If you own a decent camera and your photos are just mediocre then the problem probably isn’t your camera. It’s the user. I thought my Canon Rebel T3i was a basic camera that took just decent photos. I was wrong. It can take fabulous, incredible, professional level photos. The problem was me. I was keeping it in the auto mode too often. Also, the basic lens package that came with the camera was lacking. I needed different lenses to increase my camera’s capabilities.

I was hemming and hawing over possibly buying a new camera, because I thought a new camera would improve the quality of my photos. My friend Elizabeth suggested I either rent a camera I am interested in buying or rent some lenses for my current camera. She made this suggestion the day before we were leaving on our trip to visit 5 National Parks. We got to looking online at rental companies and found one based in Dallas that ships all over the country. I called and found out that I could do a pick up that day of what I wanted to rent. Elizabeth gave me her recommendations for lenses to rent as did the woman on the phone at the rental place. I ended up renting two lenses for my camera and picked them up that afternoon in Dallas.  The cost for 10 days of rental for the two lenses I chose was $50 total including tax and insurance.

There are a number of rental places online. I used http://aperturent.com. I was pleased with their large selection and variety of brands. Even better that I could pick up in person. My initial hesitation in renting was that I didn’t know what kind of lens I needed or wanted. When I spoke to the woman on the phone she was very knowledgeable. I explained where I was going and what kind of scenes I wanted to capture. Her suggestions were spot on (and matched what my friend Elizabeth had said).

I will order both of these lenses for purchase now that I rented them for 10 days and know that I like them. It can be daunting to buy a new camera or lenses, as they are expensive. How do you know you will even like them? My suggestion is to rent them first to avoid a potentially costly mistake. You will find that your photography skills will blossom as you learn how to utilize a variety of lenses. There are lots of good chat forums and YouTube videos that can help you learn how to use your new lenses as well.

I was also apprehensive to rent as I was afraid I would someone damage their lenses (by “I”, I really mean my kids). Why is it that two-year-olds are naturally attracted to anything expensive?Thankfully they offer an insurance option! Well worth the additional cost for peace of mind.

Below is are lenses I rented. I like how they packed them in nice hard plastic cases with plenty of cushioning. It was perfect for transporting them on our road trip.

If you think you need to upgrade your camera equipment, do these three things first:

  1. Classes or Lessons: Take a camera lesson or tutorial on how to take better photos. I attended a class at my Moms of Multiples group meeting where photographer and friend Sunny Mays gave us great tips that helped me take better photos. I have also used online classes. There are plenty of classes you can take online, for a fee, or you can find some free tutorials on YouTube.
  2. Rent a Camera if you are Looking to Buy: There are a number of companies online that rent cameras. You should try it before you buy it. Using it for several days gives you a better idea of how well you will like or dislike its features, rather than a just few hours in a store testing it out in one environment.
  3. Rent Lenses: Different lenses do different things. Read online about lenses that are compatible with your camera or call a rental place. Lenses will greatly improve your camera’s capabilities. I saved myself thousands by renting lenses. Now I know I don’t need a new camera. For my ability level I simply need a lens or two that I can interchange with my needs. I plan to buy the ones I rented. They don’t sell at the place I rented, so I will shop online for the best deal.

Here are some of the photos that I took with the lenses that I rented. I like that I was able to focus on the person and the background is a bit blurred out. It gives the photos more dimension. When everything is crisp and clear from the background to the foreground, it doesn’t provide a focal point for the viewer and it also makes the photograph look flat. Two thumbs up for the lenses I rented!

Ridgway to Telluride on the Last Dollar Rd (34)

Ridgway to Telluride on the Last Dollar Rd (30)

Ridgway to Telluride on the Last Dollar Rd (1)