I haven’t written a blog post for a while as I like writing when I have experienced something that makes me think about Photography or human behaviour. (As usual, a long read, use it don’t use it)
This post has been brought about by attending the Canon Roadshow yesterday, and all the negative publicity they received all over social media. This post is in no way posted for public debate, to sleigh any brands (as they will only be used as a reference or as an example), and is based on fact and my personal opinion and experience! I will delete any negative comments or slander!
I have been with Canon since the age of 16. I am in no way associated with Canon and has been my brand of choice since then. I have studied Marketing, Sales and Public Relations all relating to Business Management. It is true that people tend to stick to one brand until something drastic happens to make them change brands, all over the spectrum from Cellular phones to Motor vehicles. A great example of this the fact that I have always been a fan of Ford, regardless of the fact that they let me down in a big way, they went out of their way to rectify the problem and I have remained brand loyal as a result. We all have our reasons for choosing the brands we use, but it does not give us the right to slander other brands unless you have first-hand experience with the brand issue and have taken it up with the Management of the brand. You must always bear in mind when choosing an item that you not only buying a material thing, but you are buying a brand, after-sales service etc.
Canon as with any other brand is a BRAND and not one person, one outlet etc. on person or outlet does not make a brand. If you have a bad experience it will be as a result of human error. Canon cannot control every single person that works in every single outlet selling their products or services. I’m sure they do provide training and give all relevant information to the staff at stores. There was a trending post on social media this week were a guy wanted to move from Canon to Nikon because of a sensor clean. He did not do his homework first or contact Canon South Africa before making the post and was rectified on social media with all the facts that were stated!
In humour, there will always be jokes about Canon and the Dark side. Photography is supposed to be fun, helpful and encouraging I have never said anything bad about Nikon until the recent hands-on experience my Business Partner had with Nikon. It was seriously a shocking experience. The camera does not make the image the person behind the camera does! Learn your gear and make the most of what you have!
In March I had sold my second body and had an Issue with acquiring my new one in time for the shoot. I had a huge dilemma. I had a wedding to shoot and Canon assisted me with no second thoughts, with a body and lens for the wedding with little effort from myself in making it happen. (They do rent out the gear if you are in crises or would like to try out some of the gear before buying) All I did was ask and was humbly assisted. They could have taken the same approach as the other brand but instead went out of their way to assist me with little or no effort.
Canon Provide some excellent services for those who do not know:
- CPS (Canon Professional Services) you have different tiers and anyone can register to receive some great extra benefits and services. PS I received a lovely welcome pack with goodies (Unexpected but very pleasing)
- Free sensor cleans at various locations around the country
- Dedicated and qualified repair centres all around the country
- FREE workshops, that you get a thoughtful gift and refreshments, not just a lanyard, e.g.( I attended the food workshop held on Friday and got a Canon Apron, workshop appropriate!)
- Free editing software (Brilliant BTW) Give it a try DPP (Digital Photo Professional 4) free download
- Released at the Roadshow “Canon Irista Cloud”
- Roadshows (2 a year per province)
- Click Magazine and Newsletters (Sign up for all their marketing if you did not know) Sign UP HERE
These are a few benefits of belonging to this brand. Who of the other brands offers all or even any of these?
I found it quite disturbing and is a pet hate of mine when it comes to social media, that people go around blasting companies or individuals ( Not only Canon in this case) without even attending the event/ or being involved directly with the issue or problem. I’m very pleased that FB has stepped up their game now and naming and shaming on FB is no longer permitted!
I came home yesterday and opened Facebook, and I was shocked at all the negative posts flying around. Most of these post were made by either other brand users or by people who did not even attend. There was so much negative publicity and very little positive. This is what has become of the world, unfortunately.
Anesh made a point yesterday that got me thinking when I saw that what he said did not only relate to photography but life. People come to attend these events with preconceived ideas, and negative mindsets hence the disappointment. We all received emails, with all relevant information, who the speakers were etc. I have every year googled the speakers before and had a look at their work. Most of these comments could have been avoided if people prepared themselves. We expect too much. Anything free and great should be embraced in life as there is not much of it around with budget constraints and economy issues! Canon does not owe anyone anything and we are not entitled to anything, so we should openly embrace what is provided in good faith!
“They cannot compete with other brands with mirrorless” (and they still in shock from the release of the D850! (Canon did touch on this matter) Not everyone likes mirrorless, the same with Film, it is a personal choice regardless if it’s the new hip and happening thing. Not everyone can afford to flog all their gear and move, they are producing and enjoying photography with the gear they have. Other brands only have that one good element. (Canon produce many other products not only cameras but printers etc.) Have a look next time you go to have your eyes tested… They use Canon cameras in most of the optometrists to mention a few items.
“There is no food for banters and its always bread and muffins” “ they don’t do decaf coffee” I for one am gluten intolerant, knowing that they only have sandwiches each year, I ate before I went and had a snack bar in my bag! If they had a stand for banters only I can assure you some other people will also eat from it, how do you control it? They cannot accommodate everyone, and it’s not what the roadshow is about. It’s very nice of them to offer all these things (My way of seeing it)
“I find the Roadshows very boring” Why do you go then? There are many new and inspiring minds that will differ from you. Not everyone has been around the block as long as you have and will hand on to any information they can get. PHOTOGRAPHY IS A VERY PERSONAL A SUBJECTIVE THING! One speaker will blow my mind and others won’t. Some will blow your mind and others won’t. Depends on what you’re into and what you like or don’t like.
“ The Roadshows have been disappointing, the only reason I go is because of the free gifts and a chance to win a prize” If that’s the mentality you’re going in with any preconceived idea… then I’m afraid it will be terrible!
“Why on earth must we pay for parking” “The cues to pay were so long”….. I think the least one can do to receive some free information, food, goody bags and a day out it so pay R40 parking. Is it the end of the world? This time around there was a desk where you could pay for your parking inside and avoid the cues downstairs. I went straight down and did not even wait to pay for my parking!
“The speakers….” Again I will say, what I find inspirational or interesting the next one may not. Yes, some were a little long-winded especially after the delay, but I am sure they are given a time frame (as we were given a time frame on the RSVP) and if the speakers go over that, it happens! They give up their free time to share their passion with others. Their work often speaks better from them than themselves. I’m sure Canon take many, many factors into consideration when choosing speakers. Most of the speakers do Photography full time and one of the very obvious things to take into account is the fact that the speakers need to avail themselves for 3 weekends for all the provinces, that may result in a loss of income and time! Most events etc happen on weekends! Canon follows many photographers and their work, they cannot interview each of the chosen ones beforehand to see how they will be presenting themselves and their work. Not everyone has the gift of the gab when it comes to public speaking and putting their work and themselves. I can assure you (I have done a public speaking course) If that was me up there I would be nervous as hell. If I was chosen I would gladly go and share my passion, as they did, taking up the offer as an honour and exposure to inspiring others as much as they have been inspired by their peers! Would you give up this chance? They would not be there if they weren’t good at doing what they do! There are hundreds and thousands of photographers in this country who do you chose?
These were but a few and then the biggest one… “The technical issues”…. My word. These things happen, they did not plan them, there are many hands including the CCITC involved with sound lighting etc. Have you maybe thought how embarrassing and stressful it was for them, and had 1000 plus faces staring at them while they struggle to get it right, then I personally think handled the situation very well and had a plan B. This is the first time it has happened with me attending a roadshow. Yes, it was frustrating and made most of us deaf but hey, its life. It’s not a reason to slander someone on Facebook!
We live in very fast-tracked stressful times, with so much negativity why contribute to this. If you have a problem with someone or something, contact the person or company directly! Canon send emails after each roadshow requesting feedback, (many did not know this) yes I have heard I don’t think they even take anything into consideration. I don’t think it could be easy reading 1000 feedback emails per province and pleasing every one of those people! I’m very sure they are read! The Management of Canon don’t only do Workshops and Roadshows they are involved in normal everyday business duties for the rest of the year, trying to provide the best products and services to all their clients! Along with all the other social responsibility projects etc. they are involved in!
In a nutshell, this post is just to make people aware of what you say, and that making statements about companies or people without all the facts may not always be the right thing to do! Place yourself in the other people shoes! If you don’t have something nice to say, maybe don’t say it!
Small home-based businesses close as a result of this kind of slander and negativity. It is always good and bad in every situation. I personally think in this instance the positives way outweighed all the negatives, it was in no way perfect and catching up with Togs you have not seen in a while is always a blessing, especially running a photography group and putting some names to faces. Your opinion and views may not always be right and I am sure people will disagree with me on this too and that is fine, it’s what makes us all different and human!
I would like to thank Canon South Africa, Roger, Abri Kriegler and the rest of the Canon team for all the efforts in bringing us the Roadshow!
Love and Light!