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Renting Out Photography Equipment

Projected Income Around $1,200/month
Costs to Start Varies (depending on existing equipment)
Time to Start 1-2 weeks
Category Renting Out Specialty Items

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

With photography’s popularity and the high cost of gear, there’s a significant market for rentals. Key concern: Ensure your equipment is insured and maintained, and vet renters to prevent damage.

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cons-icon Cons

  • Risk of Damage: Equipment can be fragile; renters might damage or misuse items.
  • Maintenance: Regular upkeep is essential to keep gear in rent-worthy condition.
  • Insurance Costs: Protecting your investment may require insurance, adding to your expenses.

pros-icon Pros

  • High Demand: New photographers or those on a budget often prefer to rent expensive equipment.
  • Passive Income: If you already own equipment, this can be a good source of additional revenue without much effort.
  • Networking: Renting can introduce you to local photographers and expand your professional network.
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Photography is one of the highest paying hobbies one can have. 

Similarly, becoming a professional photographer is an expensive endeavor due to the soaring prices of camera gear. With all the expenses, it can be discouraging to figure out where you can make extra money. 

The good news is, if you already made the purchase, you can put your photography gear to work by renting it out to local creatives who don’t have the means to buy theirs.

Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of renting out photography equipment as a side hustle. 

An Overview of Renting Out Photography Equipment: A Primer 

Renting out photography equipment can be beneficial for people of all levels in the photography niche. 

Seasoned veterans who have an extensive collection of lenses and camera bodies can rent gear as they won’t be using them every day. And new gear owners who aren’t getting daily photography gigs can find a way to make money even when they aren’t at shoots. 

A wide selection of cameras and lenses can be listed online for rent, where interested people can find them and connect with the owners if they find the offer suitable. 

How Much Can Renting Out Photography Equipment Earn You? 

The amount of money you can earn from renting out photography gear depends on a number of factors, like the market value of the equipment and its demand.

More valuable lenses and camera bodies can be rented out for a higher price than entry-level gear. 

On average, one can expect an income of around $12-20 per hour from camera rental services. 

Based on Glassdoor, a camera rental business in the US can make around $43,639 per year which is reflective of the amount one can earn with a large collection of photography gear. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Side Hustle Renting Out Photography Equipment? 

Photography gear is expensive to purchase in the first place, which is why there is a huge demand for camera rentals. 

A pro photo rental allows them to access highly specialized gear for shoots without having to break the bank while cameras for amateur photographers can help them try out a camera body or lens without purchasing it right away. 

Keeping all these factors in mind, it can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over $5000 to start renting out photography equipment. 

Entry-level cameras demand a smaller overhead but also have slimmer chances of being rented. More expensive gear like cinema cameras are often in more demand.  

Accessories such as stands, gimbals, and lighting rigs can also be rented out, which is also fairly expensive. 

Where Can You Rent Out Photography Equipment? 

There are various places where you can rent out photography equipment.

To start independently, you can join Facebook groups, local subreddits, Discord groups, and photography communities where photographers regularly communicate. 

There, you can leave a message that you’re renting out photography equipment and get started. This will require you to personally set up meetings, discuss the rental period, and vet people who want to borrow your equipment. 

In this case, the risk factor is significantly higher since you’ll be trusting a stranger with expensive gear and hope that they don’t damage or steal it. 

Another way to start renting camera gear is to use photography-specific online platforms meant to connect photography gear owners and borrowers, like: 

  • ShareGrid 
  • KitSplit 
  • KEH Camera 

Keep in mind that these platforms usually incur a service fee that covers payment processing and the website’s customer care. Some of them also offer delivery, which should ease your mind a bit.

Why You Should Consider Renting Out Photography Equipment As a Side Hustle 

Renting out photography has multiple advantages alongside providing income, like:

  • Generate passive income: You don’t have to work extra to generate a side income since you get paid from the rent. 
  • Frees up time and energy: You save time and energy which you can devote to other areas of life. 
  • Networking opportunities: Regardless of whether you’re using a website or a community to rent your camera, you get to network with a growing number of photographers which can be beneficial later on. 

Problems With Renting Out Photography Equipment 

As with any side hustle, there are some drawbacks that you need to consider, like: 

  • Risk of damage and theft: Renting out your gear independently comes with a massive security risk. It’s on you to prevent theft or damage since you’re renting your gear out based on blind trust. 
  • Maintenance is the owner’s responsibility: Maintaining gear and ensuring that it is in working condition is the owner’s responsibility, which can be a difficult task to carry out if you have a lot of gear. 
  • Insurance issues: Whether or not insurance companies will cover any damage could be problematic because renting equipment is a gray area.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Photographers Afford Their Equipment?

Some photographers take a loan to buy their gear, while others convert their purchases into EMIs. For most freelance photographers, photo and video shoots provide them with the income to afford their gear.

Should I Rent My Camera?

If you have a large selection of camera gear you’re not regularly using, renting it out might be a good idea. That said, if you only own one camera you depend on for your income, then you should probably look for another side gig.

Wrapping Up

With the pros and cons discussed above, as well as the ideas provided, you now know how to rent out photography equipment. 

It can be a risky endeavor since people may steal camera gear. But, it can also be rewarding if you’re renting it out within your circle. 

If you liked this article, please let us know what you thought of it in the comments. Also, share it with a fellow photographer who’s thinking about renting their gear for money. 

Ask a Question About Renting Out Photography Equipment?


6 Sep 2023
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Renting out my photography gear has been a blessing. Not only am I making extra cash, but I've also connected with some fantastic photographers. Just ensure you have clear rental agreements and insurance in place.

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