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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 21 Jan 2012 (Saturday) 09:49
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Rent Your Gear?

 
stewartsj3
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Jan 21, 2012 09:49 |  #1

I have a small photog business but I haven't been generating a whole lot of income as of late. Part of that is due to lack of marketing, SEO, etc. on my part, and the other is the market that I'm in as it is super oversaturated with "photographers" (mostly moms who bought a DSLR so now they think they are photographers, etc.)

So other than doing the occasional wedding and the various family and child portrait sessions, we've been looking at other ways to earn money and I was considering renting out my gear to other local photographers.

Is this a good idea? Or is this something anyone else has done or currently does? I would do a daily rate and if they wanted to rent it for longer periods of time it would be discounted.

Any thoughts on this? Concerns? Any advice/wisdom anyone can impart would be appreciated. Thanks!


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PhotosGuy
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Jan 21, 2012 10:33 |  #2

Don't forget this: Question about inland marine insurance

lack of marketing, SEO, etc. on my part,

So I'm suspecting that what you have isn't a business, but maybe a hobby that occasionally makes a buck? ;)
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stewartsj3
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Jan 21, 2012 11:20 |  #3

PhotosGuy wrote in post #13742857 (external link)
Don't forget this: Question about inland marine insurance
So I'm suspecting that what you have isn't a business, but maybe a hobby that occasionally makes a buck? ;)
Go to http://www.shootsmarte​r.com/ (external link) & search for marketing & competitive

No, we actually have a business, licensed and everything. This year was slow for us and we had to take quite a bit of time off for the birth of our 2nd child. That being said, I know that I can do better with marketing, SEO, and all that jazz.

What I'm wondering is if there are other photogs who rent their gear out on top of their normal business and how successful that has been for them.


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Ledrak
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Jan 21, 2012 12:24 as a reply to  @ stewartsj3's post |  #4

I personally don't. I would if I had equipment that I didn't regularly use, but when that happens I just sell the equipment rather than rent it out. There are a number of companies that you can rent equipment from at good rates, so unless you know some photogs who are coming to you asking to rent your gear... I don't see you making much money off it.




  
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ssim
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Jan 21, 2012 12:38 |  #5

stewartsj3 wrote in post #13742706 (external link)
and the other is the market that I'm in as it is super oversaturated with "photographers" (mostly moms who bought a DSLR so now they think they are photographers, etc.)

And how did you get your start. It sounds like this is still a part time gig for you.

I have had discussions with a local lens rental firm about them putting my 500 and 600 up for rent. The thing I find about many renting companies is that they will not make the real big ticket purchases such as these lenses. They were more than happy to use my lenses but they wanted their share of the rental to be 60% which is totally unrealistic. I find that most people that want to use glass of this nature are fairly serious photographers and tend to treat the gear with a little more respect than some. I am not keen on setting it up to do myself and if they don't come off their price structure I will simply not do it.


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Ledrak
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Jan 21, 2012 12:52 |  #6

ssim wrote in post #13743387 (external link)
They were more than happy to use my lenses but they wanted their share of the rental to be 60% which is totally unrealistic.

I guess that depends on the details. Does the company handle the insurance? If the rental is done by mail, does the company handle the packing/shipping? Who pays the cc processing fees? All of these things weigh in for me on what percentages people are entitled to. I'm sure the company will argue that they're listing your item for all their customer base to view as well.




  
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stewartsj3
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Jan 21, 2012 17:59 |  #7

ssim wrote in post #13743387 (external link)
And how did you get your start. It sounds like this is still a part time gig for you.

This isn't a full-time job for me. I'm not that heavily invested in it quite yet (though it'd be a dream to). It's not like we are booked months out or have multiple shoots every week - nothing like that. But we got to a point financially where we really had to turn it into a business, at least that's what felt morally correct for me personally.

Anywho, with the different responses, I got to thinking more about it and I've never had anyone ask to rent our gear or anything like that. I know we don't have the best gear by any means, but I think what I'll do is keep the option open. If I run into any locals wanting to try something that I happen to own I'd set something up with them.


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canonguy14
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Jan 21, 2012 20:11 |  #8

stewartsj3 wrote in post #13742706 (external link)
I have a small photog business but I haven't been generating a whole lot of income as of late. Part of that is due to lack of marketing, SEO, etc. on my part, and the other is the market that I'm in as it is super oversaturated with "photographers" (mostly moms who bought a DSLR so now they think they are photographers, etc.)

So other than doing the occasional wedding and the various family and child portrait sessions, we've been looking at other ways to earn money and I was considering renting out my gear to other local photographers.

Is this a good idea? Or is this something anyone else has done or currently does? I would do a daily rate and if they wanted to rent it for longer periods of time it would be discounted.

Any thoughts on this? Concerns? Any advice/wisdom anyone can impart would be appreciated. Thanks!

Here's my thought:

Why not take the effort you're putting into gear rental and actually do the things you need to make your business successful.(SEO, advertising/marketing, etc.)

Mom's with DSLR cameras are one thing, but if you pick the one or two things that make your photography stand out from theirs, you should market that. I have the same issues here in MI. Everybody and their brother with a DSLR is now an overnight success. Or they think they are.

Renting your gear is a specialty. You have decent gear, but what happens when you rent your gear to someone and now have the interest of another booking a session with in the same time frame?

Do you cancel the rental or tell the potential client that you rented your camera out that weekend?


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stewartsj3
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Jan 21, 2012 22:58 |  #9

Great insight canonguy14. You're right that I should probably be spending time (and money) to get my name out in the market a little more. It's tough where I'm at to do so, but still, no excuses. One of our biggest problems right now is lack of money to be able to put into marketing, SEO, etc. There's always the local classifieds and all that, but in order to really get out there with SEO, get into shows, etc. you've got to fork over some dough. Unfortunately, that isn't quite there at this time for us. So in order to get some extra money to go along with the income from our sessions we had thought about renting out our gear. Looking at it now after reading your response among some more research on my part, I would probably end up putting more time and effort into a so-called 'Rental' business instead of the actually photography end of the business.

Thanks for the response. Very helpful.


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Bear ­ Dale
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Jan 22, 2012 23:45 |  #10

What are you going to do when your gear is returned broken or worse...not at all?

Who drives a rental as if it's there own car?


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stewartsj3
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Jan 23, 2012 13:30 |  #11

fotoworx wrote in post #13751569 (external link)
What are you going to do when your gear is returned broken or worse...not at all?

Who drives a rental as if it's there own car?

We would set up contracts and get their payment information previous to renting the gear. If they break it or damage it, they are responsible for repairs and/or replacement items. Similar to online rental places I guess. I hadn't thought too much into the nitty gritty quite yet.


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