multi tool

Seasonal gifts and goodies

It might not take pictures, but it looks the part. £5

If you're looking for a little-ish gift for a photographically inclined loved one, these are eight favourite suggestions coming in at £25 or under (so that's around $40). Some are quirky, some are practical, but with luck, any of them should bring a smile to someone's face. Better yet, they are all available online so you don't need to brave the thronging hordes on the high street.

Camera necklace

In-keeping with my search for a piece of camera-oriented jewellery, this year I went in search of necklaces. I've found a heap of them. Who knew that they'd be so popular? But here are two of my favourites:

Antique-looking silver for $15

Or chunky acrylic for £5


When I road-tested tiltpods for mobile and compact cameras earlier this year, I said that I thought they'd make great presents, but I wouldn't necessarily buy one for myself. Seeing as this is the season to be giving gifts...

Tiltpods for mobile or compact camera are $14.95

Cookie Cutters

Cookie dough + camera-shaped cookie cutter = An edible Nikon D800. What's not to love?

All of $17.95

Bokeh Masters kit

More than anything I think that adding cute shaped bokeh to the background of your pictures is good fun. This kit gives you 25 pre-cut shapes to play with and an opportunity to craft eight of your own.

$25 from DIY Photography

Triggertrap mobile

Wirelessly control your SLR from your mobile phone (Android or iOS) to make time-lapses or distance-lapses; trigger the shutter using sound, vibration, or facial recognition; chase stars, and generally have far too much fun with a camera.

The app costs $4.99 from Apple or Google Play, the all-important dongle is $29.99


Having a multi-tool stashed in your kit-bag can be Very Useful Indeed. You never know when you might need a screw driver or a pair of scissors. There are hundreds to choose from, but right now this Leatherman is great value.

$35 on Amazon US

Or £36 on Amazon UK


If someone were to ask me which photography book I'd most like this year, it would be one that's beautiful and inspires me. So I'm going to suggest National Geographic's Life in Color.

$40 from the National Geographic store

Fracture gift certificate

The wonderful people at Fracture sponsor our monthly photo contest here and supply the winner with a gorgeous 12" Fracture. They also offer gift certificates so your beloved photographer can turn their own images into stunning glass prints.

As much as you want to spend

Of course, last year's suggestions are just as valid this year. So do take a look at that list, which includes practical cleaning kits and grey cards as well as adorable camera-shaped rubber stamps.

10 essentials for your kit bag


There’s heaps written about what every photographer should have in her or his kit bag: camera bodies that can sink battleships, a range of lenses to bankrupt the Sultan of Brunei, flashes enough to illuminate the Sahara on a moonless night. And really, we know about this sort of stuff; we’d not be taking very many pictures without any of it.

There are other kit bag essentials, though; the little things that you learn about from your friends, the bits that you only realise should always be in your bag after the event. Between us, we’ve accumulated a few suggestions, so we thought that we’d share the sum of Small Aperture’s collective kit bag wisdom.

  1. Gaffer tape. I grew up in a rural community, where most anything could be fixed using baling twine, lolly sticks, and gaffer tape. It has stood me in good stead.
  2. Spare memory cards. I can’t think why.
  3. Spare batteries, of all varieties: for your camera, for your flashes, for your brain.
  4. Business cards. Seriously, you don’t have any business cards? Go to Moo and get some. Now.
  5. Torch. I don’t know about you, but my night vision isn’t that good.
  6. Something to fasten or secure things: string, cable ties, tie-twists, elastic bands. (Or baling twine, even.) Don’t forget that string can double as an emergency tripod.
  7. Microfibre cloth. Shiny!
  8. At least one plastic bag; preferably several in a few different sizes.
  9. Some kind of multi-tool business, you know, Swiss Army Knife, or Leatherman.
  10. Notebook and pencil or pen. Yes, we all have mobile phones capable of taking notes now, but you never know when you might need to actually write down something.

Anyway, this is what we schlep around with us, pretty much. Is there anything that you’d like to add to our mix?