Gimme a _______________

Today I launch my first annual ‘Gimme’ column with suggestions for holiday gift giving. This is the spot for fun camera things and photo themed gifts to give and receive that won’t break the bank. There are several cameras that fall into the “I am a cheap but clever person” gift-buying budget.

Asian Santa Claus with Camera

A gift for you!!

First on the list are the ‘toy’ cameras that some pros have used in the past to create arty images. These are the Holga and the Diana F. Your gift-giver can pick one up on Amazon for from $19.95 to $75.00. (It has always seemed like it would be great fun to shoot with my Diana F but darn…that 120-film thing is such a hassle).

The retro look that comes almost automatically to images shot with a Holga or Diana is still very nice like these two of the motel and the man in the hat. For hardcore plastic camera collectors with more cash, the band, the White Stripes, have created limited edition Holga and Diana F cameras complete with the band’s signature red and white colors. Those with a lighting fetish combined with their love of indy bands , can purchase a ring flash from the Stripes here for their Holga/DianaF. These are definitely the coolest toy cameras of all.


Business man standing

Want to play around with a wrist still/video camera that is also waterproof to 100 feet? Try this for $139.99 or maybe not. For those who want to give cash in a handy holder: the Emily Ryan Lerner Instamatic themed bi-fold wallet is perfect. The design even shows the trademarked cube-flash. $16.00. The indispensable gorilla-pod is under $50 and the cool looking Monsterpod sticky pod is $33 here but don’t count it to hold on if it is supporting anything heavier than a light P&S.

“Low Budget Shooting: Do it Yourself Solutions to Professional Photo Gear” by Cyril Harnischmacher is a very handy little book for pros and amateurs alike. I’ve been on enough shoots to know that even when the budget is big and the crew large, its important to have a bag of unforeseen problem solving tricks. This little book is filled with ideas to solve shooting problems such as dealing with both flash and outdoor lighting on a budget using items from the hardware or kite-making store. (kite making store?) Anyway, the author doesn’t mention monofilament-fishing line and he should have. (It’s just the thing for suspending light weight objects like ping pong balls from a stand so that you can capture the look of a real game without trying to catch the ball just at the right moment).

In the ‘I am cool even without a White Stipes camera’ department how about a camera lens Belt Buckle. As the ad copy says, “Your pants, too, can be camera ready with this fused-glass belt buckle featuring an image of a Kodak lens. The glass is an ivory color that almost feels like it glows”. Optional belt is made of genuine bonded brown leather and its all for $50.00 (without the belt) (without the belt).Don’t leave your camera out in the cold and rain. Buy it a Shutterhat. Here

Woman with camera

winter photographer

From the Mother of All photo and video catalogs from B&H select an underwater camera housing. B&H printed catalog page 246 online from B&H or a handy collapsible reflector.Finally from my friend, Marc Hauser, a modern master who made his first million dollars shooting commercial jobs before he was 21, a video that gives insight to “Marc's unique (and incredibly successful) approach to commercial and advertising black & white portraiture”. He shows you the secrets to his three major lighting setups and how he works with them in the studio $19.95

(Apologies to Santas living outside the shipping areas for gadgets mentioned) and if you are just tired of commercialism around holidays, give the money you would spend on things to your favorite charity. Happy Shopping or Giving!

Ellen Boughn
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  • Ellenboughn
  • Bainbridge Island, United States
I have written a about microstock photography released in 2010. I was the Director of Content at Dreamstime for two years ending in Feb, 2009. You can order my book from amazon via my website at

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December 10, 2007

Ah, a cornucopia o' links and info... just in time for the holidays, and in answer to "what to get the photographer who can't afford everything" list. Thanks!



December 10, 2007

Red: get some of those wonderful Holga images that I see on your website on Dreamstime. I really like the color carnival shot as well as the black and white forest/plants ones. And Denise: you and your brothers have a valuable collection, depending on the models and dates. So take care of the cameras!


December 09, 2007

you know what i bet i have at least one of these. my dad collected cameras...not fancy cameras, but yard sale finds. when he passed away he had already doled out the collection to my brothers and me. thousands, literally thousands of cameras.

i guess i need to go on a search for these and see what i have stored away, or my brothers might have in their stash.

i have turquoise,red,yellow,green, black,white,brown cameras
i have kodak, and agfa and argus and others
fold out and box type , hawkeyes, baby brownies
cartridge,disc,roll name the numbers 35,120,126,620, the list goes on
flash cubes and flash bars and pop out bulbs and hotshoes

well you get the idea....i will check this out for sure.


December 08, 2007

Doesn't anyone want to talk about their experiences with a Holga or why it would be a great idea to have a portable reflector? See above:)


December 08, 2007

Sorry guys, I see your point. But it really doesn't bother me a bit.
There are much important things to think about on the community. :-)
All the best!


December 07, 2007

I believe they both have a place at Dreamstime. They are both interesting and draw people, questions, comments, and photos together. It's not a competition, one can enhance the other. Often times I think we spend to much time looking if we can find something wrong with things instead of what's right about it.
Thank you for allowing me to blog my opinion.


December 07, 2007

i have wondered too,if blogs had taken away from the discussions on the message board. it seems the blogs get more activity as of late


December 06, 2007

My blog that I post every week is about what to shoot that sells in the stock business. I set aside this subject this one time because of the holiday. Sorry if you thought it not appropriate. You can read my what to shoot blog every week on the home page. thanks for your comment.


December 06, 2007

Are BLOGS taking over from MESSAGE BOARD or do they both have their place on this site?