The sun is burning a deep orange, which can be seen through the silhouette of a leaf. A dark sky forms the backdrop of the photo.

From ‘job’ to ‘joy’

The last 18 months have shown us all the importance of strong connections with people and as a geographically diverse company, this is fundamental, particularly when communicating from a distance. Our strong community of passionate imagemakers don’t just share a pastime – they share a vision. And even in challenging times, they use it to connect and engage. 

There’s no doubt that the camera creates bonds and brings people together. We’ve seen incredible strength emerge from the photography communities during the pandemic, as they tell important stories and share their world view. But it’s more than that: a simple snap of the family dog, the view on a morning run or the park where they took their kids on the weekend gets people talking. We see this every day at Canon, where platforms like Yammer and competitions like the Redline Challenge, let colleagues get a glimpse into each other’s worlds. It creates an initial talking point, which build the basis to connect on a deeper level. People at Canon are always keen to share their experiences through photography and there is a strong sense of camaraderie amongst employees, with colleagues openly praising, supporting and encouraging each other. 

The Redline Challenge for Canon employees was launched at the same time as the customer competition in March. So, while our customers were getting creative and entries were flooding in, our own talent was also enthusiastically embracing the brief from Canon Ambassador Lorenz Holder – ‘Light in the Dark’ – a fitting title that really encouraged employees to shine. Throughout the competition window, videos and articles with tips and techniques were uploaded to Canon social media channels, but at the same time Canon Ambassadors were sharing their words of advice and encouragement on internal channels, just for employees.

A person stands with their dog on decking over water. The sun is setting in the background in a beautiful orange and the sky is a deep blue.
Photograph courtesy of Elli Hovinen, a Tender Bid Consultant in Finland.
The main focus of the picture is a bridge. The lights on the bridge are sparkling in the darkness of the deep blue sky. The light is reflected on the water.
Photograph courtesy of Daniel Allewelt, a Service Engineer in Germany.

The Redline Challenge undoubtedly brought the Canon community together, albeit if from a distance! There was a wide variety of entries, all showing off each individual entrants’ skills and creativity, so the judges had quite a challenge. Employees faced the same judging panel of industry experts as customers: Canon Ambassadors Lorenz Holder and Laura El-Tantawy, independent artistic director, curator and educator, Monica Allende, editor of The Wider Image, Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson and Canon’s European Marketing Director, Susie Donaldson. Lorenz Holder summed up his aims when speaking to Canon Professional when he said he was looking for “the wow factor”.

The photo has a silhouette of a dog as light shines through gaps in the trees.
Photograph courtesy of Dawn Perkins, a European Patent Manager in the UK.
A dark sky falls over a vast field with trees in the skyline. There is an orange light shining at the bottom of the skyline.
Photograph courtesy of Magdalena Moya De Haro, a PR Specialist in Spain.
A dark blue sky is reflected over water and the light from lampposts is scattered over the water. Where the water meets the sky in the distance the sun is setting in orange hues.
Photography courtesy of Günter Klein, a Field Service Specialist in Switzerland.
A highway in a city is the main focus with a dark sky as the backdrop. There is a building lit up in the background.
Photograph courtesy of Dontcho Neshev, a Marketing Professional in Bulgaria.

The judges were very impressed by the standard of images overall, but there could only be one winner from the Canon employee entries. The judges chose ‘Summer wrapped in Autumn’ by Agi Wojcik, who works as an On-line Content Professional at Canon EMEA’s Head Office in the UK. "I found the dried leaf on one of my winter/spring walks and I loved its structure and the shape, so I took it home with me,” recalls Agi. “Once the spring came in full and we had more summer temperatures I started thinking how I could use this leaf to take an interesting photo. Then we were told about the Redline Challenge, and I started playing around with an idea of seasons passing. It's a great feeling when the vision you had comes true for you but by taking many pictures, I also discovered other great ideas and had fun on the way." 

And this is what it’s all about – having fun on the way. Ultimately, the shared purpose and values is the difference between a job and a joy, and this is something people at Canon largely enjoy. There may be plenty of deadlines to meet, but there’s always time to find joy in the everyday and take a moment to connect and share with colleagues!

The sun is burning a deep orange, which can be seen through the silhouette of a leaf. A dark sky forms the backdrop of the photo.
The winning entry of the Internal Redline Challenge, ‘Summer wrapped in Autumn’. courtesy of Agi Wojcik, an On-Line Content Professional in the UK. Agi used the EOS RP and RF 35MM F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens to take her image.

Find out more about working at Canon.

Written by Lucy Preskett