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Photos © David Guenther

When the subscription model was first announced for the Adobe Creative Cloud in 2011, many photographers were concerned about the implications of “renting” software. Adobe, recognizing that most photographers don’t need the entire suite of applications they offer, responded with a special version this summer that includes Photoshop CC and Lightroom–the two tools most important to a photographer’s digital workflow, and widely considered the standard for post-production.

David Guenther (www.davidguentherphotography.com), a respected wedding and portrait photographer based in Lethbridge, Alberta, uses Lightroom and Photoshop CC extensively– they are, as he puts it, his “jam”. Guenther does his photo processing in Lightroom before sending them over to Photoshop CC for final tuning and output. In his opinion, the subscription model of $9.99 per month is a great value. “I’d rather pay a low monthly cost than buy the software outright at a huge price, and then have to upgrade every time a new version comes out,” he explains.

While the cost efficiency is a plus, the subscription-only model has been a big change for photographers who were used to a one-time purchase and basic access from their personal computers. Three years after Adobe Creative Cloud’s first release, we still hear common misconceptions about its features and functionality. With the release of the Creative Cloud Photography plan, it’s time to clear the air.

David Guenther Adobe CC

The Myth: The Creative Cloud Photography plan is more expensive in the long run.

The Truth: When compared to the traditional model of purchasing and upgrading, the Creative Cloud Photography subscription saves hundreds of dollars and spreads out the costs over time. When you add in the mobile applications that can handle powerful photography editing (photo editing in Lightroom mobile, for example) and other services like Lightroom web for sharing and receiving feedback, the value of Creative Cloud becomes very clear. And, as an added bonus, photographers of all levels will find value in Adobe’s extensive video tutorials that are available with the plan.

The Myth: All of your images will be stored in the Cloud.

The Truth: It’s not necessary to store your images in the Cloud (nor will you lose them if you have a lapse in your subscription), and all of your files can easily be stored locally. The Cloud is a just a very cool bonus–for many photographers, like Guenther, access to mobile apps like Lightroom mobile and Photoshop Mix let him edit and organize his photos while away from the computer. He says, “I use the Adobe Creative Cloud quite a bit. It’s important for me to have access to images and shoots I’m working on, because I’m often collaborating on a project and need to discuss work when I’m away from my computer. In that way, it’s been a huge help. I always have access to my work. All that, combined with Smart Previews in Lightroom, means I can work pretty much anywhere at any time. That’s essential for me.”

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The Myth: All Creative Cloud applications are Cloud-based.

The Truth: One of the biggest misconceptions about Creative Cloud subscriptions is that you need to be connected to the Internet in order to use the applications. All of the desktop applications live on your computer. There is no requirement to have a full-time Internet connection­–Creative Cloud checks once a month to validate the subscription, taking only a few seconds. And with the mobile applications, this means you can work anywhere: remote locations, at the client’s office, or wherever you travel to.

Guenther says, “For me, Creative Cloud Photography has allowed me to be more mobile and work while I travel or while I’m away from the office. The Adobe tools I use operate just the same, but I have more flexibility.”

You can read more about the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan at www.creative.adobe.com/plans/photography. And, as always, you can download a free 30-day trial of Lightroom or Photoshop CC–desktop or mobile–to try it out for yourself.


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