Why Photography Equipment Rental May Not Work in Nigeria

So it all started on September 20, 2012. I rented a photographer named Tope one of our Bowens 500 gemini lights. Part of the rental package included a step-down transformer that would be used to convert the 240v of power to 110v that the Bowens uses. As one of the 750+ contacts on our BlackBerry contact list, there was no way of getting a guarantor as he was in dire need of it. As at the moment of writing this, I am yet to get back the step down transformer. All I keep getting are excuses and reasons why it hasn’t been returned.

On November 18, another photographer named Justin came to rent the same kit. Apparently he was referred by someone that rented the same equipment on September 20. If I had known that he would disappoint the way he did, I wouldn’t have proceeded with the rental. A part of the Bowens light kit was not returned when he brought back the equipment 25 hours after the agreed deadline.

After experiencing these last 2 scenarios, I’m rethinking what the modalties of equipment rentals ought to be. I thought I was doing some photographers some good but it is apparent that if this goes on, eloPhotos might not have any equipment to rent out anymore by the end of 2013.

I have been chastised by a few photography mentors for renting out my priced jewel in the first place. Now I know better. Question is why we just can’t have a trusting system that does not require someone to deposit N200k before renting a gadget. It’s really frustrating.

I’m not too sure what to do at this junction. Should I stop renting our photography equipment all-together or should I only work with people that have performed faithfully in times past. We’ve had quite a few equipment missing small parts or damaged one way or the other by photographers who rented them and were not careful enough. Either way, I’m seriously considering a 10-20k refundable deposit for anyone that wants to rent any equipment from eloPhotos Rentals henceforth.

Perhaps this is the reason why photography equipment rentals may not work in this neck of the woods. Or what would you do if you were in my shoes?

Either way if anyone knows any of the photographers in question, please help me plead with them to return or replace the missing gadgets before…….. It is well.

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  1. Seun Idowu · December 16, 2012

    Bros, rent out to people with guarantors. Then make them sign agreements!


  2. mintsphotos · December 16, 2012

    I believe you should insist on the refundable deposit and only do business by referal from another photographer that will stand as guarantor. That’s part of the destructive culture here in Nigeria, here you are trying to change things for the better and a few bad eggs are messing it up. Kudos to you.


  3. kingsley Awom · December 16, 2012

    Brother it is appalling and heartbroken reading through your mail that is the state we have found ourself the problem might not be been faithful or what but what I have noted with fews I have dealt with is this attitude of non caring and lack of maintaincy attitude that paved our society which is a sing of unprofessionalism on the part of a photography. Well I would rather desire you come up with a system that will track your would be rentalry stopping it will affect some other photographers who might just depend on your goodwill to make it in this harsh economy however is still withing your power to deal with your properties as you dem fit
    God bless you


  4. Steve kuye · March 4, 2013

    Totally agree with you, if potential client is reluctant to leave a refundable deposit , invariably implies they have no good intentions in the first place. Plain and simply. REFUNDABLE MEANS GET BACK.


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