Lightroom library

What Editing Programs Do Professional Photographers Use?

A few days ago I got to go back to my old school (the one I taught at) and hang out with the yearbook teacher. I’ve worked with him on several different projects the past few years, and I was there to show him some editing techniques. These programs can be pretty overwhelming so I was happy to help. The interesting thing was that they were using Adobe Photoshop Elements, which I had never used before. From what I understand, it’s a cheaper version of Photoshop. We were able to figure out everything, but one of the big issues we had was missing capabilities. There were things I wanted to do, but it wasn’t an option with this program. In the end, I suggested he check out some other programs. With that said, I thought I’d throw that info out there for anyone else that might be wondering What Editing Programs Do Professional Photographers Use.

What Editing Programs Do Professional Photographers Use?

Ok, with all things, there is hardly ever one right answer. There are some professional photographers that use a different program, but for the most part, professional photographers use Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. For quite some time I didn’t own Adobe Lightroom. When I bought the Adobe suite, Photoshop came with Adobe Bridge, and I used that for organization and making basic adjustments to photos. I kept seeing people talk about Adobe Lightroom, though, and I eventually I went ahead and got it. Now I mainly use it and try to not use Photoshop if possible.

What Editing Programs Do Professional Photographers Use

For most beginners and amateur photographers, Adobe Lightroom is all they will need. With Lightroom, you can organize photos, make basic adjustments like exposure and white balance, and crop, but you can also apply presets like different black and whites and there’s a tool for erasing things. Really the only time I go into Photoshop anymore is when there’s some really crazy stuff that needs to be fixed. For everything else, I stay in Lightroom.

Lightroom presets for PHotographers Lightroom basic adjustments

In the past, Adobe Photoshop and maybe even Lightroom were out of people’s budgets. I can’t remember the exact number, but Photoshop use to be $200-$400 I believe. Now, Adobe has switched things up and made it more affordable. You can get Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for $10 a month. That’s still $120 a year, which might be too much for some. Here’s the cool thing, though. You can go on and off the subscription. For those that aren’t full time photographers, you could pay for a month that you know you’re going to need it and then cancel the next month. Then, you start it back up when you need it again. I’m actually considering this.

Right now I’m using Adobe Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS6. I bought both awhile back and haven’t felt like paying for the new ones. Well, one feature has stopped working in Lightroom. I don’t need this feature all the time, but I will need it in March and April. My plan is to pay for those two months and then go back to using what I already own. If the new versions blow my mind, I might stick with it, but I don’t see that happening.

Anyway, if you’re looking to become a photographer or just are an amateur looking to do some editing, I’d suggest you go with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. They are amazing programs and now they really aren’t that expensive. Now you have at least an idea what editing programs do professional photographers use.


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