Hardware,  News

The Ultimate Gift Guide for iPhone Photographers by Austin Mann – TheAppWhisperer

Many thanks to my friend Austin Mann, the photographer behind the iPhone 6/Icelandic trip (see here) who has allowed me to republish his ‘Ultimate Gift Guide for iPhone Photographers’. There are so really wonderful items in this list, ones that if you don’t have already, you might want to consider, take a look below…

“One of reasons iPhone photography is so fun is simplicity. No need to pick a lens, choose complex settings or anything else… It’s just you, the iPhone, and the beauty around you.

That said, there are thousands of iPhone accessories hitting the market these days claiming to somehow enhance your iPhone photography. Some of the tools really do — others don’t.

I researched quite a bit and assembled this guide to help you skip over the nonsense and learn about the gear that really can help you (or whomever you are buying a gift for) take iPhone photography to the next level”.

You can also view this list on his site here

Nova Wireless Flash – $59

This little iPhone gadget is so cool! It’s super simple and lightweight and does exactly what you’d hope for. It connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and you can control it, including color temperature, with their nicely designed free Nova Photos app.

Having an off-camera light can really enhance your portrait images, product shots, and even interior architectural images.

> Perfect for: photographing people at night or indoorsportrait photographers, or anyone who loves creating with off-camera lighting.

Click here to purchase

Moment 18 mm wide-angle lens – $100

The founders of Moment set out to build the world’s best mobile photo lens, and they did exactly that. The optical quality is incredible with almost zero distortion, so it’s great for capturing a wide landscape, architecture, or a group shot in tight quarters.

It mounts to your phone with a bayonet system that is quick and easy… I like it. Keep in mind it’s heavier than other options and the mount system protrudes a bit around the lens on your phone. It’s a small price to pay for the performance, but still a consideration.

If you are looking for the highest-quality optics in a mobile lens, look no further. This is what I carry.

Note: They also make a 60mm lens that is especially great for portraits.

> Perfect for: any professional interested in the absolute best optics in a wide-angle mobile photo lens.

Click here to purchase

Kenu Stance $30

This is the lightest, fastest, smallest way to stabilize your iPhone on a tripod I can find. It’s lighter than you might expect, so it’s an absolute no-brainer to throw this thing in your bag. In fact, it’s so small you might forget it’s in your bag! It’s stable indoors, but when the wind blows, it does shake a bit. Anyone interested in outdoor time-lapses or long exposures should take a look at the heavier but more stable option below.

Note: It also has a bottle opener built-in!

> Perfect for: setting up a quick family self-portrait, an indoor time-lapse, or conveniently displaying iPhone at your desk.

Click here to purchase

Shoulderpod s1 & Ultrapod II – $52

This combo is awesome, and the best value for your money. In my opinion, it is the most stable, mobile and versatile tripod solution for  iPhone 6 Plus. It’s rock solid and heavy duty. When my iPhone 6 Plus is in the jaws of Shoulderpod S1, I have no doubt it will hold strong. It’s adjustable, so it can easily handle the iPhone 6 or 5S, as well.

The UltraPod II can handle the the iPhone 6 Plus easily and has a ball head that locks in place. (It’s even strong enough to hold a full-size dSLR.) It also has a nice velcro strap that proves useful for attaching the camera to a tree or pole at whatever height you might want to shoot from.

> Perfect for: the professional looking a small but sturdy option to set up mobile time-lapses in any environment

Click here to purchase Shoulderpod S1

Click here to purchase UltraPod II

AnyGlove $20

If you live in a cold environment or spend time on the slopes, this is a no-brainer. I applied the solution to the thumb on my mittens and then rapidly dried it with a hair dryer, which takes about 60 seconds. I repeated the process two additional times and it works very well.

My mittens are a soft black nylon and there was no noticeable visible difference or discoloration, though I did read it can discolor lighter covered gloves.

> Perfect for: skiers/snowboarders, snowman builders, cyclers, or just about anyone who wears gloves and operates an iPhone

Click here to purchase

Ravpower Lipstick Charger – $18

I carry this gadget with me everywhere. It gives you 3200 mAh of power storage (for reference, the iPhone 6 Plus internal battery is 2915 mAh). In addition to juicing up your USB device, it also has a nice little flashlight on it with bright, dim, and blinking modes.

> Perfect for: anyone looking for a low-cost option to re-juice their iPhone throughout the day.

Click here to purchase

HyperJuice 2 – $300

I’ve been using a HyperJuice battery pack for years and really love it. It charges my iPhone 6 Plus very quickly and many times over. It can also charge an iPad or even a MacBook Pro like a champ. HyperJuice is great to carry in your pack if you go out iPhone shooting for a day or shoot a super long time-lapse and need a trusty backup to keep it juiced. It’s like having a power outlet with you, all the time.

Perfect for: the traveling professional looking for the best mobile power option to power USB devices (and even a MacBook Pro) for extended periods of time.

Click here to purchase $300

Mobile Cloth – $14

These high tech little cloths are uniquely designed for glass touchscreen surfaces, and they clean iPhone screens/lenses remarkably better than anything else I’ve ever used. I’ve carried them for years and keep one in almost every pocket of my laptop and camera bags because I want to make sure there’s always one within reach.

Perfect for: anyone who wants to keep their touchscreen and lens smudge-free

7 Port USNB Charging Station $36

Any iPhone photographer is power hungry… charging iPhones, iPads, eReaders, bluetooth speakersmobile batteries, wireless flashes, and all kinds of accessories.

This 7-port charger handles the job like a champ. Every single port is equipped with their SmartIC Technology that detects the varying power requirements for each device and delivers what’s needed. It feels super solid and heavy in your hand, but is compact enough to throw in a travel bag if needed.

Perfect for: the gadget-heavy, power hungry digital explorer with an array of USB powered devices.

Click here to purchase

Camalapse: 360 Time-Lapse – $30

This accessory makes it quick and easy to add some pizzaz to your time-lapses. It rotates 360° in one hour, offering an immersive time-lapse visual that will be distinctly unique to other mobile time-lapses. It has a nice matte finish to it.

This works great with the UltraPod II + Shoulderpod S1 combo I mentioned above.

Note: It makes a clicking sound when rotating, so it’s not ideal for extremely quiet environments.

> Perfect for: strengthening perspective of indoor and outdoor time-lapses.

Click here to purchase

Maxstone Remote Trigger – $54

This Bluetooth remote is the newest companion in my bag and I love it. It’s a great way to fire your iPhone camera when it’s on a tripod, or otherwise not near you, and works both for photos and video. The matte finish feels nice to the touch and it is sturdy/well made. I found the range to be pretty far, at least 50 feet.

Note: If you have a dSLR, you can use this to control many dSLRs with your iPhone, too! Read more about that on their website.

> Perfect for: firing your iPhone camera for a family self-portrait, capturing wildlife, or snapping a shot discreetly when the moment is perfect

Click here to purchase

This one is quite an off-beat inclusion. You might like considering this picture to painting converter to gift them something unique and handmade.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]


    • Carlos

      One thing I would add to that is iTunes gift card. It is so nice to be able to buy apps without having to look at the price. My wife gave me a $60 gift card and I was in heaven until it ran out. I would add this to the list.

  • Carolyn Hall Young

    A great list, and I do agree with Carlos! An iTunes gift card is a great gift for those of use who have iThings.