It's that time of year again... though next week's big holiday is Thanksgiving, a close runner-up is the day after, when the holiday shopping madness gets officially underway. Personally, I absolutely despise that particular madness, though I do love the look on someone's face when they open a gift that they absolutely love... especially if that gift came from me! Assuming that you, too, want to find gifts your friends and family will love, without trudging two miles from the nearest parking space to the mall, I thought I'd toss out some ideas for that special someone on your list who happens to love photography... whether they're a pro or a novice or just someone who appreciates beautiful pictures. Frames and prints are nice, of course, but here are some ideas they'll be surprised and wowed by! First, a look at some fun gear that makes a nice addition to any photographer's arsenal!

Raleigh Photographer Holiday IdeasA: Two magnetic mini-lenses from Photojojo snap onto your camera phone to create macro, fisheye, and wide-angle photos once only possible with big, bulky cameras... $40 for the set. (You should sign up for Photojojo's newsletter, too... great ideas and fun products in your inbox every week!)

B: The Lightscoop is a simple, ingenious way to transform harsh, on-camera flash into soft, pretty bounced flash without any expensive, bulky equipment... $30 each or a pair (standard and warming) for $50.

C: The Lola bag (and really any of the bags) from Epiphanie is a fantastic gift for the female photog on your list... yours truly included! $165

Raleigh Photographer Holiday IdeasD: Etsy has hundreds of options for handmade camera strap covers... every kind of print and pattern to make that generic black camera a one-of-a-kind original (the one pictured above is from here). For the photographer who uses a smaller point and shoot camera, search "camera case" for loads of great ideas... $12 - $30-ish.

E: OMG I love these SO MUCH!!! Near-perfect replicas of the Nikon 24-70mm and the Canon 24-105 that you drink out of! Tops? Lens caps, of course :) The Nikon version even zooms... $24 Canon/$30 Nikon.

F: And for the photographer who has everything... pick out a few of their best photos and order a case of Jones Soda with personalized labels. You can choose your flavor(s), give photo credits, and even write a custom message on the back. Could make a pretty nice presentation on the dinner table... $16.99 for 12/$29.99 for 24.

Finally, (shameless plug warning!) there's always the gift of custom photography! Do you know someone who's having a baby in the next year? Graduating from high school? So busy they don't have time to think about family portraits while their twins are still toddlers? I've got some beautiful gift cards that look amazing wrapped in a bow... and come in any size you'd like. Call or email me for details on giving your loved ones a gift they'll (literally) treasure forever.

Raleigh Photographer Holiday Ideas