Several women I know recently signed up for a service called StitchFix, a company that curates clothing and outfits, then sends them out to their users based on a wishlist. If the customers like the clothes, they keep them and if not, they send them back. Parachut is a company offering a similar service, only instead of shipping out V-neck sweaters, they’re shipping high-end camera gear.
The business model is a little different as Parachut actually lets you keep and use the gear for as long as you’re paying the $150 per month subscription fee. When you sign up, you make a “wish list” that tells the Parachut experts what you want to shoot. From there, they put together a package of gear they think will fit your needs and send it off to you. You can use it as long as you keep paying the fee or just buy it outright.
I have seen some people calling this “The Netflix of Camera Gear” and that’s not wholly correct (even though it is a very grabby headline. This is like if Netflix only allowed you to watch the things they recommended and you couldn’t actually pick the things you watched.
Parachut says it’s working on the way their wishlist operates, so maybe requesting a specific camera body or lens in the future will be available, but that seems pretty tricky since some items would obviously be very popular. The busy wedding months would likely see all the popular wedding lenses and bodies sold out immediately. Paying $150 seems like a good deal to rent gear and then shoot seven weddings with over the course of a September.
You can sign up now and reserve a spot to try it out if you’re curious about the process. I’m curious to see how people respond to the products that they actually get. Paying $150 per month is a considerable amount of money to get something you’re maybe going to like.
The first month is discounted at $99. Anyone planning to try it?