Losing a camera, or worse yet having one stolen, is one of a photographer’s greatest fears. When you depend on your cameras for your livelihood, it can cripple your business. Granted, most professional photographers have (or should have) business insurance which can replace the lost equipment — but it takes time to go through that process. And if you have jobs imminent, or are on a job when it happens, you will have other challenges to face. Rentals can get you through the original crisis, but what then?
First off, file a Police report ASAP. This will be necessary for your insurance claim as well.
Once the Police and insurance companies have been notified, try the resources below to try to track down your missing equipment.
- Stolen Camera Finder – useful if your camera is stolen by another photographer who then posts photos (taken with your camera) online
- Camera Trace (fee-based)
- Contact your local/nearest photo organizations and ask them to notify their members to keep an eye out:
- American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
- Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
- American Photographic Artists (APA)
- Photo Meetup
- Any other photography organizations in your area
- Keep an eye on Craigslist Photo+Video (You can set up a Google alert to notify you when it finds a reference to your gear.)
- Keep an eye on eBay Cameras & Photo (If you have an eBay account you can set up a Saved Search alert there. If you don’t have one, create one! It would be worth it just for this scenario.)
Hopefully this will give you a good start on reuniting you with your beloved photography gear. If you have other resources or suggestions, please include them in the comments below!