Thursday, September 16, 2010

renting gear

Here's the problem with loving photography:  it's expensive.  First the camera, then lenses, then lighting, then accessories, then a cute bag to keep it goes on and on.  I have been shooting with my Canon for over a year, and I love it, but the fact is that I've outgrown it.  But the new camera I want?  $2500.  Ouch.  Also, I currently own just two lenses, one a kit lens that NEVER sees the light of day, and the other my 50 mm f/1.4 prime which I adore but doesn't always get the job done.  So how am I able to still carry off successful photo shoots?  I rent.

When I went to California in June to shoot this wedding, I knew my prime would NOT cut it.  Can you imagine me popping up in front of the audience, behind the groom, "hang on, just gotta get this shot?"  I don't think so.  So I rented the Canon EF 70-200 mm/2.8 lens.  And I'm so glad I did.  I got beautiful shots, while allowing the bride and groom to be the center of attention instead of me and my camera.  The lens, if purchased, is $1900.  Rental price for a weekend is $53.  Yeah.

I've also rented a few cameras to play with, to see which one I really want to buy (learning along the way that the 1Ds Mark III, while a completely amazing camera, is just more than I need.  And also over $6000! And also learning that the 85mm f/1.8 is the next lens I will be buying.)

So why am I sharing this with you?  Because you probably also love photography, but also don't love that it's an expensive hobby/business.  Renting is so easy, and such a good way to experiment with different equipment choices.

I rent from  You can see a link on my blog sidebar.  I like them because they're less expensive than their competitors and have outstanding customer service.  Here's how it works:   go to their homepage.  Find the camera/lens/accessory/whatever you want to rent.  Add it to your cart and choose how long you want it for.  Tell them when you want it.  Check out.  They will ship it in a completely padded box via FedEx.  You receive, you use it, you decide you can't live without it.  When the rental term is over, you send it back in the SAME box (don't throw it out!), with the prepaid label.  So easy.  The only truly hard thing about renting is giving it back!

So, that camera you've been dying to get?  Why not rent first!?  Don't ever think that you're creativity has to be limited to the equipment you own.

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