Hello and welcome to Snap Creative Photos. My name is Gary Cooper and today I am looking at 5 Gift Ideas for under £20! I have even thrown in an extra gift idea because it’s Monday. If you are reading the blog then welcome back and you will find pictures and links to the items listed. If you are listening on the podcast then I will try to get photos to come up on your screens if possible. As always I will only recommend items which I have used or would use and no matter how much money a brand wants to pay me to talk about an item – If I don’t believe in it then I will be 100% honest about that. So let’s get straight into 5 Photography Gift Ideas for under £20.

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Let’s start off with a bit of an educational and create book. It’s called Photocrafty which is by Sue Venables, the front cover reads – 75 creative camera projects for you and your digital SLR. So I really like this book because it’s not just about different creative ways of taking photos it has also got things around what you can do with the photos so you can really make your photography come to life once you have it printed. You have photo challenges like the one of the photo projects where you take 50 shots of the same image but each shot is a different view or light set up. You’ve also got things like shooting from the hip and the book covers the standard things you’d expect in terms of remember your rule of thirds, remember your lines, how colours complementing each other and how blue makes it a very cold photo and orange makes it a very warm photo. There are projects like framing where you create your frame and then go around shooting photographs of people or views through the frame so I figured out of all the different photo books you could get in terms of creative photo books this one is one that really makes you spend time on it to then make something really interesting so creating dinosaurs to put your photos together on and going outside using chalk to draw out balloons and then have someone lay on the floor and hold the chalk drawing string so it looks as if they’ve been blown away by the balloons or drawing clouds and making the kids dress up as Superman. So I like this book and it’s £11.94 the moment and that’s from Amazon on the back of the book it shows that it normally retails for £14.95 but really like that book.

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Next up on the list I’m going to go for the Neewer 5 in 1 portable reflector 24 to 36 inch. Basically everyone needs a reflector and I am finding that I think I need two reflectors for some of my photography set ups. I’m realising that actually a reflector can come in handy for many things apart from reflecting light, you can also diffused light and also it can form part of a background so you can have your black background and a white background which just saves on speedlights as I had a situation on one of my photo shoots where one of my lights just died on me and nothing I could do would make that work. At the time I was trying to create a white background and how I normally do that is by putting the light behind a subject to make the background go white, what I found at that point is that if I just had a reflector I could put up then at least it would resolve a bit of an issue. The reflector folds up nice and tight, Neewer is a great brand for being able to produce stuff which is very very cheap but it still does the job I’ve got a couple of Neewer items and even a few flashes. Now these are not super fast or the best on the market however for the price you pay they do a dam good job and with some TLC they will last and get you through a photo shoot. They just get the job done and at the time when starting out looking at new gear to buy, this is something which can get you into buying some photography gear and help you to decide if you want to invest more in that idea, I found it really good for if I wasn’t sure that I wanted a softbox of a certain size I could pick it up for a fraction of the cost from Neewer and play around with it and if it wasn’t what I wanted to invest in now then not a problem and if I did want a more expensive one because yeah it would be much better made and you felt like it was going to survive and be durable for you. If you really take care of your Neewer items then they will last. So that’s the Neewer 5 in 1 portable reflector which is under £20.

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Next on my list let’s go for the Big Bigger Picture Inspiration Cards. You get what is like a pack of cards basically same kind of size they come with different Projects and in this one you get 450 possible photography challenges from 10 knowledge cards and 40 task cards so I presume it’s a case of mixing and matching some of the cards to then make it so all goes together but like I said you can get ones which are focused on certain areas like Street Photography but this one is more of a range of different items. What I love about it I picked out a couple here so you have one about freezing time and it will show you the picture of what they mean by that. They give you a little run down and then what the task is and give you some little tips to work with as well that task you have Textures and Patterns, Sounds which looks good as it’s about taking photos of some images that when you look at them it sounds noisy so for example I’ve got an angle grinder in the picture they’ve shown which has sparks coming off of it so your brain is imagining that would have been noisy. There is also a card that looks at reflections and then what I really like and what I’ve always wanted and I’ve never gone and invested in, that they give you a card where you can actually cut-out a composing mask so then you can look through it for your DLSR or for your compact camera depend on what one you’re using and then by using that card keep in your wallet, you pull it out and you can hold it up at a subject and instantly you’re getting a view of what would that look like in the camera and I love that so I’m looking forward to using that and trying out some of the bigger picture ideas. The bigger picture cards are my cheapest item I’ve got on the list today at £6.99.

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Moving on we’ve got another book of how to Photograph Absolutely Everything. So basically this is from a guy called TomAng and Tom does a lot of different books so at least one of them would be a great investment so do check out what one you think is going to appeal to you. I have Tom’s The Complete Photographer and it is really really good which is another book he’s done which I highly recommend that but I think the how to photograph absolutely everything would probably have been the book I would have chosen if I saw both of them side-by-side. The great thing about his books are that they always come with an assignment to get your teeth into and it is in the form of a brief which can be great for learning how to action briefs when moving your photography forward into working with clients. You also get to analysis images which look really fantastic blown up nice and big and they go through four different points on that image for you to bear in mind when you’re looking at it and then you get the assignment and it will break it down with what to look for and things to think about. So what I love about this book is that you get the basic knowledge section, you’ve got People, Landscapes, animals, architecture, events, artistic expression and other areas that you can look at and that’s why with his books they are pretty much the same so you want to get the one that applies to what you want to learn.

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Another Neewer item for you and this it the Photo Studio 176 LED Ultra Bright On camera video light for £18.99 and this is what I mean with Neewer, so the quality of its build isn’t going to be fantastic you will have to look after this item but however a 176 LEDs and they are dimmable so it’s not just a bright light in your face, you are able to dim down the lights and this works with all the cameras as it sits basically on your camera as if it was like a flash so that then also means you can mount it onto a light stand. It’s adjustable so you can tilt it up and down and remember light is the most important thing with photography but also this can double up as if you was doing a video shoot,  it can also double up as just another way you could get a macro shot as it’s continuous lighting which is getting cheaper and I am looking at how I use continuous lighting in my photo shots going forward.

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Lets through a bonus item in there as its Monday. Rechargeable Batteries with Charger Set. It’s by EBL and the power is 2800mah, so I’m not the expert on this one but mah, using my basic knowledge of it, is the amount of power that the battery can store to then keep on powering an item. So the higher that mah number the more it will be able to power in terms of durability for example you wouldn’t put a standard AA battery that probably only has 600-1000mah if I’m right on that power into your digital camera but you would want to put a 2800mah in there because it will last longer, it will be able to cope with the demand of that technical item. So for under £20 it is a rechargeable pack because you don’t want to be going through batteries, one of the things with batteries which are alkaline batteries they’re fantastic because if I have an item that has AA battery compatibility for me that’s brilliant because I will always keep a pack of batteries with me. For example my Neewer flash which I still use as a backup so I take three flashes with me normally on a photoshoot and the backup one being the Neewer one, where it runs on AA batteries so if everything failed on me like my rechargeable flash, although the Neewer refresh is clunky and there has been times when you hear it go off and it’s like wow, actually that’s the one that gets me out of jail if there’s a problem. So that’s my bonus item in this Photography Gifts you can buy for a photographer or treat yourself for under £20

Have a great week everyone and if there is anything you would like to see more of on the Podcast or Blog then get in touch and share your thoughts. Like, Share and Subscribe to keep up to date with this evolving blog. You have been listening to Snap Creative Photos and remember Creativity Has No Limits.

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