Men’s (and Photographer’s) Holiday Gift Tips Plus An Art Giveaway

Hellsgate Bridge - Astoria, New York City

It is the season of giving, so I am going to give some lucky person a framed, matted, and signed piece of original photographic artwork by yours truly. No purchase necessary, but you will have to keep reading to find out how to enter.

I enjoy my Twitter chats with other folks in the wedding community. Today on BrideChat, which takes place every Thursday, the ladies were saying how difficult it is to buy holiday gifts for men. I must say, that I too am guilty of not informing people of what I would like to get for the holidays. Talk to my wife, she will tell you. It runs in my family.

So, here goes, I am going to give you some pointers for the man, and/or photographer, in your life…

Men’s Holiday Gift Buying Tips

Today, I said something along the lines of, “Buying gifts for men is difficult because we don’t NEED anything, we already have the special ladies in our life. That’s all we need.” I know, cheesey and cute Listen, you know your guy better than I do, most likely. We are all a little bit different but in some ways, very similar.

1. Buy your man something he wants but won’t buy for himself

I don’t like to ‘treat’ myself. I don’t see it as practical. Most men are practical. The gift does not have to be lavish. It truly is the thought that counts, in my opinion. Has your man been in love with a particular movie but will never buy a copy of it for himself? Does he carry around the same old ratty messenger bag because he just doesn’t think it is worth it to buy a new one? Does he complain about how long it takes to trim his facial hair but won’t spend $30 on a decent beard trimmer? My wife bought for me was a new attache and it literally made me cry. Why? Because I am a sentimental, emotional mess? Yes, this is true. But it was also because she knew I would never go out and buy something like that for me.

2. Get him something that makes his life easier

There is too much stress out there, especially at the holidays – information overload, STUFF and THING overload. Get your man something that eliminates the need for another thing. That is one of the reasons we love gadgets (the other reason is below, so keep reading), because they eliminate the need to carry around two or three things when we could just carry one. I believe it is the main reason men love Swiss Army Knives.

3. Get him something he will think is cool.

Why do men love gadgets? Mostly because they do something we think is really cool. Yes, I know this is vague. But like I said, every man is different. Two examples of this (and they also fit into the previous category of making life easier/eliminating other things):

  • The phone case which is also a battery pack – Mophie makes these for iPhones and I think it is brilliant. It extends your battery life and also protects your phone!
  • The coffee cup power inverter – your man is in the car a lot? Needs to charge multiple devices? It plugs into the car power outlet and gives you two 3-prong outlets and a USB port. And it fits into the cup holder. Brilliant!

Ladies, I am trying to help you get inside the mind of your man so you can have a better idea of what he might think will be an awesome holiday gift. And now, I move on to the photographer in your life…

Photographer Holiday Gift Buying Tips

Photographers can be extremely difficult to buy for at the holidays. Again, just ask my wife. One of the main problems is that cameras and lenses (at least good ones) are very expensive items. All of the things I mentioned about buying for men can also be applied to photographers, but I will go into a little more detail and offer some specific tips.

1. Accessories or Software

Don’t want to drop hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a camera or a new lens? What type of photography do they like or what do they struggle with? Do they like taking group portraits but they are never in them because they are stuck behind the camera or they have to put the timer on and run around to get into the shot on time? Consider a wireless remote. They are usually around $20-$30 and they will make their life easier. Just make sure it works with their brand of camera. Adorama offers this remote that works with five different brands of cameras for under $20.

In the software category, OnOne Software and Topaz Labs have great software at reasonable prices for creating effects and streamlining the ‘post-production’ process.

2. Don’t buy a ‘how to’ book, buy a book that will inspire them

I am not saying your photographer friend/loved one does not need or might not want a ‘how to’ book. It is just that unless you speak with them in depth about the topic, the book may not cover what they want to learn. I suggest getting them a book of photography in the style of photos that they truly enjoy: portraits, landscapes, bands. Looking at beautiful pictures inspires us to create amazing photos of our own. It opens up our eyes.

As an aside, if you are looking for a ‘how to’ gift, I highly recommend Joe McNally’s “Language of Light” DVD’s – link here – I watch it on the big screens at Adorama whenever I am there and it is incredibly insightful and educational.

3. If you want to go big ticket, talk to us.

You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something they don’t want. Have a discussion. It could be awkward or disappointing if you get the lens for the wrong type of camera or a light that doesn’t work with other lights they already have. So just talk to them, it might ruin the ‘surprise’ factor, but not if you are sneaky and talk about several different items and maybe frame it inside a discussion about what they would like to get next in regards to camera equipment.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions you would like to ask, feel free to leave a comment or find me on Facebook or Twitter and give me a shout. Personally, I think artwork makes a great holiday gift. And on that note…

Artwork Giveaway

Wonder Wheel Coney Island Brooklyn New York

Sometimes people are a little surprised to find out that I take photos outside of weddings. Perhaps it is because I focus so much on the wedding stuff (sorry, that pun always makes me laugh, photographer humor). Well, most professional photographers take pictures outside of what they do as a business. Sometimes it is a personal project, or simply something they find interesting. In the spirit of the holidays, I am going to give one lucky person one of my personal works of art – an 11×14, framed, matted and signed photograph – a nearly $200 value (though, really, it is priceless if I do say so myself). If you would like to simply purchase some of my artwork, you can click here – I will be giving 10% off (including limited edition, signed and numbered artwork) until December 22nd. Due to the holidays and travel schedules and the like, I am extending the contest entry deadline until the end of the year. The drawing will take place on January 1st, starting off the new year by giving away free stuff!

How to enter, and please make sure you follow the rules:

1. You need to “like” my Facebook photography page (link here) and/or follow me on Twitter @caseyfphoto

2. Go to my Facebook page and find the gallery marked “Casey Fatchett Artwork” – and “like” your favorite photo.

3. Share a link to this post on Facebook with the following text “I would really love to win artwork from Casey Fatchett!” and/or tweet this text – I would really love to win artwork from @caseyfphoto – Please RT –

self portrait

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