You’re on an assignment, travelling abroad, with a new client and a limited timeframe. Everything is going to plan... until your gear is compromised. This is every professional photographer’s worst nightmare, and the reason Canon Professional Services (CPS) exists.
The free service ensures that, where Canon is concerned, professionals are equipment-ready to do their job, whatever the circumstances. It includes a priority repair service, back-up kit loans (dependent on membership), helpline support, and access to exclusive industry events.
For a camera company to support you in a time of crisis is spectacular.
Keen CPS member, videographer and photographer Stephanie Sinclair found herself in an unenviable position when arriving in Kenya to lead a charitable photography workshop. “I was in the middle of three different assignments,” she recounts. “I was travelling from Kenya to India, and then to Nepal.”
Unpacking her car in rural Kenya after a lengthy journey, she realised her entire Peli case of Canon equipment was missing. “All my lenses and camera bodies had been left in the airport parking lot in Nairobi,” she says. “As a professional photographer, there are few worse feelings than losing your gear.”
Fortunately, one of her colleagues was travelling to Nepal shortly after the incident. “CPS sent a whole new set of gear to my colleague overnight, who brought it to me. I was able to get everything I needed for my third assignment: two EOS 5DS R bodies, the EF 35mm f/1.4L USM lens, two other primes and two zoom lenses," says Sinclair.
"I had managed to beg, borrow and steal some gear from friends in the area, but it’s not the same as having your own stuff with your own settings,” she says. “I’m a professional and I would have done my assignment regardless, but I would have been concerned about the gear and, as a result, not focussed on the job at hand. And that’s really what deserved my utmost attention.
"For a camera company to support you in a time of crisis – and to get you not just any gear, but the exact gear that you’re requesting, overnight – is pretty spectacular,” she admits.
“We are very much a support service,” says Richard Trestain, Pro Propositions Lead at Canon Europe. “It’s free to anyone who owns qualifying products. It’s all about keeping the professional going, and making sure they’re always ready to do their job.
CPS membership is available to Canon users at three tiers, depending on which products they own. Two qualifying camera bodies and three lenses will gain a photographer access to either Silver or Gold membership, depending on the products, while three bodies and four lenses are required for the top level Platinum membership. For video membership, videographers must own just one qualifying Canon professional camcorder.
The higher the level of CPS membership, the faster the turnaround on equipment repairs – two days for Platinum, three days for Gold and five days for Silver.
“Our policy is to get your camera back to you in working order as quickly as possible – as opposed to giving you a loan for weeks,” says Graham Smith, Canon Professional Services EMEA Specialist.
Acknowledging the nomadic nature of the work, the repair network spans most of the world. “If you’re a travelling photographer based in Germany, you have the same level of support when you’re in most European countries,” says Smith. “And accredited photographers at most key international sporting events will be able to access our on-site services.”
We offer the products, and we offer the support to back it up.
Smith is part of the team attending the Visa pour l’Image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France. “The nature of photojournalism means it is difficult for professional photographers to get their cameras serviced and cleaned – they’re often travelling or on an assignment. It’s not always easy to just pop along to Canon,” he says.
“CPS is an extensive and comprehensive support network that aims to keep you shooting,” adds Trestain. “It’s one of the reasons we are revered by professional photographers: we offer the products, and we offer the support to back it up.”
Find the Canon Professional Services team in the Canon Experience Zone, in the Palais des Congrès, at Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, until 9 September 2017.