Best Photography Gifts for Mother's Day

Mother’s Day typically means breakfast in bed or a crowded brunch for Moms. And don’t get me wrong, taking a day to appreciate all the hard work Moms do is incredibly important. But if you have a wife, sister, or daughter who loves photography, why not get her (or yourself) something a bit more special for Mother’s Day? Here are a few ideas that are sure to make a photography-loving Mom happy…

Personalized camera strap

A camera strap might seen like an unimportant afterthought when it comes to photography equipment, but it matters quite a lot of terms of comfort, utility, and yes, looks. This is the first thing I replace when I get a new camera, because why would you want the itchy logo-ridden standard strap that comes with the camera?

  • FotoStrap - Leather and fabric camera straps that can be personalized with engraved initials or words. Best of all, these are actually good camera straps! And they look fantastic.

Photo Locket

For a jewelry-loving Mom, a photo locket is a great gift.. as long as it’s not a cheap piece of jewelry. If you were already thinking of a necklace or bracelet as the perfect Mother’s Day gift, consider including a photo personalization to make it extra special.

  • With You Lockets - photo lockets can be garish and ugly, which is why I really like this company’s products. Best of all, they also print and place the photo into the locket so you don’t have to do all that detailed guess-work.

A cool walk-around camera

It’s not always practical to take the big fancy camera on the road, which is why a travel or everyday camera is such a fun thing to have around - like one of the Fuji mirrorless cameras with gorgeous retro styling. My personal experience with these is limited (my husband has yet to gift me one of these for Mother’s Day!), but I know quite a few photographers who love theirs.

  • FujiFilm T-X3 - Depending on your budget, you’ll probably have quite a few options from Fuji. And while I haven’t personally tested any mirrorless bodies, they’re all a pretty good option nowadays. Most of all, they brought back the old look for these cameras, which will melt any photography-enthusiast’s heart.

Fancy camera bag

The best camera bag is one that doesn’t look like a camera bag. And for women, that means something both stylist (well designed and pretty) and useful (padded for camera equipment with pockets for personal items). This will also encourage bringing the camera out more often, and who doesn’t love that?

  • Kelly Moore Bag - Probably the most popular fancy camera bag out there, with a nice well-designed selection that would please just about anyone.

  • Sue Bryce Bag Collection - A new offering from a portrait photographer and educator, Sue Bryce, who is well known for quality.

Photography Education

There is one thing all photographers love. Learning! Trying to improve photography skills is a universal pursuit when we pick up a camera, and gifting a class or a subscription to photography learning is one of the most useful gifts you can give.

  • ClickinMoms - An online community of photography enthusiasts and professionals with a focus on community.

  • CreativeLive | CreativeLive Creator Pass - An online video tutorial site with the option of purchasing individual classes or a monthly/yearly subscription.

  • Private Camera Lesson with a Professional Photographer - If you’re looking for a more efficient option, some professional photographers teach in-person lessons. Reach out to your favorite local photographer to see if this is something they offer.

A 50mm prime lens

If Mom is still only using the standard 18-55mm kit lens that came with her fancy DSLR camera, a 50mm prime will open up a whole new world in terms of creativity and control. And the best part is that these lenses tend to be fairly reasonable, with improved focus speed, optics, and sharpness.

* If you’re not quite sure which 50mm to buy exactly, I have a useful article all about lenses here (and please, make sure to get the right one for the camera!):

A family photo session

For Moms who are always behind the camera, a photo session where someone else is taking the pictures is one of the best gifts you can get her. You can buy a gift certificate that covers the whole session (good) or one that also includes a print credit towards portraits (better). You can even arrange the whole thing with the photographer and book hair & makeup so that Mom gets the full experience without having to worry about doing all the work herself. The key here is to make sure this gift doesn’t create more work for Mom (I mean, really, who wants that?), which is why every one of my sessions includes an In-Home Styling Appointment, because otherwise it’s putting more work into her hands.

  • Photo Session Gift Certificates - You can purchase a gift certificate for any amount online and I will email or hand-deliver it to you ASAP. And yes, you can totally get one at the very last minute.

Image of a photography gift box from N. Lalor Photography in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The thing is, most Mother’s Day gifts suck. A lot of the things we receive are useless tchotchkes that end up cluttering up our homes and get stuffed into trash bags when we KonMari the living room. So stay away from the obvious things like photography-slogan t-shirts, keychains, cheap necklaces, and lens-looking coffee mugs. And don’t get Moms anything that actually creates more work, like photo albums that she’ll then have to fill.

Most of all, all we really want is a clean house, well-behaved children, and maybe a nice quiet nap in the middle of the day (or maybe that’s just me).. but we’ll definitely take anything that’s both good and photography-related as well!