If you're a professional or semi-professional photographer chances are you've probably needed to get a lens calibrated or sensor cleaning from time to time. That's exactly what I needed last week when I noticed my Canon 24-70 f2.8 V2 was noticeably softer. Luckily, I live in Los Angeles where there is a Canon factory repair center (you can also mail your gear in if you don't live in NY/NJ or LA area) I was able to drive to the new repair center in burbank on Tuesday before my shoot Friday with one of my biggest clients, Junk Food Clothing. The guy at the counter told me about Canon Professional Services (CPS) and since I qualified for the gold membership which cost $100 USD for a year, I would be able to get 20% off my repair, guaranteed 3-day turn around or a loaner lens if it took longer than 3 days. I have been shooting Canon since I was 17 and had no idea this program existed, since never actually went to canon for a repair or cleaning.
Since my shoot was on Friday, I figured this was a great option because it guaranteed me a lens for my shoot without having to pay for a rental and spend additional time tracking one down. Come Thursday, I completely forgot I had to pick up my lens until about 4:30 pm. Canon had not called me yet, but I desperately needed my all purpose 24-70mm. I arrived at Canon at 5:02 pm. (They close at 5pm) If I wasn't able to pick up this lens, I would be screwed, every rental place in LA was closed or was about to close, I would be letting down my most consistent client and possibly loose the ability to pay rent for my costly studio downtown. Luckily, after banging on the closed door for a few minutes a Canon employee let me in, he could obviously tell I was in a pinch. Turns out my lens wasn't ready by Thursday like I had hoped, but since I joined CPS I was able to get a loaner lens before my shoot without my client having any idea I almost had to cancel.
Without CPS I may have been forced to cancel my shoot costing my client thousands of dollars and if there is one thing I have learned as a freelancer it's RELIABILITY is one of your greatest assets. Clients want to hire photographers they know will get the job done 99% of the time. Your pretty light and color work are maybe a fraction of the battle. Excuses will get you no where in this industry and the less stress you put on your clients plate the more likely they are to hire you again.
This was my first experience with CPS, but it was a great first experience. For a camera brand that isn't always up to date, Canon still has a some great benefits for the working professional.