Interested in mastering Adobe Photoshop for professional photography or digital editing? Learn about the financial investment involved, the benefits of learning Photoshop, and the careers it can lead to in this comprehensive guide.
- Photoshop is a widely used software program for editing, enhancing, and creating digital images. It's utilized across various industries, including photography, graphic design, and web design.
- The cost of Photoshop varies depending on the subscription plan chosen, with options ranging from the Photography Plan at $19.99/month to the All Apps Plan at $54.99/month. Discounts are available for students, teachers, and businesses.
- Ensure your computer meets the minimum requirements to run Photoshop efficiently. The MacBook Pro is often recommended for optimal functionality.
- While there are free alternatives to Photoshop like GIMP, they often lack the advanced features, streamlined interface, and user community support provided by Photoshop.
- Mastering Photoshop can open the door to various careers, including Graphic Designer, Digital Designer, or User Interface (UI) Designer, all of which offer competitive salaries and often flexible remote working opportunities.
- Noble Desktop offers a range of Photoshop classes and certificate programs, both in-person and virtual, to accommodate different learning styles and schedules. All courses include a free retake option within one year.
If you’re interested in professional photography or digital editing, you might have considered investing in Adobe Photoshop. With several different pricing structures and subscription plans, it can be hard to determine which one you need and how much money you should anticipate spending. This article will provide you with all the details you need to understand how much Photoshop costs.
What is Photoshop?
Photoshop is a software program available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Its primary functions include editing, enhancing, and creating digital images from scratch. The program has a wide range of impressive capabilities. Creative professionals across nearly every industry can use Photoshop to design anything from graphics for social media, logos, and the interface of an entire website!
You can use Photoshop to adjust lighting and colors and to create a single image from your favorite components of existing photos. The program comes loaded with plenty of retouching tools, enabling you to remove anything you feel makes your image less than perfect. If you’re scanning a physical photo into the program, you can edit it to remove stains, tears, and wrinkles. Photoshop also contains rudimentary animation capabilities, meaning users can create GIFs with the program as well.
Read more about what Photoshop is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with Photoshop?
Photoshop is the industry standard software for photo editing. The program can make virtually any adjustment you can think of, and you can add or remove almost anything you want to create your perfect final image. For example, photographers who work with large groups will often use Photoshop to make a composite of several images; this way, they can combine the best photo of each individual into one picture.
But Photoshop is used for so much more than enhancing images! Graphic Designers frequently use the program to design logos and advertisements for their clients. Because the program allows users to combine multiple images, designers in any industry can use Photoshop to quickly demonstrate how a proposed design would appear on a product. This helps their clients get a clear picture of the final product and quickly make changes, saving both time and money.
It’s also commonly used in web design. Although you can’t code a website in Photoshop, you can use it to create mockups of interfaces, backgrounds, and graphics that designers will add to a website later. Photoshop also contains powerful image compression tools, ensuring the images on a website are clear rather than pixelated. Web Designers can also use the program to build the layout of a website, though other tools are more capable of creating a responsive design.
In-Depth Review of the Cost
The overall cost of Photoshop will vary somewhat from person to person. Here, we’ll break down how the pricing structure works, what you should expect to spend on a computer, and whether there are more affordable options.
Cost of Photoshop
The price and pricing structure for Adobe programs have changed over the years, and this is likely to continue as the product continues to evolve. Photoshop used to be available for purchase through a one-time fee, but Adobe has used a subscription model since 2012. This model allows Adobe to innovate more continuously; it is easier to roll out upgrades and make improvements based on consumer research. The additional profits from the subscriptions have also led to more investment in new and exciting technology. For example, one recent update to Photoshop included artificial intelligence that automatically adjusts certain aspects of your image with just a few clicks.
There are a few different Adobe plans that include access to Photoshop. All of these plans offer a seven-day free trial and include access to 1TB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio to help design a custom website to share your work, and the entire library of Adobe Fonts.
- Photography Plan: This plan costs $19.99/month and includes Lightroom as well as Photoshop. Since Photoshop is loaded with features that do a lot more than photo editing, Lightroom is essentially a pared-down version that offers only the tools that are specific to photography. Lightroom requires users to store their photos online, allowing easier access.
- Photoshop Plan: If you only need access to Photoshop, you can purchase this subscription for $20.99/month. You might wonder why someone would need Photoshop but not Lightroom. Simply put, Photoshop has many more features and capabilities than Lightroom, and plenty of people besides photographers use Photoshop regularly. For instance, a Graphic Designer or Web Designer may use Photoshop daily but have little use for Lightroom.
- All Apps Plan: There are over 20 applications in the Adobe Creative Cloud, and this plan gives users access to all of them for $54.99/month. Though this is the most expensive option, it’s the best value for your money if you plan on regularly using more than one Adobe program.
Furthermore, these prices differ depending on who purchases the subscription and what they use it for. Students and teachers can access the All Apps plan for $19.99/month, which is a discount of 60%. Businesses can expect to pay $35.99/month per Photoshop license; if they need all of the Creative Cloud applications, it will cost $84.99/month per license.
Another crucial factor to consider when investing in Photoshop is the potential cost of upgrading your personal computer. The program requires a lot of processing power and storage space to provide the user with optimal functionality. Your current computer may already be appropriate, but you’ll want to be sure before unnecessarily purchasing a subscription. The good news is that Photoshop works on both Windows and Mac operating systems, so you don’t have to worry about switching if you’re loyal to one over the other.
To run Photoshop, your device should have a minimum of 8GB of RAM, though 16GB is preferred, and a graphics card with at least 1.5 GB of memory. You should also have over 4GB of available hard disk space and, ideally, an internal SSD (Solid State Drive). While these are more expensive than traditional hard drives, they offer a much faster processing speed and use less battery power.
Most experts consider the MacBook Pro the ideal device for running Photoshop. These computers typically cost between $1,750 and $2,000, depending on where you buy them. You can find slightly older versions for around $1200, but this is still a significant amount of money for most people. There are some more budget-friendly laptops that can cost $450-$500, but they may not be able to accommodate additional Adobe programs if you want to expand your skills. Depending on their storage space, it might be harder to complete the program’s regular updates.
Free Alternatives to Photoshop
There are some alternatives to Photoshop that are cheaper or completely free. One of the most popular choices is GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program. This free, open-source program is most similar to Photoshop because it has many of the same tools, including masking, animation, and custom brushes. GIMP also uses raster graphics just like Photoshop does.
Both programs can complete many of the same edits, but as the old adage says, “You get what you pay for.” Photoshop has plenty of additional perks, including a less cluttered interface, additional storage space, and a wider community of users to support beginners. You can always give GIMP a try to practice editing to see whether you enjoy it, but Photoshop is the clear standout.
Why Learn Photoshop?
Businesses across industries use visual imagery to quickly grab our attention and entice us into paying for their product or service. This means that the ability to generate beautiful graphics is a lucrative addition to any resume, regardless of your ultimate career goals. Using Photoshop is an in-demand skill that can prepare you for several fascinating careers. Some options include becoming a Graphic Designer, a Digital Designer, or a User Interface (UI) Designer. All of these careers earn competitive salaries and can often provide you with flexible remote working opportunities.
Learning Photoshop can also give you a solid foundation to learn other design programs depending on your interests and professional aspirations. For instance, you might learn Adobe InDesign if you’re interested in publishing, or you could look into Adobe Illustrator to help secure a career in fashion design. Photoshop is highly compatible with other programs within the Adobe Creative Cloud, so getting familiar with any of these programs is an excellent way to continue boosting your skills.
Read more about why you should learn Photoshop.
Free Introductory Photoshop Course Online
If you’re not quite ready to dive into a full course, but you still want an overview of Photoshop, you can still start learning Photoshop for free online! Check out Noble Desktop’s free Intro to Photoshop course. This two-hour training teaches viewers about Photoshop’s essential functions and discusses fundamental principles of design. You’ll also learn about which Adobe Creative Cloud plan you should invest in, tips to save your files, and how to select the appropriate resolutions for print files and digital files.
There are other online providers that offer free Photoshop classes as well. Udemy has a handful of courses that cover the basics of Photoshop for different career paths, like web design and graphic design. You can also find some classes for free on Coursera, including one about the fundamental principles of graphic design. There are also hundreds of tutorials available on YouTube, but you’ll want to focus on recent uploads. This ensures you’re learning the most recent version of Photoshop with the most current trends.
Read about more free Photoshop videos and online tutorials.
Learn Photoshop with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
Noble Desktop offers a range of Photoshop classes that are sure to meet a variety of scheduling needs and learning styles. Whether students attend in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus or virtually from anywhere in the world, they’ll learn from expert instructors in small groups. All Noble courses also include a free retake option within one year, giving students additional opportunities to hone their skills at no additional charge.
For students who only have a few days to spare, the Adobe Photoshop Bootcamp is an excellent way to move from beginner to intermediate in just three days. This course guides students through various projects that each target a specific skill within Photoshop. By the end of the bootcamp, students will be able to complete tasks like adjusting colors, creating a composite image, and removing components of an image to make the end result more appealing.
Photoshop is also covered in a few of Noble Desktop’s more intensive certificate programs. There is a Graphic Design Certificate that teaches Photoshop and two other Adobe programs– Illustrator and InDesign. If you are curious about using Photoshop to design web and mobile interfaces, the UI Design Certificate might be a great fit. You’ll incorporate several design principles to create stunning and accessible interfaces using Figma and multiple Adobe programs. Participants in these programs will add their coursework into a portfolio they can show off to potential employers.
How to Learn Photoshop
Master Photoshop, the industry-standard application for photo retouching, color correction, and more, with hands-on training.
- Photoshop Bootcamp at Noble Desktop: 18-hour live, instructor-led course available in NYC or live online
- Find Photoshop Classes Near You: Search & compare dozens of available courses in-person
- Attend an Photoshop class live online (remote/virtual training) from anywhere
- Find & compare the best online Photoshop classes (on-demand) from the top providers and platforms
- Train your staff with corporate and onsite Photoshop training