Adobe Thinking About a Creative Cloud Bundle Geared Toward Photographers


Adobe caused quite an outcry from the photography community yesterday after announcing that its future software offerings will only be available through subscription plans to its Creative Cloud service. The main gripe was that the $50/month cost for all the programs in the CC suite–or $20/month for just Photoshop–didn’t make financial sense for independent photographers and smaller photo studios.

Well, the sound of grumbling has reached decision makers over in the San Jose-based company. In a post published on the blog yesterday, the company revealed that it’s thinking about introducing special Creative Cloud packages geared specifically at photographers.

In the article, the company’s Chief Consumer Advocate for Digital Imaging products, Jeffrey Tranberry, offered answers to various questions that were being thrown around by photographers on the Internet.

Tranberry states that although a single-app subscription to Photoshop CC will cost $20/month at its regular price, photographers who currently own any version of Photoshop CS3 and above will be able to subscribe to Photoshop CC for a year at a price of $10/month (with an $120 annual commitment).

Adobe will continue selling boxed version of Lightroom when version 5 is released

Adobe will continue selling boxed version of Lightroom when version 5 is released

For photographers who use both Photoshop and Lightroom in their workflows, it gets a bit more messy and a lot less friendly. Tranberry says you best bet is to do the $10/month subscription to Photoshop CC and then purchase the standalone “perpetual software license” version of Lightroom (AKA the “box” version, which isn’t going away).

However, Tranberry did offer a slight silver lining, saying that Adobe is thinking about offerings designed for photographers:

We’ve heard there’s a lot of interest in a photographer’s bundle or photography cloud solution and we’re actively exploring offerings we can potentially create for you. We welcome your feedback around what you would like to see that fits your workflow needs.

Adobe may be planning to offer cloud software packages geared toward "small-time" photographers

Adobe may be planning to offer cloud software packages geared toward “small-time” photographers

What custom offerings would be satisfactory for photographers? In a comment left on our post yesterday, photographer Rob Elliott suggests one possible solution:

I did some math the other day. Versus a biannual upgrade at $199 USD, the subscription works out to be about $240 annually and gives you 20GB of cloud storage. Based on this plan you are paying $140 a year for 20GB of Storage. Dropbox offers 100GB of storage for $120 a year [month to month].

They need to lower the cost of the Single Product only subscription or make Adobe CC for Photographers, and provide LR & PS plus 75/100GB of storage for the $20 a month. That at least gives value.

The main issue at the moment is value. While the existing Creative Cloud plans may be a great value to businesses and individuals who constantly need the latest versions of many Adobe programs, it’s not so great for people who would be perfectly happy with just Photoshop and Lightroom. Adobe would be able to satisfy that market segment by tailoring a package specifically for those customers’ needs.

If you have specific questions regarding what Adobe’s transition to the cloud will mean for you, Tranberry is currently answering questions in the comments section of his blog post.

  • Dov Hechtman

    Let m say right here FRACK YOU ADOBE!!!!

    I in no way want to rent my software from them annualy its bad enough that their software is overpriced but for anyone who isn’t making a massive living off of photography this is a garbage idea and a total ripoff.

    I use light room and as a owner of the software having paid for the upgrade at a semi-reasonable price Adobe wants to now charge me $20 a month for the software plus cloud space I have absolutely no need for. Calling anything about this deal even a lower price value added is just calling highway robbery by another name.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    I would be interested in Adobe further lowering their prices if you could opt out of cloud storage and behance, etc. I have no interest in using Adobe’s cloud storage and I’m not sure why they are jumping in that arena when there are already plenty of options.

  • Michael Haley

    Dov, I can only agree with you wholeheartedly. Adobe is abandoning their customers for greater profit. Only businesses and large companies will be able to use their software. I have been using many of their applications for over 15 years. I will not use it anymore.

    I will now look more often for public-offered software like GIMP and others. Adobe is no longer on my list of usable software vendors.

  • Michael Garner

    As an amatuer photographer, I have been using Photoshop for years, and I have purchased upgrades over the years at around $200. The last upgrade I purchased was CS5 in 2010. I decided to skip CS6, but was looking forward to CS7, hoping that it would have enough new features to justify purchasing the upgrade. So CS5, which has more than suited my needs, has cost me about $6.00 per month. I couldn’t justify spending $20 per month, but probably would be OK with half that rate.

  • Gill R

    I don’t want cloud storage, so even if they offered 100Gb that adds no value at all for me personally. Even a monthly sub of £10GBP would cost as much, prob more, than an upgrade every other year. Double that monthly figure, which is the cost they are talking about, and it gets very silly. For the huge number of people, like myself, who are simply hobbyists this is just a non- starter. It’s about time Adobe appreciated just how many users of PS are not professionals. I can see that this subscription service will have greater appear to people who are, especially if they use other CS products.

    I also think they have totally failed to consider how this may affect people a few years down the line: what happens to a pro whose business takes a bit of a downturn or someone retires and is having to manage on a much smaller budget? No spare money for luxuries like PS means no PS for them. No matter how much they might have spent with Adobe over the preceding years.

    I shall be sticking with my CS5 as long as possible and pray a sensible, perpetually-licensesd alternative comes on the market because I certainly won’t be spending my money on this.

  • Rob Elliott

    What are you on about? If I stop paying for photoshop, my pictures don’t get delete, they are still on my hard drive. If I save them in .tiff or jpg there are still usable.. heck even other programs can often open photoshop files.

    I don’t disagree I don’t like this 30 day licencing thing, but your “entire past work” isn’t shut off.

  • Mick Orlosky

    From what I’m hearing on the Internet, I’ll soon be one of only 18 people left in the world still using Photoshop. New clients, please form an orderly queue. No shoving!

  • alan bailey

    Adobe, have you considered the tax implications on my business resulting from your decision? The subscription cost is actually much higher than you quote as a result of where it lands on my ledger. Secondly, the cloud storage is a valueless add-on. You know you have us between a rock and a hard spot. My business is built on the use of your CS products. Until now I was completely satisfied. This decision of yours has changed that. Please reconsider.

  • leschek

    It would be nice if after paying a certain amount of money (equivalent of new software) you can stop to pay monthly fee and still can use the CC, but without upgrades and support. Than if you decide to upgrade you will have to pay for a few months (equivalent of the upgrade fee) before you could stop again and could use that version without monthly payment. And so on.

  • bogorad

    Pricing themselves out of the market? Smart ;)

  • Rob Elliott

    In your case because you have CS5 you can get CC for 9.99 a month.

  • -

    Thanks adobe,

    Now I love more my open source solutions.

  • 11

    (80s) Passionate coders developed “photoshop” ver 1.

    (1988) made it available for the benefit of users at cost

    (3) Charged more to make it awesome for the benefit of users.

    (4) Charged even more with some improvements

    (2013) Charging even more for mostly the benefit of the company

  • KLC

    The great deal of offering PS at only $10 a month for the first year makes Adobe look like a cable TV company. I have no interest in any kind of subscription software, I want to own my software. What I would be interested in is a Photoshop program like Elements but more powerful that I could buy for around the price of Lightroom. I never use most of PS, Elements is almost good enough to completely satisfy my need for a pixel editor, but no quite.

  • Alex

    No ones talk about one thing : Creativity !

    Be sure I’m not encouraging piracy, I have to say that first. However, how many of us started with copies of adobe product when we were young and student price was just a dream to come. How many of us have learn how to use adobe product at an age when you learn fast and experiment your creativity. How many of us then older have finally a regular license of the product that we loved to use to create when finally we have enough money to compensate the hard work, because it is a lot of work, of the people creating these softwares.

    Years ago, creation was easy, some of the greatest invetions were done in garages. ..Now with the CC subscription, besides all the issues that are discussed here, piracy is going to be hard. Of course this is legitimate from adobe to fight it but on the other side, I guess that this will kill many future potential talent. Many people who would have been using and learning the product maybe studying other stuff in parrallel (look at how many great selfmade photographers). These people would have been talent, promoting adobe softwares years later.

    Again, the cloud was such a great idea but the implementation and the use of it is done probably in the worst way possible…

    Sad day, very sad day

  • Kenneth Tanaka

    Sooner or later every large, uber-successful company makes a suicidal strategic decision. If they’re lucky they eventually recover (ie: New Coke, Netflix,..) If not, well, the graveyard is filled with carcasses of jackasses.

    Adobe has been in the dog house with the financial markets for a while. Just last week Morningstar downgraded their stock to 1-star, their lowest rating. No doubt their analysts had caught wind of this initiative during a briefing and factored this reaction into their assessment.

    Whether or not this move makes any sense for Adobe is debatable. But the sodomizing manner in which they presented it to their customers makes it nil. It’s a still-born decision. By now Adobe’s management certainly realizes this. The question is whether or not they’re mature and whole-brained enough to roll the tape back before any real damage is done.

    My bet is that they’re caught in their own egos and will proceed with this “cloud-only” idea as “the way forward” (to use current popular nauseating MBA-speak).

  • mlieberman85

    Nowadays there are so many open source products that you can start off on and Adobe has so many better student offerings than they did in the past. The cloud is one of the best things to come out of Adobe in a good long while. $20 a month is a pretty good deal. And if someone can’t afford or doesn’t know if they want it there’s still trials and lots of open source competitors.

  • mlieberman85

    Seriously… I do photography primarily on the weekends and I can afford the creative cloud no problem whereas there would be no way for me to justify the cost of creative suite. I don’t get this backlash for what is actually one of the best things Adobe has done in years.

  • Alex

    Open sources yes but have you ever tried gimp ? Try it and you will see…it stils work images on 8bit, try their equivalent of liquify tool…

  • mlieberman85

    Oh agreed. However if you’re just starting off in the field you make do. There’s still much cheaper alternatives than the full photoshop suite. Elements, or hell Paint Shop Pro is still available. If you have a Mac there’s Aperture.

  • Bill McKenzie

    For one freakin’ year until they raise the price. You can never get off the CC treadmill.

  • masatr


  • 3213213

    premiere… after effecst.. get a clue what your talking about noob.

  • Ian Loveday

    Goodbye Adobe, its been good but… you piss all over your core customers, they are going to leave you.

  • rm

    Used to be when we decide to pass up an upgrade cycle we still got to continue using the outdated version. With the new strategy if we decide to stop paying we are left with nothing.

    I’d like to see a system where if I decide I don’t want to continue paying for the subscription I still get to use the software I’m left with.

    I upgrade to every new version anyway so maybe the subscription isn’t so terrible. But to be left with nothing gripes me.

    I see the parallel between paying for gas to to drive a car and the CC system, but Adobe ups the ante by taking the keys away too.

  • Albin

    It seems to me you’ve been given the choice to upgrade or not based on features Adobe offered to entice the upgrade. You’ve also had access to independently developed third party plug-ins and add-ons. Building a business around a product where Adobe has a unilateral right to change its pricing model and restrict or terminate independent development for the platform, is a dicey proposition – not at the moment, the current pricing is reasonable – over the long run.

  • Rob S

    So 5 years from now when OS changes and hardware changes make the last “box” version of PS unusable what incentive does Adobe have to keep upgrading? In fact, once they have enough people on subscription they have NO incentive to develop any part of the software. What are you going to do? As soon as you stop paying you lose functionality. Even if you wanted to switch to some other software you would have to buy it and implement it while still paying your monthly fee until you are finally able to throw the switch. Adobe is creating a HUGE barrier to switching.

    Build a ton of REALLY great new features in the cloud only version
    Make those features must have for any modern user
    sit back and collect profits while never needing to develop again

    This will not end well for us users

  • Arnold Newman

    The main issue is NOT value. It is perpetually renting software and never owning anything. Value is secondary (though hardly irrelevant). The moment I can no longer afford to pay for Creative Cloud I lose access to a lifetime of PSD’s? That’s a non-starter.

  • Arnold Newman

    Why would you save master files as JPGs? You can’t be serious. Anyone who has saved their master files as PSDs, not anticipating that Adobe would come up with a scheme to garnish their wages in perpetuity, has an issue. The more PSD’s, the bigger the issue.

  • Arnold Newman

    This “great low price for one year” is really irrelevant for anyone who considers ramifications beyond the next 12 months.

  • Arnold Newman

    I don’t think this is necessarily the case. Leasing, which is basically renting, started out in the corporate world because of tax and budgeting advantages. I would bet that for volume purchasers (corporations) that this will be viewed as a positive development. The question is how much of Adobe’s revenue is derived from corporations vs small businesses and individuals.

  • Arnold Newman

    If you don’t understand the drawbacks you haven’t been trying very hard. There are legitimate downsides for people. It sounds like the benefit of low-cost-of-entry is important to you but don’t ignore the fact that the long term cost to you will be more and the moment you decide to stop paying you are left with nothing.

  • Arnold Newman

    In other words, it would be nice if they returned to the old distribution model, but with a monthly payment plan… :)

  • Neoracer Xox

    Drive even more people away to cracked/pirated software and trust me, there WILL be hacks/ways around the CC.

  • Arnold Newman

    We photographers share a similar opinion—most of us, at least. But I wonder if it is a mistake to assume that photographers make or break Adobe. If we do, and if the message boards are any indication, then Adobe is in trouble. If not, then we are until a legitimate PS competitor comes along. (Don’t tell me about GIMP, people. I said “legitimate”.)

  • Boss

    I have already dumped a bunch of software that I used religiously for years because they forced me to either dump them or move to the cloud and a monthly subscription. If I kept everything I would be looking at over 1000 a month in software subscription fees. Sorry, that isn’t affordable and I will be dropping all Adobe products as soon as I find replacements.

    If Corel marketing had their excrement together (which I doubt) they could make a killing off of this move by Adobe. Corel has always been 1/3 the price of Adobe and offered in many cases a superior product.

  • Jason

    I think it’s a great idea, and I’m no fan of CC, but I see a flaw, which is that people will subscribe for a month, download a copy of the software and then cancel their subscription, so getting a copy of the software for the price of a month’s subscription.

    For the sake of argument, *if* I was to go for the $10/mo version, it would be on the understanding that the files I create would be compatible with PS CS6, so that if I cancelled, I could go back to my media copy of PS CS6. In that case, I can see two reasons for cancelling: the file spec for pdfs changes or it gets too expensive.

  • Rob Elliott

    really so you keep editing your work after you are done? I’m generally good enough that I finish a file and I’m done.. I’m on the photographic side, So I use it to develop a print. I don’t need to keep messing with it once I’m done.. because I’m done.

  • Rob Elliott

    This isn’t about Premiere or after effect is it.. this article is about Photography people that only want to use Photoshop.

  • Rob Elliott

    I save mine in a Tiff and many hobbyist don’t ever print.

    I often save two different files one flattened and one with layers. As I don’t need more then a flattened image for printing and I can store the layer files on a different drive.

    But again I’m just a Hobbyist Photographer.. I don’t do massive pieces of Graphic art. I take pictures.

  • Courtney Navey

    AGREED…I’m not renting anything from freakin adobe!!!

  • Rob Elliott

    It is true. I dislike it. I don’t see the advantage to this beyond a revenue stream. I dislike the idea of a 30 day licence.

    and you are right.

    There is a simple option, it won’t happen but people just don’t buy it. Cancel… they are a business if you cancel they will bring back the old model, which makes more sense to me. For the full package maybe.. the sub system works… but for Photographers it’s a lot. Over priced.

    sadly people will pay… and pay and pay.

  • Rob Elliott

    The problem is many hobbyist (myself included) actually bought CS6 for the first time because of this. It allowed people that couldn’t afford 700 out of pocket to be able to use it, and for several years at less cost.

    It wasn’t until I realized that the upgrade wasn’t annually but by annually did I realize how much extra it was.. so I started putting a little away and was thinking of buying CS7 outright.

    It is ashame.

    But OnOne or others that are making stand alone software have a chance to step up and steal customers.

  • Rob Elliott

    The backlash is that many people skip upgrades. So if you have CS5 and don’t want to upgrade to CS6 you can wait and upgrade to CS7 instead.. or never upgrade and you still get you have Photoshop working if you stop paying.

    With this system… they have to pay forever.. So if Adobe stops putting in new features that you actually use.. you still have to pay for them…

    thus if CS7 has a bunch of photography features someone with CS5 can upgrade for 199.. having not upgraded in 4 years. and then if CS8 and 9 have all 3D render and graphic artist features you don’t have to upgrade because those new feature aren’t meaning full to you. In this example a person has only spent 199 in almost 10 years.

    Now if you don’t pay 240 every year (or 2400 dollars over 10 years, you loose access to previous versions)

    Basically Adobe is raising their price for Photographers by 140% and changing the licence from perpetual to only 30 days.

  • Eduardo Cervantes

    Did Adobe buy Monsanto, or was it the other way around?

  • Sue

    I really hope Adobe is listening to all this outrage.

  • polkm123

    Something you may not be aware of with the release of CS6 adobe went to a 1 version back upgrade policy, you would have to buy CS7 for full price, you could not get an upgrade.

  • polkm123

    Not true I have been a a subscriber for almost a year and it is great I don’t get all the crybabies.

  • polkm123

    I am sure Adobe is more worried about their ledger not yours.

  • polkm123

    You never owned your software you licensed it.