Styled sessions have become very popular over the last couple of years. Offering a large client closet can be overwhelming and costly. That's where dress rentals play a vital role in helping to keep your costs down and your wardrobe flexible.
My name is Elizabeth Copeland, but most know me as, the owner and creative designer of Bentley and Lace. Often times gowns much like ours retail for hundreds of dollars. I began to fully understand there was a need for gown versatility with a price point that made sense and so began our rental business. Rental gowns are increasingly becoming popular among the photography community. Over the last couple of years we have rented to hundreds of photographers across the United States. We have enjoyed watching our gowns travel near and far as well as seeing the client images that are sent to us. The smiling little ones absolutely brighten our entire day.
I often am asked – Why should I rent a gown? What is the advantage? Renting definitely has its perks. One of the biggest factors is being able to change up your client wardrobe. Purchasing our gowns can range from $300-900 depending on style and size. So being able to rent one of our gowns allows you to save costs while also providing your clients quality gowns and at a price point that makes sense. Rentals also allow you to style a client in a pinch. Should you have a client looking for a particular color or style – often times we are able to help you find the perfect dress.
Rentals can still be expensive but if you are factoring your (Cost of doing business) correctly – you can in fact profit from these styled rental sessions. It is best to factor in your rental cost of dress, shipping to you and shipping return. I always say factor high. You then add these fees into your session fees. As a photographer you should never eat the cost of renting unless you are renting for yourself. Understanding your CODB will make or break your renting experience.
Always be sure you fully have read the rental agreements of any site you rent from. Like any business – understanding the full depth of an agreement will help you to be successful. Every rental company is different in how they do their rental services. At B+L we also offer discounts throughout the year as well as fun giveaways, ready to ship sales, and more. We want our photographer friends to be successful. To successfully utilize a dress rental service it is best to think about
1. Type of shoot you are going for
2. Knowing your clients correct sizing
3. Understanding your full CODB
When you fully understand these three key elements then you will have a successful renting experience. Rentals also provide you the opportunity to try before you buy. Often times if you have stumbled upon a new designer – you may not fully grasp their quality, understand style and size. We often hear – “WOW! Your dresses are so much more amazing in person and the quality is exceptional.” This always makes us smile because we truly want each of our clients to experience our gowns in person.
We strive to provide top notch customer service, dresses that are quality and also smell good. At B+L most all of our dresses coordinate and most are able to size up or size down. Our elastic backs allow you to utilize one rental gown on 2-3 kiddos. The ability to size up and down also allows you to spread the cost of the gown rental across 1-3 sessions. We also list our full dress specs on each product page. This takes out any if the guesswork when selecting the correct gown. Rentals are like a secret you have in your back pocket. Being able to have access to gowns that you may only use one time - is the icing on the cake. Renting allows you to take your photography up a notch and allows you to give your clients that extra little added bonus to working with you. Take the guess work out of trying to style for your photo shoots and give renting a try! You never know…you might just become hooked.
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