How to Rent Photography Equipment
When I first started my business, I knew I couldn't afford the initial investment of all the photography equipment I needed. So, I did what any pro on a budget would do... I rented it! To this day, I still rent equipment, especially if there is a new lens or camera body on the market I want to try out first before purchasing. Below are go to tips every time I rent camera gear:
- Do You Research | Or better put, what equipment do you need? Knowing exactly what you need will make the entire process that much easier. Depending upon where your renting from, a majority of locations will have a list already prepared for you to choose from. BIGGS is my go-to local store for renting equipment even today, click HERE for an example of their rental equipment guide.
- Call Ahead | Don't wait until the day before, or heaven forbid, the day of to rent the equipment you need. Stores only stock a limited supply of camera equipment, so calling ahead to reserve will ensure they have the gear you need. I sometimes call three weeks in advance if I know what I need that far out.
- Know Your Schedule | Renting equipment is super affordable, and is the cheapest option compared to buying what you need. However, knowing your schedule and when you plan to pick up and drop off the equipment is key to keeping costs down. Usually stores will rent Monday Through Saturday... if they are not open on Sunday. I pick up my equipment on Saturday, and since Sunday is a "free" day, I've got the equipment all weekend long for just a 24 hour rental... just be sure to return is by the time you picked it up., otherwise costs will increase.
- Check the Equipment | I ALWAYS check the equipment before leaving the store, I want to ensure I'm not charged for any damages when I return everything. I've had one issue where the extra battery in a D810 camera body would not charge. I called the store immediately to let them know, and they were very cool about the whole thing.... even gave me discount for the inconvenience.
The first time I rented equipment, I was very intimidated... how was I supposed to know which lens to try? Once I did my research it was so much easier, and the time after that was easier, and so on. Now I'm on a first name basis with everyone at the store. When in doubt, ask the staff at the camera store for help... more than likely the staff is super knowledgeable and very helpful. Renting equipment should and is super fun, and the steps above have made it that much easier for me :)