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Author Topic: Co owning Expensive Digital Backs between two Photographers.  (Read 3608 times)
Zylon1
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« on: November 16, 2011, 09:03:45 AM »
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Has anyone co-owned equipment with friends?  I'm interested in the thoughts of others on this forum. I'm currently making my equipment available and need a proper place on this forum for the discussion of this idea.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 03:26:20 PM »
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I have not done this personally - but I have heard of people doing it successfully. Like anything you co-own with a 'friend' - it really comes down to how well you understand and trust each other. I have a recollection that Jeff Schewe did just this with a P65+; perhaps he will add his thoughts.

Personally, I would think the biggest headache is going to be avoiding double 'booking' - especially during heavy shooting times. I guess as long as you understand each others needs and have some tolerance it could work. If its a tool of your professional trade however I don't think its a great idea.
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Zylon1
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 04:42:50 PM »
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I have not done this personally - but I have heard of people doing it successfully. Like anything you co-own with a 'friend' - it really comes down to how well you understand and trust each other.

JK:  I agree.  Its trust. That is a big item to attempt to arrange with 2 Photographers (that yet to know the other).  I think it's possible.

I have a recollection that Jeff Schewe did just this with a P65+; perhaps he will add his thoughts.

JK:  I don't know him but would like to know his experience with this.

Personally, I would think the biggest headache is going to be avoiding double 'booking' - especially during heavy shooting times.

JK:  Each others bookings would be an issue. This wouldn't work with 2 Photographers with regular bookings.  The co owners would have to have 3 weeks or so (on an ongoing basis) without the IQ 160 or IQ 180. On my end, I only shoot for my own company so I'm flexible.  Ideally I find someone in a similar situation or some other scenario that would make this work. I'm seeking someone who can work with having the equipment every other "3 weeks" (give or take).  3 weeks me, 3 weeks them.... back to me....etc

I guess as long as you understand each others needs and have some tolerance it could work. If its a tool of your professional trade however I don't think its a great idea.

JK:  Thank you for your thoughts on the subject.  Jim
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 07:30:28 PM »
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I have not done this personally - but I have heard of people doing it successfully. Like anything you co-own with a 'friend' - it really comes down to how well you understand and trust each other. I have a recollection that Jeff Schewe did just this with a P65+; perhaps he will add his thoughts.

A friend and I decided to buy a P65+ together and keep his P45+. The cost for him allowed him to keep his P45+ back instead of trading it in (a factor for him because he sometimes needs long exposure for architectural shots). I bought the 645 camera  and lenses (which he really doesn't use) and we share the two backs.

There have been times when the P65+ was needed in two places at the same time...the way we did it was "book" the time on the back and if the other person needed it, he would have to rent. That's only happened a couple of time in the two years.

We've now recently upgraded to the IQ180 and we split the cost of the upgrade. Traded in the P65+ but also kept the P45+.

I think the key for us is the fact we ended up with two backs not sharing one single back. For a lot of shots, either the P45+ or the P65+ (now IQ180) would be fine.
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TMARK
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 08:51:59 AM »
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I've done this.  Two friends and I formed a production company to provide full service stills/motion and creative services.  More important than the gear were the pooling of our iPhone contacts lists.  In any case, we formed an LLC.  We each contributed gear, including a Red set up, a few Leaf backs, and some Cannons, as well as grip/strobes/HMIs/computers, etc.  The agreements stated that upon dissolution we would keep the gear we contributed as a set off against our share value.  It was also agreed that the company's business came first, so any booking of equipment for personal projects/outside business was subordinated to the company's booking.  We each had to buy a bunch of crap and pitch in operating capital, including a Dodge Sprinter and a ton of Drobos, and lenses for the Red.  We had a few issues with double booking but created a tracking program that made sure we did not double book any gear.  When we amicably disolved (we each went, creatively, in different directions) the property was distributed as intended.  It worked nicely, but we had lawyers draw everything up and we have known each other for years, so we all felt secure in the arrangements.

Bottom line:  don't do it without an agreement, in writing.

Good luck!
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 09:34:16 PM »
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Bottom line:  don't do it without an agreement, in writing.

I would not disagree...in my case, we didn't feel the requirement for a strict contract but if you add multiple people and lots of equipment an LLC and contract might serve you well.
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ericstaud
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 02:09:20 PM »
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I think it's important to devise an exit strategy up front. If one of the parties needs to get out of the investment, how does that happen? Can they sell their half to a third party? Does the partner buy them out? I had two friends in this situation. The first ended up buying the second out, because he could afford to.
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DeeJay
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2011, 07:17:53 AM »
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I tried this once. Never again. When this urge arises it usually means you are buying beyond your means. Make do with what you have for a bit longer and/or hire as you need it. When you need it specifically for a job there should be room in the budget to hire it.

It can be total nightmare and you will quite likely lose a friendship too.







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