I'm in the process of trying to put together a sort of "lending library" of cameras and other photography equipment. The basic functionality is: one of you wants to test out a piece of gear, but can't afford or don't want to buy it. However, you can rent it from some existing online rental company (located in your country), and Stack Exchange will reimburse the cost of the rental in exchange for you either writing a blog post for the (lonely!) Photo Blog Overflow (gear review type of post, most likely) or asking a certain number of questions. These questions can be either directly about the gear you rent, or about photographic techniques your try out with that gear.
This process is not fully formed yet; there are a lot of logistical elements I need to figure out, especially in order to make this work for this very international community. I will probably launch a pilot program limited to the US and UK, where I've been able to locate reasonably priced online rental companies and where we have a pretty high concentration of users. If that works, we can expand it to other countries based on interest and feasibility.
Before I launch anything, I'd like your feedback, comments, concerns, and suggestions.
- Are you at all interested in this type of program? (i.e., are you willing to commit to a certain, pre-determined amount of activity/content generation in exchange for reimbursed rental gear?)
- Since we can't just send checks to people outside the US to reimburse you, do you guys have access to and are willing to use PayPal or Amazon Payments? Or do you have some other method that we can investigate?
- Do you have a favorite website that does photography gear rentals? If you have suggestions, particularly if you're outside the US and UK, make sure you leave the link to the website and let me know which country (or countries) it serves.
I would love to hear any other thoughts you have, so please don't feel you need to limit your responses to the questions listed above.
Eligibility for this program will likely be based on some minimum threshold of on-site activity (and like I said, will probably be tested in the US only or the US/UK to begin with). I will be contacting the selected users about this via the email address you used to sign up, so if you'd like to participate, please be sure that the email address associated with your account is a valid one. I will post a full list of criteria, eligibility requirements, conditions, and restrictions when the program is fully formed and ready to launch.