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Christmas Gift Ideas for a Film Photography Fanatic

Updated: Jan 19

Christmas is fast approaching, and if you're anything like me, you're probably still missing a gift or two for your loved ones. Don't worry if you feel short of time and ideas! For me, a good idea for a gift always starts with the thoughts behind it. And nothing says 'thoughtful' more than a gift catered to the receiver's hobby.

Here are 10 ultimate Christmas gift ideas if your loved one is a fan of film photography:

1. Film rolls

A pile of film rolls

If your loved one is a film junkie, one easy idea for a gift is definitely film rolls. Now, if you've decided to give them film rolls, the next question is 'Which?'. And you can go with several options here.

One option is to supply them with a few of their go-to film rolls. This way, they would have a good stock of their favorite film rolls to keep taking those shots. This is probably not the most fun gift, but if your loved one is a pragmatic you can rest assured that they would appreciate it and find it useful. Although, you would probably have to do a bit more research to find out their favorites.

Another option is to gift them a few different film rolls that they can experiment with. It's always fun to try new things - and for film lovers, this often means new rolls of film. Try to give a set of psychedelic film rolls, or expired ones for fun.

2. A(nother) film camera

Now, you're probably thinking - "Hold up, a brand new Leica sounds like a heck of an expensive gift" - but we don't necessarily have to go big here to score a nice and thoughtful gift. There are tons of vintage and secondhand film cameras out there that would please a film fanatic without putting a hole in your wallet.

Vintage film cameras
True story - I got both of these cameras for a combined price of less than EUR 20 at a vintage store

One of the greatest joys of film photography lies within the experimenting part of it, so having a new camera to play with, even though it's a hand-me-down, is still a win! Check out a vintage store close to you and have a look around, and when all else fails, you can always search the web.

3. Camera bag/case

A camera bag or a camera case keeps your loved one's loved one (ie. their camera) safe, and it can also double-up as an aesthetically-pleasing accessory. If you're going for this, make sure you do proper research on their camera type and size so you can get a case that's fit for it. It also wouldn't hurt for you to get a bit more idea of your gift receiver's taste, so you can decide better between that cool, sleek, leather case or a bright yellow plastic one.

A sleek, leather camera bag
A sleek, leather camera bag

4. Camera strap

As an alternative to a camera bag/case, you can also opt for a camera strap to give for Christmas. Most cameras, old or new, typically already have some sort of strap or handle, but it's always nice to change things up a bit and add a personal touch to your camera. This accessory can also easily be a fashion statement, so make sure to get a good sense of your loved one's taste so you can pick one that fits them most.

A camera strap adds a personal touch to your camera
A camera strap adds a personal touch to your camera and doubles-up as a nice accessory

5. A photography class

Nothing says "I care about you and your hobby" more than a class for your loved ones to perfect their photography skills. Whether they are a film noob or a straight-up pro, it's always nice to learn more from other people.

If your loved one is only just starting in film photography, it's a good idea to gift them a basic class that covers the groundworks. For pros, it might be appreciated to give them a MasterClass course by a renowned photographer, or a certified one from a professional institution.

6. A photo-book

If you can't be their muse, give them a photo book that will give them all the inspiration they need. Whether they are a fan of street photography, portraits, or nature photography, there's a photo-book for everyone, so you're guaranteed to have plenty of options to choose from. Aside from being inspirational, photo books are also a great addition to the coffee table!

A photo book on a table with a camera

7. Framed photo of theirs

For a more sentimental gift, you can also print one of your loved one's original photos and have it framed. It really does say that you like their work and encourage it (Cue the "Aws"). And if they're new to displaying their works in their house, it also could instill a bit of pride in it.

8. Photo album

Many believe that the days of photo albums are long gone. Perhaps that's more reason to give this as a Christmas present for your loved one.

In the age of photo scanning and displaying through the means of Instagram and other social media platforms alike, printing your photos to put in a photo album sounds out of the ordinary. But it surely is a good way to display your works in your house.

Having a photo album for your house visitors to sift through can also serve as a conversation starter and allows your guests to get to know you a bit better. Put a bit of arts and crafts in there and you can even turn it into a fun scrapbook project. What's not to love?

A photo album

9. Film processing starter kit

Try looking into the process of developing a film on YouTube and you'd know that it's not easy stuff. There's a lot of chemical processes involved that are responsible for creating beautiful prints. If your loved one has never tried developing their own films it could be fun to give them a film developing kit for Christmas. They'd learn a lot more about their hobby by developing their own film, and that is always a good plus for film aficionados.

BONUS: Film photography starter kit

Perhaps your loved one hasn't gotten into film photography yet, but is keen for it. Give them a starter kit to jumpstart their hobby! You can find many of these everywhere nowadays that typically consist of a point-and-shoot film camera and a few rolls of film - easy way to get started.

One particular kit you can try your hands on is the Harman reusable camera starter kit. This is how I started with film photography myself, so perhaps it could also work wonders for your loved one.

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