7 Reasons Every Photographer Should Learn How to Use Photoshop

Many photographers think that learning how to find the ideal location and take a picture at the right time is all they need to know. However, this isn’t the case, and in a world where CGI rivals reality and touch-ups via photo editing software are now seen as a necessity to customers, relying on point and click will kill your photography business. Here are seven reasons every photographer should learn how to use Photoshop.


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Touch-Ups Are Essential

When a family orders school photos, they pay a flat fee for copies of the school pictures and a little more if the child’s name is embossed on the picture. They pay a separate fee if the picture is touched up, whether it is hiding acne or reducing glare on the child’s glasses. Photographers who know how to touch up photos without making it look artificial or cartoonish can earn extra money by offering this service to those already paying them to take pictures. For higher end clients, such touch-ups are not an additional profit centre, but considered an essential part of the service. Ensure that your photos are always as good as clients expect them to be. Photoshop Lightroom, in particular, was made specifically to help photographers meet this need.


Photoshop is an easy-to-use tool for editing your photos. You can balance highlights or turn colour photos into classy black and white ones. Photographers using Photoshop can sharpen images quickly using the built-in tools to do so, saving you time and money when the alternative is re-shooting the pictures. Scale, crop, and adjust as necessary, and it also automatically creates a trail, so to speak, so you can undo the last few changes without saving fifteen different versions of the same image. You can convert from CMYK to RGB to create a true colour file for the printer to make posters or T-shirts using your image. It doesn’t take long to learn how to edit images in Photoshop.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

While services are cropping up to allow you to track down who is using your images without attribution, a cheaper, less time consuming and effective solution is learning how to create a watermark in Photoshop and applying it to all of your published images.

It takes a greater level of skill for someone to remove the watermark you’ve embedded in images on your blog or posted in your online portfolio. They may steal someone else’s image instead of yours. If they use the image anyway, you have the evidence immediately available to show that the image is yours when you demand the website take the image down.

Know the Industry Standard

Adobe Photoshop is seen as the industry standard. If you know the freeware graphics editing or photo editing application and list it on your resume, many potential employers will pass you over for people who know how to use the applications they know about. Knowing the industry standard software ensures that you can work with anyone who wants to hire you. Then there’s the fact that if you know how to work in Adobe Photoshop, you can supply files that everyone from clients to printers can use. Yes, there are people who use Quark, Corel Draw and other software – but if you don’t know how to use Adobe Photoshop, too, you’re like the person who can work with Debian Linux but not Windows – limited to such a small corner of the market that you’ll have trouble staying in business.

Marketing Your Services

Why pay someone else to create business cards or flyers promoting your service when you can learn to do the same in an afternoon? Photographers can create quality flyers, business cards and other promotional materials for their business with Photoshop in a matter of minutes once they decide what they want to do. And unlike many other tools, you can turn that Photoshop image into a poster, postcard, Facebook banner or more in only moments.

Creating Art from Images

You can use Photoshop to create stylized art from your images. Whether you want to create a Monet-style image of your family photo or make a wedding photo look like a painting, Photoshop offers a number of built-in functions to turn images into works of art. It is also an excellent solution to the classic problem of photos of art not looking much like the actual artwork due to problems with glare, blurring, or poor lighting. Then you can take pictures of artwork for sharing online or printing in advertising work on behalf of the artist that is true to life.

Photoshop Work Can Be A Separate Profitstream

If you are good enough at this, you can be paid to scan existing photographs and touch them up so that the family has high-quality digital images to save for future viewing. Or you can scan images, enhance them, and create digital photos for the family to use and share. And unlike the market for transferring VHS tapes to DVD or digital video, everyone still has photos lying around they’d like to turn into high-quality digital images and reuse whether as Facebook photos or display in a digital photo frame.

Photoshop can also be used for a number of other applications including creating vector images that you then complete editing in Adobe Illustrator. Many highly experienced Photoshop users find that they can create relatively simple illustrations directly in Photoshop, or they sketch them in Photoshop and then finish them in Illustrator.

Finally Adobe Photoshop is increasingly being used for frame animation. From short animations through to little looping animated GIFs this is another area where people will happily pay skilled Photoshop users as it is too complicated for them to do themselves.

Learning Opportunities

Acuity Training offers a complete Photoshop Course that teaches the ins and outs of the program (you can learn more about their Photoshop courses here). Knowing how to use Photoshop will not only give you more tools as a photographer but can also open many doors into the world of graphic or web design.