Holiday Gift Guide: Travel & Photography

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)

Creating gift guides has always been somewhat nervewracking for me. It’s what they tell us bloggers should be doing around this holiday time in order to make the most affiliate money, but I just feel overwhelmed by it all. How could I possibly compile the perfect list “For Her” when I don’t even know who the proverbial her is?

So this time around, I’m posting gift guides with a caveat– these are things I personally love or have on my own Christmas wishlist. It’s not going to be a list for everybody, but surely there are others out there who have some of these overlapping interests like mine in common.

This gift guide is for the traveling photographer. The one consumed by wanderlust who loves discovering beauty in foreign places and capturing it with their camera. I hope these ideas help you in some way, and please feel free to leave questions about any of them in the comments!

Fujifilm X100F – “The World’s Best Digital Camera”

This is an upgraded version of my trusty Fuji X100T (pictured above). Although, I can’t justify buying it for myself, since I already have the older one, it’s the best available choice for those who are currently in the market for a new compact digital camera.

Fujifilm XT1 – My Favorite Mirrorless Travel Camera

For those looking for a little more versatility, the Fuji XT1 is basically the X100 series with interchangeable lenses. This is the kit I took with me on our France trip, and I was so happy with the results. As a bonus stocking stuffer idea, check out this gorgeous leather wrist strap from ONA. It’s the perfect size and fit for both of my Fuji cameras.

Lenses: 35mmF1.4 R, 16mmF1.4 R WR, and 50mmF2 R WR

I’m strictly a prime lens shooter. On my crop-sensor camera, the 35mm lens is like a 50mm on full-frame ones. This is the standard focal length that I shoot with on my Canon DSLRs. The 1.4 aperture gives me beautiful bokeh and is great in low-light situation. I LOVE the 16mm for travel because it allows me to fit so much in the frame. It also has a 1.4 aperture and is super sharp. I was debating between purchasing the infamous “bokeh monster” 56mm 1.2 lens, but opted instead for the less expensive 50mm 2.0 for now. The tipping point for me (besides the price) was that it is weather-resistant (as is the 16mm). I didn’t know what the weather conditions would be like in France, and they ended up being rainy several days! I was able to keep my camera out despite the showers and got shots that I wouldn’t have otherwise .

ONA “The Palma” Camera Bag

All of my camera bags are from ONA. I love them all for different reasons, but The Palma was my first and remains the go-to style for traveling. The gorgeous leather goes with any outfit, the crossbody style keeps my hands-free for photography, and it’s spacious enough to fit what I need without being obtrusive. It also doesn’t scream “tourist with an expensive camera” for areas where theft is a concern.

Apple iPad Pro

I’ve always been pretty skeptical about using tablets to edit digital photos. I didn’t see how they could compare to my Macbook Pro. But when I started researching the Apple iPad Pro, I found several photographers who are using it as a part of their workflow and find it to be faster and more efficient! Lightroom Mobile now offers the ability to edit RAW/DNG image files. GAME CHANGER. (This video was the one that convinced me). It seems like the perfect solution for blogging and instagramming on the go, without losing my editing style. It’s now on my personal Christmas list, along with the Apple Pencil for easy retouching.

Lack of Color “Spencer” Wide Brimmed Straw Boater Hat

A classic straw hat is a must for the obligatory travel Instagram picture. I’ve been on a goldilocks-like search for the perfect straw hat. Some brims have been too small, some too large— this one from Australian brand Lack of Color is just right. It’s made of high-quality straw, so you can use steam to get it back into shape after traveling with it. Which also leads me to this next item…

Baye Hardcase Hat Box from CALPAK

I never fully understood the need for a hat box when traveling, until I went on several flight with my various straw hats and realized what a nuisance it can be. There’s no comfortable way to wear or carry hats when you’re sitting on an airplane or traveling through airports.

Leather Passport Holder by Rebecca Minkoff

I just love the sentiment of this passport holder’s text and the classic minimalist design of the textured Saffiano leather. International flights can stress out even the most seasoned traveler, and this passport holder is the perfect reminder that it’s worth every hassle!

Vintage-Inspired Trunk Suitcase(s)
Steamline Luggage is basically the dream and holy grail of this category. If the price-tag is over your budget, here are several alternatives with a similar style. I own the Saluti Hardside Spinner Luggage Set from Diane von Furstenberg. I get compliments on it every time I travel, but it’s functional enough that Holden even takes it on his business trips without me! (In case he’s reading this and feels extra generous this year… I’d really love to upgrade to this Steamline carry-on suitcase someday *wink wink*)

Packing Cubes

These are the best investment EVER. My travel expert mom recommended them to me, and they’ve changed my life. Since we used to fly standby a lot with my dad working for the airlines, our family became accustomed to never checking luggage. These miracle cubes help me save precious space so I can fit everything I need in a carry-on. I ended up buying a second set after lending one to a friend who decided she loved the cubes so much she was keeping mine. (I considered it her early birthday present haha)

Portable Carbon-Fiber Tripod

I’ve been looking for a lightweight tripod so that Holden and I could both be in the shot when traveling. We tested this one out for our holiday photos, and it was great! I was able to carry it around easily with my gear and two puppies in tow, so I’m excited to bring it with us on our upcoming travels.

The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small By Kath Stathers

This beautiful book (available on Amazon with free one-day shipping, for any last-minute shoppers) is filled with gorgeous travel photography to quench your wanderlust. It’s also a great reminder that bucket lists don’t just have to be places to visit… it can also encompass experiences, goals, and things to learn. This is a great stocking stuffer for anyone on your list who loves to feel inspired!

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