There is nothing scarier for a photographer than the prospect of losing or having their gear stolen. Just typing that sentence brought on the beginnings of a panic attack. Between the bodies and lenses, it’s not out of the ordinary to be carrying 5, 6, tens of thousands of dollars or more of equipment in that bag strapped across your back. And it’s not the money that’s the important part, it’s the fact that for many of us, it’s our livelihood. We lose our gear, we lose our jobs. Granted we now have great outlets like BorrowLenses.com and LensRentals.com to help tide us over until we can replace our gear, and there are great insurance options geared towards photographers, but Lenstag proves to be the ultimate free extra layer of security.
The idea is this. You create an account, you log in, you register your cameras and lenses and gear by entering the serial numbers and then uploading pictures of the gear with the serial number visible. They verify the gear and from here on out, if your gear gets stolen, you can immediately notify Lenstag through the app or through the site, and any images that show up anywhere in the world that were taken using that gear, will show up. Additionally, they’ll help get the word out about your stolen gear through their well-connected channels in the photography world.
I signed up for this thing about 2 years ago, and quite honestly forgot all about it. Then recently, I received an email from them informing me of their new mobile app, and along with that, it had a list of notifications of some of my images. That caught my attention. As I looked closely at the images, the EXIF data from the cameras I had registered with them have the serial number of the camera embedded, so there was literally a list of links to pages where people were posting my images after grabbing them from somewhere else. I was impressed.
Lenstag’s service is an absolute must for any photographer, and considering that it’s free, there’s really no reason not to. It might not be the cure-all, but it is a nice extra security blanket that’ll help you sleep a bit easier every night.
Check ‘em out. www.Lenstag.com
And for a breakdown of options for insurance designed specifically with photographers in mind, check out my post Cover Your Bases - Here Are Some Of The Best Photographers Insurance Options.