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Do Photographers really need Photoshop?

Do Photographers really need Photoshop?
If you've ever thought your SOOC image was perfect then looked back at it again 6 months later you'd probably laugh at yourself. Many photographers start out editing their own images, after all when you're building a small business cheap is all you've got. The problem is that once you want to step up into the pro level you need to offer proper Photoshop services. There's lots of reasons you need to have your images edited properly and here's a few:

Do Photographers really need Photoshop?


Money
Good images sell. If you're not using professional Photoshop services even if you're familiar with Photoshop you might not be doing your pictures justice. Good images get shared and they get referrals so you owe it to your business to give the best images possible. Sellable images, graphics, and making your own marketing images are all possible using Photoshop, so you don't even need to hire a graphic designer for that holiday banner, or that mini-shoot promotion flier.
But what about free services? There are a lot of free editing services out there and many don't want to have to pay the subscription to CC. The key here is that free doesn't always equal professional, and Photoshop is the undisputed professional standard when it comes to editing.

Good isn't Great
Good isn't Great
It's almost impossible to get perfect SOOC, and even then it's likely there are still a few tweaks to make it perfect – smoothing hair, cleaning blemishes, fixing a busy area. By using Photoshop services like  you can make your images pop and make them better than they could be without editing. You'll also be able to fix other issues which you might have like chromatic aberration or bigger problems like lighting and save images you thought lost. 

Why Not?
Most Photoshop services are cheap so there's a certain element of “what do you lose” by using it. In fact, one of the biggest complaints of editing is that it takes so much time. Photoshop is extremely time consuming and editing images until they are perfect can take days and even weeks. As a photographer your time is precious so having to sit and edit when you could be taking pictures and making money isn't appealing. It's a business, so if you don't have to spend the money why would you? A good photographer should be able to get SOOC images that are practically perfect so it seems unnecessary at times to bother editing at all.
But I Have Lightroom
Lightroom
This is a common thing for photographers. Many people don't see the need to pay for both software but there are distinct differences between the two image editing programs. For one, Photoshop allows for manipulation which goes beyond Lightroom. Second, it allows you to split your editing into layers and do more complex things like swapping out backgrounds, sky overlays, and replacing faces. Lightroom can fix and adjust a lot but many of the same features are also available in Photoshop so in fact, it's often better to have Photoshop without Lightroom. Photoshop isn't totally intuitive though and it requires more tools and more learning which is what keeps people away. Since both programs are very compatible there's actually no reason why you can't simply work with both in tandem. 

Give it to Someone Else
If all that's holding you back is having to learn an extra tool then you may want to simply outsource. There are plenty of professional Photoshop services out there which cost very little and you won't have to learn anything. Most companies have both and they will use whichever program and process gives your images the best outcome. 

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