Photoshop CC plus Lightroom 5, $9.99 a month, for life?

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Adobe has received a huge backlash of negative comments from current users of Photoshop CS about expensive Creative Cloud pricing.  In an effort to make numerous frugal photographers happy, actually let’s say less upset, Adobe is throwing current users a “bone-us”.

During a recent Photoshop World conference in Las Vegas, Adobe announced a significant drop in the Photoshop-only $19.99 monthly fee to a $9.99 monthly fee.  They also sweetened the offer significantly by adding Lightroom 5.2.   Adobe is calling this special bundle the “Photoshop Photography Program”.  Don’t look for the deal yet though, it won’t show up on the Adobe CC site until the week of September 16th.  A caveat – you must be a previous owner of CS3 or higher, and unfortunately, owners of the Adobe Creative Suite products do not qualify.  Yep, if you bought the most expensive full suite, you won’t qualify!  That part sucks, and I feel for those owners/businesses.

Despite this still being “rental” software, IMHO this is good news for many enthusiast photographers like myself.  We still want to receive the frequent feature updates to Photoshop, but we don’t want it to break the bank.  (Do I really neeeeeed Netflix?)  You may well already know, CS6 will only be updated with bug fixes, but new features upgrades are no longer added.  Sadly, the desktop versions of Photoshop are at the end of their line.

Here’s what you get:

  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5.2
  • 20 GB of online storage
  • Behance ProSite – Build and manage your personal portfolio site
  • Access to Creative Cloud training and support resources
  • Ongoing upgrades and updates

One fear of mine was that Adobe could still jack-up the monthly fee in coming years at will, but I received an email today stating the $9.99 monthly fee is for life.  It wasn’t from Adobe, but it did help take the edge off that fear.  It was from or  Scott Kelby.  Mr. Kelby is someone I think, surely hope, we can trust.  He is a very well-respected Photoshop educator, author, publisher of Photoshop User Magazine and president of the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals).  Adobe only stated that this is not an introductory price for previous owners, but didn’t go as far as saying “for life”.  We shall see I guess.

Don’t forget, you MUST sign-up by December 31st to get this bundle at a reduced monthly price.  If you have already purchased Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop at the original price it will automatically be switched to the new cheaper price.

What do you think? Post your thoughts.

27 thoughts on “Photoshop CC plus Lightroom 5, $9.99 a month, for life?”

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  2. This is really IMHO a pretty great deal, a downloadable copy of the LR software is attached. I’d love to get this, but don’t have a CS3 or higher version of PS, but might see if I can source one somewhere just to qualify.

  3. 10 bucks a month isn’t a bad deal. Even if you use it for 6 years, that is still cheaper than a box copy. The only problem I have is “in the cloud”. I just don’t like the idea of having to be connected all the time, just to use photoshop. Sometimes, I don’t have a connection on my laptop when working in the field, and need to touch up, adjust a photo…cloud only, how are you going to do that? Keep an older version on the computer?

  4. @p51d007, you don’t have to stay connected continuously to use the apps. They are downloaded and installed like any other desktop application. Adobe only requires a once a month for license validation.

    This is from the Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ page (

    Do I need ongoing Internet access to use my Adobe® Creative Cloud™ desktop applications?

    No. Your Creative Cloud desktop applications (such as Adobe® Photoshop® and Illustrator®) are installed directly on your computer, so you won’t need an ongoing Internet connection to use them on a daily basis.

    An Internet connection is required the first time you install and license your desktop apps, but you can use the apps in offline mode with a valid software license. The desktop apps will attempt to validate your software licenses every 30 days.

    For annual members, you can use the apps for up to 99 days in offline mode. Month-to-month members can use the software for up to 30 days in offline mode.

  5. Yeah, I’ve done some work on this prior to their launch. Everything is downloadable, and you only need to authenticate it frequently for updates or confirm subscription. Nice thing is, you can be anywhere, on another computer and boom have direct access to your file and the apps.

  6. I have CS5 and LR 4. If I sign up for CC, I assume I will get the update to LR 5? If I ever stop subscribing,do I lose the updtated version or not? I don’t care that much about getting CS 6 as most of my processing is done in LR.

  7. @Andrew Geller, you would get the Creative Cloud full version of LR 5, which is not a perpetual license. The license would only be valid while your subscription is active.

  8. @Andrew Geller, try the customer service phone number below and they can give you the full scoop!

    Adobe Agent
    Monday-Friday, 5am-7pm PST

  9. @Andrew Geller, ignore my first response – There isn’t a Creative Cloud version of Lightroom that I could find. Unless it’s going to appear tomorrow when they release the new photography membership plan. So it would have to include a ‘non-cloud’ download of Lightroom?

    If you call, let us know what you find out!

  10. I called Adobe this morning and they would not verify any $9.99 plan whatsoever or disclose if and when that would appear.

  11. What are the options for those without CS3 or higher? Wish there was some way to pay a setup fee or something. Am I to be forever punished to pay $40-50/month because I only started doing photography and needing photoshop this year?

  12. I started looking for alternatives to photoshop. I don’t use the program enough to justify the huge markup in price. Yes, $20 a month sounds like nothing, but since I haven’t upgraded for 3-4 years from CS4, I would of spent about $1,200.00. I do use Photoshop but not enough to justify this huge price increase into perpetuity. Maybe I will upgrade now. But if they jack the price up again, I’m looking into everything else but photoshop. No program is worth an arm and a leg unless it’s taking the photos as well.

  13. @Anita and Mark, you might look into OnOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite. They have a new version, 8, coming out in November that has more functionality included. It has become a legitimate Photoshop alternative, and a very good one at that.

  14. @Bennie, Adobe has never said it would be for life only that it is not an introductory offer. The ‘for life’ part is what I received in an email from (Scott Kelby), and as I said in the piece, we shall see.

  15. Some Alternatives to Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop:

    OneOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite
    Adobe Photoshop Elements
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
    Corel Paint Shop Pro X6
    Corel AfterShot Pro
    SilkyPix Developer Studio
    DxO Optic Pro 8
    Phase One Capture One Pro or Express
    Apple Aperture
    ACDSee Pro 6
    FastStone Image Viewer
    Google Picassa

  16. I just noticed the $9.99 (plus applicable tax!) Photoshop Photography Program is now available for sign-up:

    See the “Renewal” info below that is stated in the sign-up process. Now this sounds to me like it’s only $9.99 – plus applicable tax, for the first year…or does it? The wording is still rather vague to me. What do you think?

    The price is valid for a full 12 months. After that, we’ll renew your contract automatically, at the then-current price of the offering, unless you cancel. The price is subject to change, but we will always notify you beforehand.”

  17. Hi Leah,

    I just tried to enroll online in the $9.99 program with my Photoshop CS5x serial number and was told I didn’t qualify. My CS5 is a student edition that I bought through Amazon in 2011; and Adobe verified my student creds at the time. Is the $9.99 program only available for folks with non-student editions of CS3 and up? That seems rather odd. I plan to follow up with Adobe over the phone, but I wondered if you might have advice.


  18. Unfortunately the student/teacher editions of Photoshop don’t qualify for the Photography Program. :o(

    I would look for an inexpensive full version of Photoshop CS3 on ebay and register it or have the license officially transferred.

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