTube, send it to friends and family via email, burn it to a DVD, or download it as a video file in multiple formats including MP4, AVI, MOV, MPEG2, and even GIF.

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Aside from comprehensive editing tools, Kizoa also works as a secure online cloud storage solution for virtually any photo and video file type including RAW images.

With an array of advanced features to choose from, Kizoa offers different levels of Premium memberships tailored to your photography needs. Starting at only $30 dollars for a lifetime, every membership is a one-time payment that will never have to be renewed again.

That’s a ton of benefits for photographers that are looking to expand the footprint of their business by offering additional services. With Kizoa, a photographer can provide professional-looking videos to their clients quickly, easily, and without much overhead.

Oh, by the way, Kizoa even has a free iOS app that makes it even more functional for photographers that want to get into videography. 

That makes Kizoa an ideal gift this holiday season for the photographer on your list! 

Learn more about Kizoa

CanvasHQ 8x12 Canvas Print

An 8x12 canvas print is just big enough to have impact on a wall but not so big that you spend your entire holiday shopping budget on one item.

These prints make ideal gifts for photographers (and anyone else on your list) because they're ideal for all kinds of photos. Get a print of a family portrait, the family pet, a landscape, or anything in between.

CanvasHQ offers a number of different 8x12 options with varying frame depths and finishes to get a custom look.

No matter what the options you select, you can rest assured that the print you get will have beautiful colors, gorgeous contrast, and be made to last for generations.

Giving art - especially personalized art - is a great gift idea for photographers. See what CanvasHQ can do for you!

Learn more about CanvasHQ 8x12 Prints.

Sew Trendy Newborn Mesh Wrap

sew trendy under 50Belly Beautiful Photography

Sew Trendy Fashion & Accessories has built a reputation for crafting some of the finest newborn and maternity clothing, props, and accessories in the industry.

That being the case, if you have a photographer on your list that specializes in newborn photography, an ideal gift idea for them is a Newborn Mesh Wrap from Sew Trendy.

Created with a soft, high-quality mesh fabric, this set is a studio essential for any newborn photographer and is a Sew Trendy exclusive.

The mesh is both soft and stretchy, making it a perfect accessory for wrapping a newborn. It can be used as a base layer or layered with other fabrics.

The photographer on your list can even match this newborn set to Mama's gown to create an even more beautiful studio experience for mom and baby!

Learn more about the Sew Trendy Newborn Mesh Wrap

Drone World DJI Mavic Sling Bag

drone world mavic sling bag

Drones are becoming the go-to photography device for a lot of folks, which is why a bag to carry their drone and accessories is such a great gift idea for photographers.

Drone World has developed a sling bag system to carry a number of DJI products, including the Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, and the Spark.

The bag offers a lightning-fast deployment system so your favorite photographer can get their drone out and into the sky in a flash.

The bag can be rotated to the front, the side-access can be unzipped, and the drone can be taken out and launched.

The bag has fully adjustable padded dividers and an all-weather cover to keep things dry, too.

Not bad for under $50, right?!

Learn more about the Drone World DJI Mavic Backpack

HDRsoft Photomatix Essentials

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One of the most difficult things to master in photography is exposure.

Oftentimes, the highlights in a photo are too bright or the shadows are too dark.

But HDR - high dynamic range - photography takes care of that by combining multiple exposures into one photo, that way photographers have a well-exposed image throughout.

Photomatix Essentials by HDRsoft is an easy-to-use program that allows photographers to easily create HDR photos, even from source images taken when the camera is handheld.

The program has automatic ghost removal as well as 33 HDR settings and 30 built-in presets for perfecting HDR images.

There's even four HDR styles for further customizations.

Creating beautiful, well-exposed images has never been easier!

Learn more about HDRsoft Photomatix Essentials 

Sirui Tabletop Tripod Kit

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With the addition of powerful cameras, lenses, apps, and other features on smartphones that make them excellent cameras, it only makes sense that more and more photographers are using their phones as one of their primary camera systems.

That being the case, they need a compact, easy-to-use tripod to stabilize their smartphone for picture-taking.

The Sirui Tabletop Tripod Kit is a perfect complement for smartphone photography.

It includes a 3-stage folding tripod, a mobile phone clamp, a multi-function mini clamp ball head, and a Bluetooth shutter release.

The tripod can even be extended for use as a selfie stick!

Help the photographer on your list expand their creative abilities with their smartphone camera by hooking them up with a top-notch tabletop tripod.

Learn more about the Sirui Tabletop Tripod Kit

The Most Comfortable Camera Strap Available

SRFPK SAMMALLI Sammie Allie Pocket Scarf Strrap D

There is no doubt about it…scarves make the most comfortable camera straps!   

For the photographer on your holiday list that wants something functional and fashionable, consider giving them the gift of a Capturing Couture Scarf Camera Strap.

On the functional side, these beautiful and unique camera straps, like the Sammie|Allie Model shown above, have all the strength and adjustability of any strap out there. With high-quality knit fabrics and strength-tested connector webbing, this strap can go from over-the-shoulder to across the body with no problem with a 35” to 53” variable length strap.  

On the comfort side, the knit/cotton blend fabric is super soft to the touch and gives any outfit a trendy, updated look.

Exclusive to Capturing Couture is the added hidden pocket for your phone, lens cap, spare memory card and more! This patent-pending design won’t be found anywhere else.

No matter whether it’s hot or cold, whether it’s needed for a big or small camera, or whether the photographer on your list is a pro or an amateur, this strap is an easy choice to make. The hardest part is picking out a color!

Learn more about Capturing Couture Scarf Camera Straps

Freehands Photography Gloves

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Just over a decade ago, New York City-based designer Josh Rubin realized that he needed to design gloves that provided more functionality than what he could find in traditional gloves. 

His epiphany moment?

Answering his iPhone with his nose.

Josh didn’t want to take off his gloves, nor did he want to continue answering the phone with his nose. So, while at dinner one night with his father, Stanley Rubin - who is a glove maker, no less - the idea for the Freehands gloves was born.

Fast-forward to 2018, and Freehands is going strong with the third generation of family glove makers responsible for crafting gloves that are comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and functional.

Though Freehands has tons of different gloves and has a world-recognized brand, I've outlined just a few of my favorite models below, each of which costs less than $50:

Stretch Glove (Mens and Womens)

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The windproof/waterproof barrier on the back of the glove and the full Thinsulate lining will keep your hands warm and dry while the finger cap edges are reinforced for long-lasting durability.

These gloves have a palm patch for added security when holding your phone or camera while the finger caps on the index fingers and thumbs are magnetically secured to ensure easy calling, texting, or operating your camera.

Fleece Glove (Mens and Womens)

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If you or someone on your list needs an unlined fleece gloves for cool days, the Fleece glove is an ideal choice.

The full digital grip on the palm helps you keep a grip on your phone or camera while the improved finger flap overlap keeps cold air out when your fingers are covered.

There's a handy elastic wrist cinch and plastic hook to keep the gloves together, too.

Soft Shell Photography Gloves (Mens)

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Designed specifically for photographers, this soft shell glove not only has the flip back caps on the index fingers and thumbs, but there's also an integrated zipper pocket on the back of the left hand that's a perfect spot for carrying a spare memory card.

Like Freehands' other gloves, this soft shell model offers superb warmth, performance, and durability. By customer request this style has a thin lining to cover the exposed finger or thumb when the cap is pulled back.

Finger Mitten (Mens)

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What your favorite photographer will appreciate most about these mittens is that they provide the warmth of a mitten while also having the functionality of an index finger and thumb.

Both the index finger and thumbs have flip back caps that are magnetized to keep them out of the way.

And with a Velcro-closure pocket on the back of the hand for a memory card or hand warmer, these mittens are ideal for photographers that have to work in chilly conditions!

Soft Shell Ski/Snowboard Glove (Mens)

The photographer on your holiday shopping list needs to unwind from time to time, and for those that ski or snowboard, the Freehands Soft Shell Ski/Snowboard Glove is a great gift.

It's got a soft shell outer layer, a soft velour lining, and a digital grip palm.

Add to that a storage pocket over the knuckles, an adjustable web strap, a cord lock, suede thumb, and water-repellent/breathable construction, and you have the makings of one heck of a cold-weather glove!

PhotographyTalk members can use the 20% off coupon code "PHOTOGRAPHYTALK" through 12/1/2019 at freehands.com

PhotoLogo

photologo best of 2018

There are two things that many photographers worry about when they post their images online. 

First, photographers have to be concerned about someone stealing their photos and passing them off as their own. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the world we live in.

Second, photographers (myself included) worry about using signatures, logos, or watermarks on images because if they aren’t done well, they detract from the quality of the image, as shown below.

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So, if you’ve got a photographer on your holiday shopping list, you might consider giving them a gift that addresses both of these issues. That gift is PhotoLogo.

For under $40, you can give your favorite photographer a custom-designed, handmade signature made by real humans that they can use to watermark all of their images.

It’s easy as pie, too. Just direct your loved one to PhotoLogo’s website where they can choose from a wide variety of samples to customize the look of their signature. In as little as 48 hours, they’ll receive a proof of the signature. If something’s off, a free revision is included, that way they get the exact signature they want.

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Over 80,000 photographers and counting can’t be wrong. I mean, check out my PhotoLogo above. Not bad, right?!

This holiday season, help the photographer in your life identify their photos in style and sign their work, just like artists have for hundreds of years. Get them a PhotoLogo!

Learn more about PhotoLogo



We Recommend


Top 12 Last-Minute Gifts for Photographers

last minute gifts for photographers 2018

If you’re like me, despite all your best efforts, you still find yourself scrambling to find gifts for people on your holiday list at the last-minute.

And if you have photographers on your shopping list, the task of getting them the perfect gift can be even more difficult and stressful because photographers can be a picky bunch to buy for.

But don’t worry…

I’ve got a pretty darn good list of incredible photography gifts that will put a smile on any photographers face!

Click Props Backdrops

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One thing I can’t stand is an ugly portrait backdrop. Another thing I can’t stand are backdrops that are flimsy, hard to clean, or simply don’t hang well.

And I’m not alone…

Sure, the background of a portrait isn’t the star of the show, but that doesn’t mean that photographers want to make-do with sub-optimal backdrops. 

That’s where Click Props Backdrops comes in…

last minute gifts for photographers

Click Props Backdrops has dedicated themselves to creating not just a HUGE collection of backdrops, floorgrounds, and combo sets, but they’ve also managed to create products that tick all the boxes when it comes to beauty, quality, ease of use, care, and price.

Consider this - these backdrops are made of heavy-duty vinyl so you get the ultimate in durability and performance over the long-term. But they’re also ultra lightweight, so the photographer on your list can literally set up the backdrop by themselves in a matter of seconds.

The backdrops have a series of reinforced grommets for easy hanging, or if your favorite photographer prefers, these backdrops can be custom-ordered without grommets and used with a roller system for even faster, easier setup.

Click Props 4x6 postcards back RGB

And no one wants to use backdrops that they have to worry about getting dirty. That’s why Click Props Backdrops makes their products out of 550gsm vinyl that’s durable and easy to clean. Just wipe it down and it’s ready to go! 

On top of that, Click Props Backdrops has an enormous selection of products. We’re talking hundreds of different colors and styles that will fit any photographer’s aesthetic!

Plus, these backdrops are reasonably priced, so you can fulfill the wishes of the photographer on your holiday shopping list without breaking the bank.

What’s not to like about that?! 

Learn more about Click Props Backdrops

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens from Mike's Camera

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If you have a Nikon shooter on your holiday shopping list, an ideal gift for them is the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens.

Why is it an ideal gift?

That's easy...it's incredibly versatile.

From wide-angle to telephoto, this lens does it all! It has a 10.7x zoom range, a close focus range of just 18 inches (at any focal length!), and VR II image stabilization that gives photographers up to 4 shutter speeds of leeway when shooting handheld.

All that translates into this being a powerhouse lens that will help your favorite photographer take better, sharper photos and videos.

The lens is optimized for edge-to-edge sharpness with two extra-low dispersion elements that also offer superb color correction with minimal chromatic aberrations.

Likewise, the three aspherical lens elements eliminate coma and other aberrations, even when shooting at wide apertures.

This lens is one of the most versatile and reliable lenses that Nikon makes. That's why it's a perfect gift idea for the photographer in your life!

Learn more about the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens

DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Mavic 2 Zoom

dji mavic2 pro 0

DJI has been at the forefront of drone innovation for years now, but they’ve taken it up another notch with their latest drones, the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. That’s good news if you’re looking for an incredible, cutting-edge gift for the photographer on your holiday list. 

Though these drones share the same heritage and the same name, they actually have very different purposes - and some interesting features that set them apart from one another. 

dji mavic2 pro 1

In the case of the Mavic 2 Pro, it’s armed with a one-inch 20MP CMOS sensor that’s housed in a Hasselblad camera - the same camera that’s found in DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro. The lens opens to f/2.8 and closes down to f/11, giving photographers and videographers excellent range for manipulating depth of field and shooting in low-light situations.

dji mavic2 pro 4

The Mavic 2 Zoom is geared more towards photographers and videographers that need a little bit more range with their drone’s lens. That’s why it’s outfitted with a 24-48mm lens paired with a 1/2.3-inch sensor that creates 12MP images. 

But just because the Mavic 2 Zoom has a smaller sensor doesn’t mean that its photos and videos are somehow low-quality. In fact, both the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro shoot 4K video at up to 100MB per second, and the Mavic 2 Zoom has a “super resolution mode” that allows photographers to stitch nine individual images together to create a single 48-megapixel behemoth.

Both drones can fly at a maximum speed of 44mph, have a maximum flight time of 31 minutes, and have DJI’s latest obstacle avoidance system that’s armed with 10 sensors.

In other words, DJI has stepped up its game and created two incredible, versatile drones that make ideal holiday gift ideas for photographers, videographers, and drone enthusiasts.

Learn more about the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom

SnapPro

If you're shopping for a loved one that wants to start a photography business - or perhaps they already have and are struggling to find clients - SnapPro is a fantastic gift.

SnapPro is the best photography directory out there, and by gifting a membership to your favorite photographer, they'll be more likely to find clients (and more of them, too!).

This amazing photography directory is a database that lists its member photographers from all over the U.S. and Canada.

Consumers that need a photographer just head to SnapPro, enter their location and their specific needs (i.e., wedding photographer), and matching photographers are provided.

Users can then compare photographers side-by-side, and when they've chosen one, SnapPro connects the consumer to their chosen photographer. Easy, right?!

For the photographer on your holiday shopping list, SnapPro is a ready-made place to find clients.

But not only that, photographers can find jobs working for other photographers. For example, if your loved one is a portrait photographer and wants to pick up an extra gig, they can contact a wedding photographer to see about working as a second shooter.

So, basically, SnapPro is a photography community that can help the photographer in your life jumpstart their career.

This holiday season, give the gift of ongoing work by giving your loved one a SnapPro membership. It's even free to join!

Learn more about SnapPro

Nikon Z7 from Paul's Photo

If you really need to impress the photographer in your life with a great gift and they're a Nikon shooter, a new Nikon Z7 should get you in their good graces.

This camera is, in a word, incredible...

Just check out these specs:

  • Backside-illuminated 45.7-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor
  • EXPEED 6 image processing
  • 9fps continuous shooting speed
  • ISO range of 64-25600; expandable to 32-102400
  • 493-point autofocus system
  • 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization
  • 3.2-inch tilting, touch-enabled LCD with 2.1 million dots
  • OLED electronic viewfinder with 3.69 million dots and 0.80x magnification

If you aren't familiar with camera speak, let me translate: this camera is awesome!

One of the best features of this camera is its sensor.

I shoot with a Nikon D850, and its sensor is widely considered the best ever made. The Nikon Z7's sensor is every bit as good.

Likewise, the Z7 has a fantastic autofocus system with 493 AF points. That makes this a perfect gift idea for photographers that work in sports, wildlife, and other venues in which capturing action is a must.

Additionally, the Z7 is lightweight, so if you've ever heard the photographer on your holiday list complain about carrying around a big, heavy DSLR, the Z7 is a great choice.

Not only that, but this camera has superb video functionalities with 4K video recording. Nikon even has a spate of new lenses to go with the Z7, though there's also an adapter that allows photographers to use their old Nikon lenses with the Z7, too.

Like I said before, if you want to impress your loved one this year, a Nikon Z7 is a great choice!

Learn more about the Nikon Z7

SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod

I've used SIRUI tripods for a long time now, and to say that I've been supremely happy with them is an understatement.

But now I have one of SIRUI's newest tripods - the SR-3204 - and it's even better than I thought possible.

A big part of what's so great about this tripod is that it has jaw-dropping statistics.

It holds up to 55 pounds of gear and can reach a maximum height of 80 inches with the optional two-stage center column.

Additionally, SIRUI has implemented excellent twist-lock leg mechanisms that make it quick and easy to set the tripod up and tear it down when you're done shooting.

Helping in the ease-of-use department is the fact that these tripods have three-position leg angles, so you can position the tripod just right to get the shots you want.

Add in the fact that there's an integrated bubble level, a removable flat top plate for converting the tripod from still photography to videography usage, and a 1/4-inch socket on the spider for attaching accessories, and you have the perfect tripod for the photography enthusiast on your holiday shopping list!

It's got all the features, versatility, and durability that your favorite photographer could possibly want.

Learn more about the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod

Vallerret Photography Gloves

Whether the person on your holiday shopping list lives in the American Southwest, the Arctic Tundra, or somewhere in between, a pair of warm, functional photography gloves is an ideal last-minute gift. 

If you’ve ever tried to operate your camera with traditional gloves on, you know that you just end up taking your glove off because you can’t press the buttons, let alone operate a touch-enabled screen on your camera or smartphone.

But Vallerret Photography Gloves solves that problem with gloves that have magnetic FlipTech finger covers on the thumb and pointer finger, as shown on the Women’s Nordic Glove shown above.

That means that instead of your favorite photographer freezing their hands off, they can keep their hands nice and toasty while still having the ability to get the job done with their camera. 

Better still, Vallerret has a wide variety of gloves for men and women, as well as for different climate needs from light winter to mild winter to deep winter.

If you’re shopping for someone that lives in a temperate climate, the Vallerret Primaloft/Merino liner is a perfect gift idea.

This glove is supremely soft and warm and can be used as a standalone glove on mild days or as a base layer under any of Vallerret’s other gloves allowing you to layer up and adapt to the conditions. It’s even got conductive suede on the index fingers and thumbs that allows for using touch screens without removing the gloves.

If you’re shopping for someone that has more hard-core needs, Vallerret’s Skadi Zipper Mitt.

This versatile two-in-one mitten and glove is the height of functionality, with a Merino wool and Primaloft blend inner glove and a mitten shell that’s made of Goat leather, laminated soft twill, and two-ply DWR suede to resist water and provide excellent wind protection. 

The inner gloves give photographers touch screen finger and thumb access while the 100% merino wool lining keep their fingers toasty warm.

As you’d expect, the Skadi Zipper Mitt has the magnetic FlipTech finger caps as well. 

Add in a non-slip grip on the palm, a jersey cuff for supreme comfort, a wrist strap for security, and a handy SD card pocket, and you have the makings of an expedition-worthy glove for the deep winter! 

Learn more about Vallerret Photography Gloves

Excire

One of the biggest problems I have (and many other photographers, too) with Lightroom is that it's just so laborious to manually tag my photos.

So, rather than tagging any of them, I just upload them to my Lightroom library. Needless to say, it's a huge mess.

Not anymore, though...

With Excire, you can give the gift of beautifully organized and searchable images thanks to artificial intelligence.

Here's how it works...

Excire Search and Excire Search Pro are plugins that can be added to Lightroom that use AI to tag photos automatically.

With Excire Search, there's 125 common keywords available, so every shot your loved one has of boats or mountains or dogs will be organized and easily identified.

It'll even tag images for the predominant color in the shot as well as tag images based on the people in them.

For example, a photo of an older woman will be tagged "woman" and "elderly."

Excire Search Pro takes things up a notch with over 500 common keywords that can be used for searching and organizing photos.

Better still, Excire Search Pro has a keyword transfer function, so it can be used to search images already in Lightroom.

That means the photographer on your list won't have to hunt around in their thousands of images for the one photo they want.

On top of all that, Excire is an award-winning plugin and they have a 30-day free trial available. What's not to like about that?!

Learn more about Excire Lightroom Plugins

Kizoa

It might seem strange to have a video-making program on a list of the best last-minute gifts for photographers, but in this day and age, photographers need the ability to create video.

Kizoa provides them with all the tools to do so...

This program has been around for the better part of a decade, and in that time, the Kizoa team has perfected it and made it into a high-powered yet easy-to-use video-making machine.

It has a vast suite of tools ranging from music and transitions to special effects and texts to make professional-looking videos.

There's even pre-made templates designed by the pros to get you started!

Additionally, all the nuts and bolts are there that you'd expect - tools for straightening, rotating, and cropping so that the final product fulfills the creative vision.

Kizoa is easy to use as well. Photographers can log in from their computer and use the cloud-based platform or they can download the free Kizoa app to their iOS device and edit while they're on the go.

Sharing work is super easy as well - there's Facebook and YouTube integration as well as the ability to burn movies to DVDs or download them in a variety of formats.

Best of all, Kizoa starts at $30 for a membership - a one-time fee for lifetime access. Nice!

If you want a budget-friendly gift that keeps on giving, consider buying Kizoa for your favorite photographer.

Learn more about Kizoa

Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo

Image Credit: Brandon Burk

If you're shopping for a photographer that like to shoot fast and quick with minimal gear, the Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo is a great gift idea.

That's because this camera strap was purpose-built for single camera shooters.

It's made of beautiful leathers and metals that provide a comfortable carrying experience, superb durability, and they look incredible as well.


Image Credit: Brandon Burk

The big, contoured shoulder strap makes this a comfortable strap to wear, even for hours on end.

The integrated stabilizer strap helps keep the shoulder pad in place to enhance comfort and security.

What's more, there's a Belt Anchor on the other side of the strap to anchor the camera on the hip, that way when your favorite photographer is walking, stooping, kneeling down, or somewhere in between, their camera will stay put.


Image Credit: Brandon Burk 

The ingenious thing about the Belt Anchor is that it can be released with one hand so that photographers can quickly raise their camera to their eye to get the needed shot.

Then, with one-handed action, the Belt Anchor can be re-engaged.

This rig is versatile, too, given that you can add a Holdfast Cell Phone Pouch or a Lens Pouch for carrying a bit more gear.

It's beautiful, comfortable, durable, and made in the USA. What better gift is there than that?!

Learn more about the Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo

CanvasHQ Canvas Prints

Photographers are always looking for great prints of their work, and CanvasHQ certainly delivers great prints.

I mean, sure, you can get a photographer a cheap paper print for Christmas, but what's the point of underwhelming them?

Instead, a large-format canvas print from CanvasHQ is the way to go. I should know...I have dozens of prints from these guys!

CanvasHQ does it right with a dedication to the process of constructing each print as though it's for their own loved one.

They only use the finest materials - including archival-grade canvas - so that the print looks great now and for generations to come.

Even the frame is meticulously crafted from kiln-dried wood, that way you're assured that the print doesn't bow or bend over time.

The inks they use are top-of-the-line as well. They're water-resistant, scuff-resistant, and UV-resistant, too.

Add to that the fact that they offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and quick turnaround times, and you have a recipe for the perfect last-minute gift!

Learn more about CanvasHQ

HiiGuy Camera Strap

Ask any photographer, and they'll tell you that a good camera strap is worth its weight in gold.

After all, it's hard to take photos when their shoulders and necks hurt because their cheap camera strap is digging into their muscles.

But a great camera strap doesn't have to cost you a ton of money this holiday season...

The HiiGuy Camera Strap is ideal for any photographer, no matter if they shoot with a big DSLR or a tiny mirrorless camera.

The strap is comfortable with a big shoulder pad and a highly adjustable length to accommodate any height of photographer.

The mount plate is padded to prevent scratching the camera, and there's a handy integrated zipper pouch on the shoulder pad for keeping an extra memory card or two.

There's even a three-year warranty in case something goes awry.

With that kind of peace of mind, you can't go wrong with giving the gift of a HiiGuy camera strap this holiday season!

Learn more about the HiiGuy Camera Strap



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