Why is Photoshop So Expensive?

why photoshop expensive

Because Photoshop is ridiculously amazing. The things the software can do are mind-boggling and the vast majority of us will never wrap our heads around it. Photoshop is quality and, just like everything else, it takes money and time to produce quality.

That’s all there is to it. Article over. Photoshop is amazing – go buy it.

Okay, I’m just kidding. I’m sure you probably have plenty more questions about the cost of Photoshop and I’ll do my best to answer them here.

Nice to meet you, by the way. I’m Cara and as a professional photographer, I’ve spent my share of time in Photoshop. I’ve also spent my share of money on Photoshop, so I feel your pain.

But there are good reasons why Photoshop costs so much. Thankfully, there are also good reasons why it’s worth spending the money on it. 

Let’s explore!

Reason 1: It’s the Industry Standard

Simply put, Adobe can charge whatever they want for it. Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard.

Photography and graphic design schools teach it, advertising and marketing companies use it, and even film designers work in Photoshop. 

Reason 2: It Has Posterity

Photoshop has been around since 1990. 1990!

Do you remember how archaic computers were back then? Many of you might not have even been alive back then so let me enlighten you. 

I was 3 years old in 1990, and we didn’t get our first clunky family computer until I was a teenager. The only graphics that thing had were the chunky playing cards in Solitaire and the tiny, barely discernible covered wagon from The Oregon Trail. 

It’s incredible to think that the beginnings of the graphic design we see today were already up and running 10 years before my family was dying of dysentery or starvation. 

But, I digress. Back to Photoshop.

Reason 3: It’s Incredibly Sophisticated

Photoshop has not only survived but thrived for so long because it’s an incredible piece of software. 

You can remove a logo just by painting the spot healing brush over the part of the image you want to remove. The program analyzes the surrounding pixels and fills in the spot, usually quite well. And don’t even get me started on the new sky replacement feature!

Reason 4: It Takes a Lot of Money to Develop Quality

Of course, creating an incredible piece of software doesn’t just happen. It requires hundreds of thousands of hours and a team of really smart, dedicated individuals to make it happen. 

Plus, it’s not a one-off thing. Photoshop is not the same as it was in 1990. People are constantly updating it and making it better and better. 

All that takes money.

Other Questions You May Have 

So, is Photoshop worth the money that you spend on it? Check out the answer to this and other frequently asked questions here.

Is it Worth Getting Photoshop?

If you’re doing anything that involves graphic design, photography, or anything remotely similar — the answer is a resounding YES! 

If you want to work in the industry for a company, Photoshop experience is always a requirement. If you want to set out on your own, Photoshop is an excellent tool that will get you the professional results your clients expect. 

Can You Buy Photoshop Permanently?

No. Photoshop is only sold on a subscription basis as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Subscription

You used to be able to buy Photoshop outright. All you had to do was be willing to drop $600-$800 on the software. Now, it’s no longer possible to buy Photoshop as a one-off deal. 

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get Photoshop?

The cheapest way to get Photoshop is through their basic Photography Plan subscription to the Creative Cloud. You get Photoshop and Lightroom along with 20GB of cloud storage for $9.99 per month. 

The good news about the subscription model is that $10 is far more affordable for everybody — especially creatives who are just starting. 

Is there a way to get Adobe Photoshop for free?

Yes! Well, for 7 days at least. You can download a full trial version of Photoshop and use it for 7 days. After that, you’ll be given the option to sign up for a Creative Cloud subscription. 

The program doesn’t delete itself, but it will stop working until you buy the subscription. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, Photoshop is an extremely powerful program that does an amazing job. Creatives can create virtually anything they can dream up with the program. That’s why it can be so expensive for many people.

The only downside about Photoshop is that there is so much you can do! It’s a bit of a learning curve to get through it all. 

That’s why we’re creating a rich resource of articles teaching you how to do everything from cartoonizing an image to getting rid of your client’s double chin. You can dive in and start learning here!

What do you think about the price of Photoshop? Is the subscription price a fair one? Let us know in the comments below!

About June
June is an experienced graphic designer specializing in brand design. Photoshop is the essential tool that she uses every day along with other Adobe programs for her creative work.

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