We all plan for our shoots, we pack our kits, check it twice, and always heave a sigh of relief when we get to the job and everything is there. The airline didn’t lose anything, nothing was dropped, there are no shattered lenses and those anxious few hours is over and done with.
As owner and head photographer of Drag Photos Australia, I travel several times a month to cover both the National Drag Racing Series and other international automotive events. You would think the more I travel the less anxious I would get, but I always worry about making sure I have everything I need in working condition to complete the jobs I am paid for.
Last weekend, it was just another day on the black stuff, shooting the country’s fastest and toughest street cars at Sydney Motorsport Park with my trusty Canon 1D X Mark II when the dreaded ERR30 flashes up on the screen.
In a panic, I jumped on Google to see if there was any workaround to get the Canon workhorse up and running. I tried everything but no luck and I was smack in the middle of a racetrack in the middle of a driving session with no way of being able to access my backup camera.
So being a professional in the industry and a member of Canon Professional Services, I gave them a call to see if they could point me in the right direction to get old faithful working, even intermittently, till I could get back to the media center. I also wanted to organize for another camera to be shipped to my house for when I flew home, as I had no downtime between jobs.
Colin Lucas from Canon Australia was the voice at the end of the phone. He knew about the event and where it was being held, which was thankfully only an hour or so away from the Canon Sydney office, and said he would get back to me. Understanding my frustration, Colin decided that he was going to help any way he could.
Eventually, an hour and a half later, I managed to get to back to the media room, only to be presented with a package from the Media liaison, marked “Urgent Dave Reid CPS Sydney.”
I opened up the box to find a new 1D X Mark II all ready to use from Canon Professional Services… only 1.5 hours after calling to troubleshoot the issue. Colin had organized an express courier to deliver the camera to the racetrack — you could just imagine the shock on my face. Service like this just doesn’t happen anymore.
It’s one thing to have a supportive customer service to liaise with the professional shooters, but to go out of their way like this is next level, and it is great to see that there still is some good old-fashioned customer service out there.
Here are a few shots from the event from Drag Photos Australia thanks to CPS:
Canon offers its pro-shooters worldwide membership that provides speedy repairs, discounts on repair, free sensor cleaning and more. It’s up to you if you think it’s worth having, but next time your luck runs out, I bet you could only hope to have someone like Colin in your corner to help you out.
About the author: Dave Reid is a professional racing photographer based in Australia and the owner of Drag Photos Australia. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website.