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.

  • Doug

    Sine the software will call home it would be dead if you canceled after a month. Backwards compatibility is rare. Old software will not recognize new features and possibly not be able to render your images or PS files as designed.

  • rangepig

    OK, I’m tired of this reply. It was all over the other thread about CC too. Yes, we all know you cleverly read your license agreement and all software is licensed and the license can be terminated. But terminating a license for boxed software is practically impossible. What are they going to do, come to your house and force you to uninstall it? Terminating a subscription version that has to phone home every 30 days for authorization IS practical. Quit trying to equate the two.

  • nerdbomber

    “BOYCOTT”… then, they’ll listen.


    Adobe gives you great choices. Stop wining, pirates. Start paying.

  • Chris Pickrell

    See, the difference is with standalone I had the option to upgrade at my own pace and desire. NOW, while I get perpetual and instant upgrades, I’m forced to pay continuously and perpetually. It’s like photoshop has now become the Legendary Sword of Angelic Blessedness DLC from “insert random fancy name” RPG.

    Also, if I don’t pay, I can’t play. I realize they’re trying to prevent piracy, but should I be expected to commit to something because other people suck ass? But shouldn’t I be able to pay at my own pace, not theirs?

    And what happens when my CC gets too good for my computer, should I be forced to upgrade my computer if I want to still use PS?

  • Mark Kilian

    We are a business with multiple suite seats and CC represents NO value to us at all – just a huge user fee increase with NO ownership and the deal breaker – an annual contract.

    The premise of a cloud service is not a bad one, we were actually looking at it with interest when it was $24.99 a month. The truth is, if it was rolled out fairly it probably would have been a great value – but this iteration is anything BUT fair.

    If Adobe wanted to be be fair about it, they should have NO contract, the cost of subscription for up to date users should be no more than 25% more than what a perpetual license / upgrade would be (its now 240% for the suite product) – and if, after some time period – perhaps two years, someone wants to quit paying the monthly fe e – the product should at least continues to work on the computer it was installed on at the revision level it was last purchased at. No additional installs and no upgrades (similar to what we have now).

    This model would still protect against piracy and would satisfy the user community and not punish all of use who have been users and purchases for the past 15 years. We have loyally upgraded every version – NO MORE! Adobe, you just lost us. We’ll be on CS6 for a long time now.

    What could have been a fair and exciting new approach, looks more like we got is bent over a railing like a child molester in the prison shower.

    OUCH !

    Looks like the web development and graphics market is about to change, this should blow the doors open for competitors… what an insanely stupid move by Adobe.

  • John R

    Nicely argued.

    I know several media houses who will baulk at the CC plan. To be tied into potentially huge and totally unspecified pricing plans is budgetary madness. Whose arse will be kicked when CC has its next price rise and your company has to pay or it can’t play? They will all be digging out the old boxes and trying to activate them. (I knew my boxed versions would be good one day)

    Pretty much all users of the Abobe product will be ‘creatives’ of one sort of another. Generally cash short creatives have a fine grasp of maths and the knowledge that cash doesn’t always flow smoothly. So a blind commitment to a service that demands constant cash injections is madness.

    Conversely, I did buy into the Office 365 plan. I have my old versions 2003 – 2010 but the 365 product gives me 5x Mac and PC versions which is perfect for me. A years product at a reasonable price and if I am broke the old ones will be fine. Plus I can buy next years activation from Amazon when I have the cash. (Incidentally Office 2003 is the reason I have never installed my purchased copy of Win8 as Office 2003 will not run on it.) 2003 is relevant here as many corporate clients are still running it, take note Adobe.

    XP I think you meant Vista or Me, they were DOA

    Just realised, I’m writing this on a 2006 iMac and it’s just fine, sometimes the old stuff will do nicely.

    Conclusion, very few people want the entire CC Suite, nobody wants to be tied into unregulated commitments, and this costing model does not work for this product.

  • leschek

    It doesn’t matter if you have boxed copy of the software, if you don’t have valid license. You still can’t use it.

  • Gary Ombler

    Is the storage that Adobe offer such value for money? Amazon offer 20 Gb of storage for about 10 pence per month! Adobe are using their service for the cloud storage, serious mark up!

  • William Beem

    Bundle or not, Creative Cloud is still a trap. Stop paying and you can’t access your data.

  • William Beem

    I’ve never pirated Adobe software. I laid out a pretty big chunk of money for my first version and then upgraded a few times. Your comment is offensive and you don’t seem to understand the difference between ‘wining’ and ‘whining.’

  • Nick Schulz

    Does this mean that we will have to upload all our files to their data warehouses. I’m a stills and video photographer, so does this mean I’m going be wating more time uploading my files than working on them for my clients… Its just that uploading a 1gig file to youtube takes approx 120 minutes…so… how long will I have to wait to be creative while waiting for the 4 gig files to go up.
    Most video photographers have A, B and C videos to edit with so most of the time now will be wasted waiting for the files to uplaod.

    Lets face it, cloud users will need to keep an eye on adobe’s TC’s on a regular basis (Instagram issue a couple months ago).

    Has anyone detailed the amount of network traffic this cloud system creates, for the user and also adobe??
    And last one will Adobe be buying large chunks of data storage and all-ways-on servers to keep up with all these new users.

    Nick :)

  • KLC

    Leasing is the perfect example and should explain why all the “crybabies”. I know people who lease their car and are happy with that arrangement. They don’t mind having a perpetual monthly car payment because they plan on getting a new car every few years so a lease eliminates the upfront cost. But I also know people who buy their cars and keep them, for them buying is a better option

    What if Ford were really the only car around? Say there are a few minor players but their cars have fewer features, poorer reliability, etc. What if Ford announced that from model year 2014 on there would be no more bought cars. Everyone has to lease by the month but in exchange they can drive a Ford van or a Mustang or a pickup for one monthly payment. Some people would be ecstatic. Others would feel like they were being shaken down by the mob and others simply wouldn’t be able to afford it.

    Would the people who still want a used car or who don’t want multiple cars or who can’t afford the lease payments or who simply want to buy and car and own it for ten years by crybabies?

  • leschek

    Yes, In that way Adobe still will get money on monthly basis and can
    release new features every month or so as they stated. And photographers
    will not be upset, because they will have something in hand if the new
    features are not so compelling or if they just run out of money etc.

  • Chris

    As a PC user, it’s probably going to be cheaper to move over to a Mac and use Aperture, over time of course!

  • Dov Hechtman

    People noticed and the excuse that federal law is the reason for it is just an excuse. This is blackmail and will cost Adobe big time over the long run

  • Dov Hechtman

    Good for you, your rube and deserve to get ripped off

  • Dov Hechtman

    Really how stupid are you I mean really. If you have a boxed copy and a valid Lic you can use the software as long as you want no expiration date

  • Dov Hechtman

    WOw great argument Being ripped o is a great deal and you can settle for less, F@@K that noise and get a clue this sint about Adobe product being the best thing since sliced bread its about a pricing deal that prices the software right out of everyones ability in the long tem.

    If they want to make this model actually fair go really open source and make the model donation based, give what you want if you dont want to give use it for free if your an individual if your a company you need to pay.

  • Dov Hechtman

    Sure we can also say Adobe has the unilateral right to put itself out of business

  • InfiniteBlue

    For this to be of any interest to me, two things need to happen. 1) The price needs to drop significantly, say <$10/mo. and this price needs to last beyond 1 year. 2) If I decide I'm done with the monthly updates, I can still use the software up to the point in time where I stopped paying.

    Without this, I'll be sticking with CS6 or *gasp* moving to Corel. (At the very least I'm somewhat familiar with AfterShot/Bibble. No clue how Photo-Paint has progressed.)

  • wayne.carroll

    Obviously, Adobe has hit the wall and will have very little to offer in the future as far as “upgrades” go. That’s fine as far as I’m concerned. After upgrading to CS5 I decided that I would never upgrade to another version of Ps as I don’t see that need. But what does concern me is this ridiculous need to upgrade to the latest & “greatest” version of OSX. I mean really, that s**t has just gotten worse over time and I’m not about to “upgrade” to something that’s slower and more prone to bugs than what works already. I never thought we’d see the day when legacy versions of software and operating systems would be the way to go. Rock On, Progress! ;-)

  • Run_For_The_Hills

    > You never owned your software you licensed it.

    Everybody knows that genius.

  • Michele Rider

    I am perfectly happy to be able to pay $50/month for the full fledged versions of all of Adobe’s products! As a professional photographer I am happy to have access to programs beyond just the absolute latest versions of PS and Lightroom. Every so often I want to change/update my website and I download and use Dreamweaver and I’m done. I can then remove the program from my computer and save myself space and memory. I do all of the layout and design for my own business cards, promo cards, mailers, and photo books. InDesign lets me do that! How is $50/month not worth it?

  • Nick Schulz

    Hi William,
    I was on the same idea as you, but from what others are saying– IndyMogul– (On youtube) say that this is not the case, you get your subscription and download the suit to your computer and each month the system will connect to adobe and advise adobe systems your still using their software… Can anyone else confirm this please…
    I was worried about the uploading of my files going longer than i wanted just to start editing my files via the cloud, but what I can understand is that you still have your data on your system and do all editing on your system, its just setup so that each month a system process kicks in and say to adobe–yes or No.
    And I would hope they have an optin or optout option for the cloud storage. I have my backups setups inhouse so don’t need the cloud for storage.

    Nick :)

  • 64 Crayons

    Screw this… anyone know how to move everything to Aperture or something better? Too risky not to have a back-up plan. Adobe wants to be God of all files … um, what happens if their servers go down? You’ll get a letter “We at Adobe are sorry for the loss of your life’s work; however, you did sign the agreement and listed on page 412, line 7azb it clearly states that …. ”

    Ooooh! This would be a great time for Adobe programers to quit and create their own company :)

  • AC

    Despite the benefits of having the latest software via subscription and some cloud storage, let’s just call this what it is. Any new CC user basically becomes a crack head drug user that must keep paying the crack dealer if the user wants his crack. Adobe is positioning itself as a drug dealer / landlord. Earlier in the thread Robert Boyer made a great point. As a CC “customer”, unless you keep paying Adobe you cannot open your old FLA, PSD, AI, AE or PPRO, etc. source files. Which also means Adobe not only owns the software you’re using, but also the source files you create, in effect perpetually locking your files unless you pay them a fee. This is some bulls**t.

  • Scott

    Adobe programmers all live in India. Why aren’t we paying $2 a month for photoshop? $2 per program per month is all they are worth.

  • William Beem

    That isn’t what I meant. First, you don’t have to use the software online or store your data online. The software downloads to your computer and checks every month. Your files can stay on your computer.

    Now, how are you going to access those files when you stop using Adobe Creative Cloud? On your computer or not, you still have to pay Adobe again to get at them. Remember, it’s not just PSD files for all the apps in the suite.

    There are other apps that can read the PSD format. You could go with TIFF and have much larger file sizes. Still, any layers that use new features in CC won’t be understood by other programs.

    You could end up paying Adobe again and again just to access your data.

  • Kelly Ann

    To the very few asking what is wrong with $50.00 a month, I’ll tell you. I am a graphic designer and photographer and when I purchased, yes purchased, my copy of CS6 Design Premium, it was with the understanding that I would be able to upgrade at $399.00 for each upgrade. Now Adobe is going to charge me $600.00 per year for a subscription to use the updated versions of the same software I have been using for years. If I create something in this new version, I will only be able to open it in the new version, unless I save it down. So at the end of the regular “upgrade cycle” of about 19 months, I will have paid $900.00 for the new software instead of $399.00, but have nothing to show for it. Not even the box it came in.

    Adobe you have penalized the customers that actually paid for your product. I will not be among the subscribers, but will instead work with what I have until it no longer works at which I will look to any other company but Adobe for what I need.

  • George Nikodym

    Thanks Kenneth,
    well written. How sad for all of as.

  • Chris Faust

    I want to know what is going to happen when the cloud rains

  • Chris Faust

    This is what happens when MBA’s run the country

  • Stan Kaady

    …”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).”

    Something straight out of the cell phone companies playbook. Well played, Adobe.

  • Doug

    Even Ansel Adams re-printed his negatives and made major changes over time. There was a great exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a few years ago that compared Adam’s early and late prints from the same negative. Very informative!

  • Doug

    It’s more tham just the price. People intuitively understand that one of the purposes of a subscription business model is to lock customers in. Once you move to CC it will be very difficult to move all the way back to CS6 should the monthly rate get too high, etc. Just changing your workflow back is difficult enough, but what if Adobe introduces changes to the PSD file format that makes new files incompatible with CS6? There are already rumblings that the file format needs to change to accompodate new technology.

  • Remi Benali

    Sight… the slides…

  • ken s

    Have PS6 an light room on desktop and laptop. I am a one man photography studio. I don’t need or want cloud storage. Nobody has touch on the real problem as I see it what happens if you don’t have access to the internet/cloud. I keep the products on my laptop because sometime when I am on location I may want pull the pic from my camera. With what I have now I can be completely free. If I am forces into an on-line subscription then I must always be connect to the internet.

  • Joseph McIlvaine

    Looks like a lot of people are going to have to switch from Starbucks to Tasters Choice…:-P

  • Jared Ribic

    If they kept it at $10/month for Photoshop, that would at least be reasonable. Since you no longer have any software when you stop paying.

  • Joel Meaders

    You can open your adobe files in many free and paid third party programs. You own the files you create.

  • Joel Meaders

    I think it’s a great deal how it sits and will be even better if they make a photographers package.

    To everyone posting about “What if their servers go down” and “I don’t want to use the cloud and upload my files elsewhere” and “wah wah wah”: Do some actual research instead of spreading misinformation and whining. Read the FAQs on the Adobe Creative Cloud page.

    You DO NOT always need a connection to the cloud. I am willing to bet Adobe is smart enough to program in fail-safes in case their servers would be down for months.

    You DO NOT need to upload your files to the cloud storage.

    You CAN open your Adobe files in third party free and paid applications.

  • Victor Habbick

    My upgrading stops here in line with many other software upgrades. Economics have to be taken into concern and enough is enough. Sorry Adobe.

  • Stickmanbob

    I too hope that this “Anti Competitive” and uneven playing field is reconsidered. I am a long time user and my business is essentially based on the use of Adobe Products. I own my software and don’t want to rent it but it appears that we are being bounced into doing just that. The frustration appears to have already started with Clouds Upgrades Only” (Using Filters on Smart Object Layers for example)
    This is clearly not an even playing surface

  • stickmanbob

    We are all very happy for you

  • bart4u

    I am a photographer and I had bought CS5 and Lightroom 4. Times are hard for me and those are the only two Adobe programs I use. I can not afford 600.00 year. Photographers use both Photoshop and Lightroom together. There needs to be a cheaper package for those two programs without any storage options. I am so mad at Adobe. I am going to look at other options besides Lightroom 4 for my editing. I just worry when Mac updates there computers they might not run my CS5. If not I will move to PC.

  • 64 Crayons

    Pay rent if it’s what’s best … but let me give you a big big huge warm thanks for replying to my post with this absolutely useless link — assuming that I have not done all of the necessary research. You might be surprised that I have and even more-so that in addition, I have read the entire contract for Creative Cloud …and I’m sorry that you didn’t understand that I am angry, that people are angry with Adobe’s new model and what it will do to the rest of the creative community and to software purchasing as a whole when you felt the need to post it.

    However, in your defense, I did seek out some of your other posts, thinking and hoping that you may have sent the link as a helpful party but after reading what you have written, I can’t see how you were being helpful at all… By the way, the part where you say…

    “To everyone posting about “What if their servers go down” and “I don’t want to use the cloud and upload my files elsewhere” and “wah wah wah”: Do some actual research instead of spreading misinformation and whining. Read the FAQs on the Adobe Creative Cloud page.”

    First of all, I think you are being rude to others that rely on creative software and have supported Adobe for years and years … and I there may be a misunderstanding or a true grasp of the overall picture. Second, I am inviting you to do your own research and then tell us again how these things won’t effect users. May I suggest reading the hundreds of complaints by CC users about these very problems. I will warn you however, that it is probably difficult to gain a well-balanced understanding of the impact of Adobe’s new model basing all decisions on Adobe’s own website.

    Oh, and the part where you say…

    “You DO NOT always need a connection to the cloud. I am willing to bet Adobe is smart enough to program in fail-safes in case their servers would be down for months.”

    Let me know how that works out for you and most people understand that the software is downloaded and Adobe zaps in to check your payment, etc… but perhaps a point has been missed. I hope that you have success and don’t loose files the way others already have… One thing you are absolutely correct about… Adobe IS smart enough — they have your money all year long :)


  • Joel Meaders

    Business models change. Speak with your money and I will speak with mine.

    Personally, I welcome their cloud connectivity and monthly payment model. I will still keep all of my work locally and sync it with the cloud as I do now with SkyDrive and DropBox.

    Move to Quark, GIMP, and all of the second class non-standard applications if you want. Maybe you can keep your current Adobe application versions and don’t upgrade? That’s a good idea.

    I can bet you there will be a much higher demand for plugins and plugin developers for the current versions to keep up with new features… But you’ll have to pay for them as well.

  • Joel Meaders

    Business models change. Speak with your money and I will speak with mine.

    Personally, I welcome their cloud connectivity and monthly payment model. I will still keep all of my work locally and sync it with the cloud as I do now with SkyDrive and DropBox.

    Move to Quark, GIMP, and all of the second class non-standard applications if you want. Maybe you can keep your current Adobe application versions and don’t upgrade? That’s a good idea.

    I can bet you there will be a much higher demand for plugins and plugin developers for the current versions to keep up with new features… But you’ll have to pay for them as well.

  • robertoblake

    Adobe is not abandoing customers for greater profit, they are embracing the future. Photographers and Photoshop users are quick to forget about us Master Collection and Production Premium users who work with photo and video. For us CC is a Godsend.

    I remember when Kodak as a company tried to hold on to Film because of purist in the Photography community. Look how well that turned out for them. Photoshop is also positioning to expand the capabilities it has for its 3D Designers who get overlooked too. Just like the last few versions expanded on the capabilities for Digital Illustrators and Painters.

    Again most of these arguments and the sour grapes come from the folks who only use Photohsop for photography and forget about the rest of us. You guys are the pioneers your support made Adobe, you were the core, but you are not alone anymore and your view is not the only one or the predominant one. Its also not the only valid voice or view in the conversation and Adobe doesn’t have to only consider you or make you a priority over the rest of us.

    Those of us who were Flash Developers and Actionscript Coders got screwed when Apple decided to throw Flash under the bus so as not to compete with their own Apple Store for game and App development, despite all the sites using Flash, particularly in the entertainment industry and even all the Photographers using it for portfolio sites. And yet there was not a fraction of the outrage over that calculated business decision.

    The future value of Photoshop is that through the relationship with Maxxon, they will be positioning Photoshop to be a comprehensive 3D Design Tool. That doesn’t mean a lot to you Photographers, but what about the people developing 3D printing products for their own business? What about the concept artist? The people who want integrated 3D element using the same tool they use for Matte Painting and 3D typography?

    What about the Photoshop advancements in video for those just getting into editing that already have Photoshop skills and want to go the video and motion graphics route also?

    Is the progress of people across 25+ Career verticals supposed to be hindered to appease the Photography and Photo Retouching community alone?