You probably know him as that shouty man on YouTube with the big hair, but for the past few months, Jared Polin (aka 'Fro Knows Photo') has been working on a new app called MyGearVault. It's designed to help photographers keep track of their gear and make sure it's properly covered if anything goes wrong.

The app launched over the weekend, and we've been using it for a few days. So far, we're impressed. MyGearVault is one of the most straightforward ways we've found to keep track of a collection of photo equipment, and features like .CSV file export and an option to generate insurance quotes from within the app make it a potentially very powerful tool for enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

We caught up with Jared last week to get the low-down on what MyGearVault is, and how it works.

Download MyGearVault


Why did you make an app?

Two things. We all know that photography is more than a hobby, its also an investment. Like other photographers, I have a lot of gear, and keeping it organized is essential. This free app primarily acts as a way for creatives to organize their equipment, and includes features to help them safeguard that investment.

Far too many photographers either don't have insurance, or have the wrong kind. That’s why I created MyGearVault – to educate creatives about the proper insurance coverage so they can finally get the right protection. 

MyGearVault isn’t just me. My partner in this project is an insurance industry veteran of 15 years who has overseen the formation of multiple insurance companies.

How does MyGearVault work?

MyGearVault has three major functions – it helps you to input, organize and finally protect your gear. Adding your cameras, accessories, computers and more to your vault is an extremely easy process, and if you don't find your item in our database you can manually enter it.

If your item is in our database an image will already be populated along with the manufacture and model name. If you would like to change the image you can load one from your phone or take a picture of your item.

One of the most important features and my favorite is the ability to take a picture of your receipt and upload it to MyGearVault from your phone. Your receipt will be safely and securely stored inside your vault. This is important if you ever need to file a claim with an insurance company or supply a copy of your receipt for a warranty repair.

As you enter gear you will see your 'total vault value' listed at the top. As you enter different categories you will see the total value of that particular category. This is a great way to know what you have and what it’s worth.

We’ve also built a simple way for you to organize your gear into 'kits.' For example you can create a wedding kit that includes everything you would take to shoot a wedding. From the bodies and lenses to memory cards, computers, flashes, stands etc. At the top of each kit you will see 'total kit value' so you know what you have and what it’s worth. 

Finally, there's the protection aspect. We understand the importance of protecting your gear. That’s why we’re working with licensed professionals with access to top rated insurance companies to find a solution that fits your needs. Right now inside MyGearVault you can take a short questionnaire to receive an insurance quote. And in about one business day you can expect to have full comprehensive coverage from one of our licensed insurance partners.

What does your service offer that others don’t?

MyGearVault stands above anything else out there because it not only lets you input and organize your gear simply and elegantly but also lets you protect it. This is an interface designed for creatives by creatives, so its easy to understand and fun to use.

We are also working on features that help photographers protect their gear, such as serial number recognition in the case that gear gets stolen or misplaced. Additionally, we’re working with licensed professionals with access to top rated insurance companies to find a solution that fits a photographer / videographers needs. 

In the weeks ahead we will be rolling out videos to help creatives understand the insurance world so they make sure they have the proper coverage. Insurance my not be sexy, but understanding it and protecting your gear is very important.

I’m not a pro. Why do I need MyGearVault?

Simple, MyGearVault helps you keep track of what you have and what its worth. Many of us have a significant amount invested in our photography. Whether you're a pro or not, it makes sense to organize your investment, and protect it.

If you make any money from your photography / videography, or if it's your livelihood, MyGear Vault is a simple way to track and protect your gear.

I am a pro, and I already have insurance - why do I need MyGearVault?

If you’re happy with your insurance by all means stick with it. But I would suggest you still download and utilize MyGearVault because it can help you keep track of what you have, what it’s worth, and organize your receipts and serial numbers. When I entered all my gear into my personal Vault the first time, I realized I had more gear than I was currently insured for. MyGearVault helped me see what I had so I knew how much coverage I needed.

With MyGearVault you’re able to export a complete listing of all your gear, with its value and serial numbers, or just the gear within a specific kit or category as a .CSV file. Simply send this to your current insurer each year when they ask for it. In the future we will include an option to export this data as a PDF, which will include your sales receipts. 

Even if you currently have insurance it might be a good idea to compare your current policy to one offered by our insurance partners. You can get a no obligation insurance quote under the insurance tab of MyGearVault.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable uploading information about my photo equipment - is the data secure?

When you use MyGearVault, data is sent to over a secure https protocol (the same thing used when you’re doing online shopping or logging in to your bank account). If you want to get technical, we’re serving API calls over https using token authentication. We will never share your data with anyone. When it comes to device security, you can secure the MyGearVault app with a touch ID or passcode, and there's an option for Facebook login.

How are you making money from MyGearVault?

The short answer is that right now we're not. MyGearVault is free, and in the long run, we hope that it becomes a revenue-generating service. For now though, we want photographers and video creatives to use it, tell us how it should evolve, and help us create the next version. 

How are you hoping MyGearVault will evolve in future?

Right now we’re focused on helping both enthusiast and professional photographers / videographers keep track of their gear and protect it with this free app. As the community grows, we’re looking forward to offering additional resources to help them creatively and professionally.

INPUT• ORGANIZE• PROTECT: NEW “MYGEARVAULT” APP HELPS PHOTOGRAPHERS KEEP TRACK OF AND INSURE THEIR CAMERAS AND GEAR

  • Photographer and Instructor Jared Polin of FroKnowsPhoto created this service for creative professionals and hobbyists
  • Free App available today on the App Store
  • Photographers and Videographers can organize all of their equipment in their own secure personal “Vault”
  • App educates on how to protect gear and help users find insurance options

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 23 2017) - Announced today and now available, MyGearVault is a new app for creatives (photographers / videographers) to help organize and protect their investment in expensive equipment. Jared Polin, also known as FroKnowsPhoto, created the app to help creatives and professionals understand what gear they have and what its really worth, while educating users and offering choices for protecting their own equipment.

“I get more emails than I should with stories of how someone’s gear was stolen, and they want to crowd fund replacements, because they didn’t have insurance. The truth is, its not entirely their fault. There’s not a lot of education out there about proper insurance for creatives. That’s all about to change. Whether you’re a working professional, a beginner, or a seasoned photo enthusiast, odds are you have a significant investment in your photo / video gear, which NEEDS to be organized to be protected,” Said Jared Polin.

Input and Organize

Knowing what you have and what its worth is the first step to protecting yourself. The interface of the MyGearVault app is easy to use, and allows users to input all of their equipment into their own secure, personal “Vault.” It’s simple to store all the important information about your gear, including a verified serial number, picture of your receipt, date purchased and much more. To speed up the process, the app has an auto-populate function that recognizes what the user is typing and completes fields. Recognizing that users have a lot of gear, the app helps organize it in unique and effective ways.

Each item can be saved into a specific category, such as Cameras, Lens, Computers, Data Storage, etc. When users click on a category, the total value of items based on the gear inside will appear. users can also create custom kits of gear, such as a specific gear assortment for weddings, travel, studio, video, astro -the possibilities are endless. This is a great way to know the value of gear you’re taking with you for any given vacation, project or job. All of this data can be easily exported as a CSV file and sent as needed for insurance, repair purposes or to friends and colleagues.

Protect

MyGearVault works in a few ways to help protect you: First, your vault is a record of your purchases, receipts and serial numbers, which makes it easy to account for your gear if the unfortunate happens. Your serial number is registered, so if the item is stolen, we will let you know if it is registered within another vault. MyGearVault educates users on the best option for insuring their gear. While not an insurance company, MyGearVault has partnered with licensed insurance professionals to helps users find a solution that fits the unique needs of every type of creative professional.

We understand how important insuring gear is, but also how confusing it can be, and that’s why we’re working with licensed professionals with access to top rated insurance companies. Right now inside MyGearVault you can take a short questionnaire to receive an immediate, no obligation insurance quote. In approximately one day, you can have full comprehensive coverage from one of our licensed insurance partners. “I have seen too many times that people are denied coverage, don’t have an adequate policy, or no coverage at all,” says Polin. This is the first step users can take to protect themselves.”

Availability

The MyGearVault app is available now, free of charge in the Apple App Store®. To download the app, click here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/mygearvault/id1106860868

An Android compatible version of the app is planned for the future. Contact Jared Polin with questions regarding MyGearVault - jared@mygearvault.com

Be sure to check out https://mygearvault.com/ for more information. Please check out our YouTube playlist for “how-to” videos.