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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

CPS Canada - I am no longer a professional... really???
Chris Halper, Photographer
Toronto | On | Canada | Posted: 8:41 AM on 12.16.11
->> Hello All,

I have already read some venting about the CPS Canada criteria but wanted to ask about recent experience.

Despite being a full time photographer for over a decade using exclusively Canon equipment, I am not able to renew my CPS membership because one of my L series lenses has been discontinued. Translation: Their high quality, Canon equipment hasn't broken yet and I won't qualify until I buy a new lens. Ironic...

The most frustrating / insulting part was for the new CPS Rep to tell me I don't qualify as a professional when I have seen 4 people go through her job since 2002 and am guaranteed to be a photographer long after she has moved on.

I am writing a letter to her supervisor to provide feedback and express the absurdity of their program's inflexibility.

Anyone have similar experience? Any successful outcome?
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 9:50 AM on 12.16.11
->> You would think they would establish some alternative criteria, such as business license, web site, employment verification... Anyone with a big bank account can buy pro lenses... That doesn't make them a professional as we all well know. I'm curious; which L lens has been discontinued?
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 10:55 AM on 12.16.11
->> Chris,

You are taking the right steps. If her supervisor has been there a while they will be able to take care of you. They may even check with the previous reps, if they still have a friendly relationship, to ask about you.

Because of the new pay-to-play system I don't have a CPS membership anymore as all my gear is company and they take care of that stuff for me, but when I switched from Nikon to Canon and wanted to get a membership I simply asked a Canon CPS rep I had known for years about joining. He asked for my business card and a couple weeks later I received my welcome kit. I never had to fill out a form or anything to prove my status as a professional, because he already knew that and put in the approval.

I think most of the reps know that you don't need specific gear to be a professional, you are just running into a new person who doesn't want to step outside the book. Keep working CPS and any friends you have who may know other reps in the country who can vouch for you and things will probably get cleared up.

With the letter to the supervisor you may want to include your business information, clips from established publications and maybe a letter of reference from a DOP or other CPS Canada members.

And, Phil, you don't qualify just by buying the big lenses. You generally need a reference or two and some clips with your application to prove you are a working professional and not a wealthy hobbyist. Again, thankfully, I didn't have to go through all that because I had been working alongside CPS (and NPS) reps for years who knew me and would smooth any bumps that may have come up in my joining.
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Lane Hickenbottom, Photographer
Omaha | NE | usa | Posted: 11:28 AM on 12.16.11
->> Canon is a business. Period.

Canon is NOT saying you are not professional enough. They are saying that you do not buy enough of their equipment to warrant special treatment.
 This post is:  Informative (6) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 11:35 AM on 12.16.11
->> I don't see why the gear restrictions if you are paying for the service now. I have let mine lapse since the pay thing started. I would also most likely not qualify since I have not bought a new canon lens or body since my 10d. I have plenty of white glass and pro bodies, but have been shooting nikon at my staff job for years since it is provided.
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James Durbin, Photographer, Student/Intern
Carbondale | IL | USA | Posted: 1:15 PM on 12.16.11
->> Use your connections, it has been my experience with CPS that if you know a rep the paperwork is done much faster ... or eliminated completely.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 1:49 PM on 12.16.11
->> You might also include a link to this thread.

--Mark
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Mike McLaughlin, Photographer
Neptune City | NJ | USA | Posted: 1:51 PM on 12.16.11
->> Ironic. I too had a problem when the pay system first started. I've been shooting full time for 13 years. Yet a couple of hobbyists I know who both have tons of money, Mark IV's and big glass, both have CPS membership. Neither has ever made a dime from photography and both have even started doing pro gigs for free cause it's cool!
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 2:42 PM on 12.16.11
->> I don't know the how the Canadian CPS system works, but just for the record, here is the deal for CPS in the U.S.

In the old days, what George mentioned was the way it was. You had to submit three samples of work (clips in the case of photojournalism) and a cover letter on company letterhead to be considered.

Not for their current system, however. Now, it is simply a matter of how much current* Canon gear you own. * Current by Canon's definition.

My main beef with this system is exactly what is causing Chris' problem. For the most part, Canon wants you to keep buying new stuff to be a CPS member. Their older equipment is regularly removed from the list of "qualified" items for CPS consideration.

What's worse is they also remove that stuff from their list of equipment they will repair.

It's to the point now where Canon will not repair the majority of my lenses. I just renewed and noticed the latest removal from the repair list is my 35-350L. The biggest thorn in my side is the 400/2.8L II. I suppose I can understand if they can't get parts for older equipment. But I really think they should at least CLEAN a 400/2.8. Nope, if it's not on the repair list, they won't even touch it. So if you have a 400/2.8L II or 600/4L, you're SOL but if you have junk like a 28-135/3.5-5.6, EF-S 17-55 or EF-S 18-200, you're golden.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Aaron Jaffe, Photographer, Student/Intern
San Diego | CA | USA | Posted: 2:44 PM on 12.16.11
->> The new Canon system reminds me of video game achievement points.
400 2.8? You gained 50 achievement points towards being able to purchase Gold!
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (4) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

James Durbin, Photographer, Student/Intern
Carbondale | IL | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 12.16.11
->> @Al Goldis, that frustrates me as well. I've had two 17-35 2.8Ls break on me and Canon won't touch them anymore because they are too old. Now I have a version 1 16-35 and I'm sure they will remove it from the list in a few more years since the V2 has been out for a while. But, as was mentioned, Canon is a business and they don't make money from old equipment. The reps are out there to push their new gear, its understandable.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Steven Georges, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 3:49 PM on 12.16.11
->> Sounds like the doctors with money that I've been shooting next to on the sidelines have become pro's while the rest of us . . . well . . . you know. ;-)
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Tim Vizer, Photographer
Belleville | IL | USA | Posted: 5:02 PM on 12.16.11
->> Ditto what George said - all our gear is company-provided and when we switched here at my newspaper from Nikon to Canon we just spoke with the rep out of Chicago and she "fast-tracked" the entire staff to CPS without us having to jump through any hoops (didn't have to send in tearsheets or anything to prove we were for real).
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Steven Mullensky, Photographer, Photo Editor
Port Townsend | WA. | USA | Posted: 6:12 PM on 12.16.11
->> Rats! Where I live there are no camera stores, except in Seattle, much less a Canon rep to go to bat or fast track me.
I was denied membership too, because of, supposedly, outdated equipment. Worked just fine for me and I questioned what about the equipment was not professional. No answer.

I have no leverage with them and too much Canon equipment to want to change to something else.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

John Korduner, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 7:14 PM on 12.16.11
->> Have you tried submitting the seriial# of your older lenses? The system was changed recently, but I know last year the renewal site accepted my 300 and 400 non-IS lens #'s. The only equipment I couldn't register was a 430 exII, but when it needed repair, Canon wouldn't give me a CPS discount...because it was unregistered.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Chris Halper, Photographer
Toronto | On | Canada | Posted: 10:40 AM on 12.17.11
->> To get a variety of opinions, I have posted this in a couple of pro photo forums. The replies are generally consistent saying they agree about the absurdity... But, there does seem to be the one person who agrees with Canon that new equipment makes the photographer (@Lane).

The minimum criteria is two 40D bodies and 2 newer L series lenses. That means you'd qualify with an investment of $3,500 (Canadian) in new, low end equipment with no prerequisite of being a professional. However, if you owned a single 1Ds, six L series lenses and shot for National Geographic, you would NOT qualify.

I, on the other hand, own multiple bodies but have specifically chosen to use the 16-35mm and 35-350mm because they do replace the need for multiple lenses.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 11:02 AM on 12.17.11
->> The real question is what defines a professional! I belonged to CPS years ago, and even got a loaner lens from them for a specific sporting event without any hassles. I don't belong today even though I have been a Canon shooter throughout my Professional career.

I'm not an equipment hog and see no reason to buy up when the lenses and bodies in my bag do the job. If I need something repaired I go to a camera repair house close to home. It's faster and generally less expensive then shipping to Canon.

Am I a professional? Yes! I make 100 percent of my living from photography and writing. Do I care about belonging to CPS? Nope! I will continue to purchase Canon equipment because I like the product but I'm not changing up every time Canon comes out with the newest lens or body.
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Steve Russell, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 12:12 PM on 12.17.11
->> This is crazy,

They are pushing you away from a service that you have to pay to use!

The kicker is that in Toronto there are a large number of staffers and freelancers for the wire services that have had trial Nikon kits for over a year now, at no cost!
And it is looking like one of the wires may flip to Nikon.

And the local Canon people are scratching their heads as to why.

Crazy.
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Lane Hickenbottom, Photographer
Omaha | NE | usa | Posted: 1:44 PM on 12.17.11
->> @Chris, I didn't suggest that the equipment makes the photographer.

But I would argue that an increased amount of equipment you purchase makes you a better Canon customer.
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Marvin Gentry, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 8:47 PM on 10.24.12
->> @George Bridges, which level of cps services did the rep give you? I believe there are 3 levels with silver being free, gold being a $100 and platinum being $500.
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 2:43 PM on 10.26.12
->> @Steve, one of the local wires DID just switch to Nikon. Their guys are now all selling off their Canon gear...
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Andrew Richardson, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 11:55 AM on 10.29.12
->> @all this thread is almost a year old

@Marvin: George has actually switched back to Nikon now so he might have some interesting comments on Canon in general
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Thread Title: CPS Canada - I am no longer a professional... really???
Thread Started By: Chris Halper
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