Back when I lived in Seattle, I had easy access to the Glazers Rental Shop. They had tons of gear and were conveniently located in the metro area. (No, this is not an advertisement for them). But the difference between Seattle and Houston is that Seattle is a much more creatively (and photographically) driven city in comparison to Houston (Sorry, Houston). There’s just much more of a demand or a market for camera/film equipment. When I called up the local, Houston camera shops, none of them rented gear. Then someone directed me to an local independent rental shop, but they only had 1 lens of each type to rent out. And the lenses that I wanted to use for this weekend’s shoot were already reserved or checked out. So needless to say, I was a bit flustered to hear they only had 1 of each. I guess I’m a bit spoiled Glazers. So then I did a bit more searching and found Photo Rental Source. Thankfully, they are located in Houston, but deal mostly with long term mail orders and rarely do local rentals. They usually rent out their gear for 1-2 weeks to people all around the world, via mail.
Side note… there used to be a few local rental shops, but many of them, apparently, went out of business but the market could not support the business. I guess that’s why Photo Rental Source finds clients from all over.
Back to my story, after talking to the guy at Photo Rental Source, Brad, he said it was cool to rent from them, but that I would have to meet up with him to get the lens and that I had to return it by a certain day, as he already has an order to ship the lens out to another customer in another state. So when we met up, we talked shop about photography and stuff for about 30 minutes, so that was cool. So if it were not for Brad being local and willing to rent the lens to me, despite having another order in such close time proximity, my shoot would probably not go very well. (Shoot is this afternoon)
Moral of the story: Plan ahead. You may think you’re covered, but you never know what’s going to happen.