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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Great State Classic Skinny strap review images (1 of 8)ISO 1001-100 sec at f - 2.0

It’s no secret that photography gear is very expensive and that the hobby is general isn’t a cheap one. But there are gifts that you can snag for the photographer in your life (or yourself) that won’t break the bank too much or even at all. We’ve spent a week perusing deals and thinking of ideas for really affordable but solid gifts for the photographer under $100.

Here’s our roundup of gifts under $100.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Heavy Leather Classic Strap review images (1 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.5

The pro camera: it’s a moniker used often to distinguish one camera from another. There are devices designed and targeted at enthusiasts, semi-professionals, hobbyists, and of course–professionals. Many of the cameras targeted at the pros are much more expensive and bring with them a host of crazy features that you’ll probably never use but that companies have decided to pack into the cameras as a way to sell them. It works, and it’s not at all like we’re bashing the exemplary products that lead the way on innovation in the photo world.

But the idea of a professional camera is a myth.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D MK II review product images (2 of 10)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 4.0

If you were a painter, what would you prioritize: selling paintings or buying new brushes?

You want to shoot photos like a pro. Heck, everyone wants to shoot like a pro. It’s a common statement in the photography world, but it’s very, very misunderstood. When someone says that they want to shoot like a professional, the common vernacular and industry in general has been positioning that statement more towards the gear. Gear: yes, it’s cool. We drool over it. This site is guilty of it too: it brings in traffic numbers!

But to truly shoot like a pro requires you to dissect what they do. Professional photographers spend a very little amount of their time behind the camera and more in front of clients, developing concepts, in front of a computer doing tasks, managing budgets, paying taxes, etc. To shoot like a pro, you’ll need to spend less time shooting photos and even less time worrying about new gear because you’re going to be so stuck doing many other tasks.

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Photographers Hoodie from Teespring front

It’s official: even Teespring agrees that photographers make up a superior race of human beings. Or at least that’s what they’re hinting at with this new hoodie on their site. It’s called “A few become photographers” and it seems to be the deal of the day going for $39.99. And it comes in a variety of colors too.

To be honest though, we’re not sure what’s with the skull in the middle of the front/lens. It’s almost like the illuminati or some sort of secret sect within the United States is trying to target photographers.

Nah, we’re just kidding. We really are superior ;)

Phoblographer (5)

All images by Jacob Loafman. Used with permission.

The first year is always the toughest both as a business owner and as a photographer. It’s all about understanding yourself as a shooter, making sure that your business is profitable, and adjusting to the landscape. We found photographer Jacob Loafman and upon hearing that he has been shooting for just under a year, we were quite shocked to see the incredible quality of his work and his success–which is seemingly rare amongst many budding professionals.

Jacob attributes his success partially to his tagline: “Let’s create together.” He admits that the business side was incredibly tough, and that his beginnings were still very humble.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials for th Strobist Street Photographer (2 of 9)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 3.5

“I want to be a pro.”

Don’t pretend like that thought hasn’t come across your mind at all. Many of us as photographers have always wanted to go pro. It’s in gear marketing, it’s part of the aspirations of many in the photo community, and it’s ingrained in so many tutorials that are all across the web. So what does being a pro mean? Being a professional photographer means that the large majority of your income is from photography. This means that you shoot for a living and if you’re not shooting then you probably can’t pay rent, put food on the table, etc. Is this you? Probably not.

But then let’s start to break that down a bit more: you could aspire to be a semi-professional photographer. This means that anywhere from around 40-50% of your income is from photography. The rest of the money may come from your full time job. Being the semi-professional photographer is a much more attainable ideal to strive for than relying entirely on photography for all of your income. No matter how good you are, you need to consider a couple of very big factors at play here.

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