In this guide, we'll help you to find the best Adobe Photography Plan for your needs. Historically if you wanted to use Photoshop, Lightroom or both you could buy it outright and use it for as long as you wanted to, but these days the software is only available through a subscription. On the plus side, there are three great Adobe Photography Plans to choose between.
Adobe itself has a fun quiz (opens in new tab) for helping you choose the right plan, however we'd prefer to outline the specs, features and prices of each Adobe Photography Plan so that you can compare each choice and decide for yourself.
So many of us are editing our images across devices now, and whichever plan you choose from, you’ll get access to your chosen software to download to multiple devices such as a desktop, mobile and iPad. The good thing about the subscription model is that you’ll also get regular updates for free, every time Adobe introduces a new feature or tool, adds support for new cameras, or just overhauls the software completely. Plus you get easy access to certain parts of the Adobe Creative Cloud, such as Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock (opens in new tab), without ever having to leave the Photoshop or Lightroom interface.
So those are the similarities between the three plans. But what are the main differences for the price point, what do you really need and how should you choose between them? Read on, and we’ll explain everything you need to know about each popular Adobe Photography Plan.
1. Adobe Photography Plan (20GB) $9.99/£9.98 per month (opens in new tab)
The Adobe Photography Plan (20GB) is the standard plan that’s probably best suited for most photographers. This is because it includes Adobe Photoshop (opens in new tab), Lightroom Classic (opens in new tab), Lightroom (opens in new tab), Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop for iPad, and will keep you covered in most situations whether you're editing at home or on the move.
So hang on – why are there two versions of Lightroom for the desktop? Put simply, Lightroom Classic is an older version of the software, and the one that used to be sold on a physical disc, which focused more on regular desktop storage for your photos. If you used Lightroom before 2017, that’s the one you’ll be familiar with.
• Read more: Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC (opens in new tab)
The software now simply known as 'Lightroom' is a more modern and streamlined version of the program that's been designed around online photo storage using Creative Cloud. It doesn’t have all the tools of Lightroom Classic, but its stripped-down interface is fast and efficient, and it’s ideal for working on the move in lots of different locations, and on different devices.
Its ‘web-first’ approach brings some key advantages. It means that your full photo library, together with all your albums and edits, is available everywhere, and you can edit and download images at their full resolution. What’s more, because your images are stored in the cloud, Adobe’s Sensei AI technology can automatically recognize and ‘tag’ many different kinds of subject – you may never have to plod through manual keywording again! However, some photographers still prefer Lightroom Classic's desktop storage (opens in new tab) – it's largely a personal preference!
The most important thing to note is that with the Adobe Photography Plan, you’ll only get 20GB of cloud storage, which is equivalent to about 4,000 JPEGs. If you need more, then the next Adobe Photography Plan on our list may suit you better.(opens in new tab)
2. Adobe Photography Plan (1TB) $19.99/£19.97 per month (opens in new tab)
To make best use of Lightroom CC and it's web-first storage, you really need a lot of online storage space, and that’s where the 1TB plan comes in. 1TB is equivalent to about 20,000 RAW DSLR images or 200,000 JPEGs, and you can upgrade your storage capacity beyond this in the future if you need or want to.
Like the regular Photography plan, you will also get access to Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop on iPad, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, and Lightroom Mobile. However, if you’re only interested in Lightroom, that may be overkill. In which case, you can still get 1TB of storage for less money by opting for the third plan on our list.(opens in new tab)
3. Adobe Lightroom CC plan (1TB) $9.99/£9.98 per month (opens in new tab)
The Adobe Lightroom plan costs the same as the regular Photography plan, but it comes with 1TB of cloud storage for your photos. Lightroom Classic and Photoshop are NOT included in this bundle however, so be aware of that.
This is probably the best Adobe Photography Plan for photographers whose editing needs are modest. If you choose the Lightroom plan you'll be covered by the increasingly powerful tools in Lightroom, but able to access your photo library and all your images everywhere, and on any device.
So, which should you choose?
If you prefer to store and edit your images on your own computer and/or external hard drive then you’re best off with the regular Photography plan (20GB) (opens in new tab), as you’ll get Photoshop and both versions of Lightroom for a relatively low price – and won't need that 1TB of cloud storage offered by the other plans.
If do want the flexibility offered by cloud storage and often work between devices, the Photography plan (1TB) (opens in new tab) is the one for you, although it is more expensive.
If you can't see yourself using Photoshop and feel ready to ditch desktop storage altogether, then the Lightroom plan (opens in new tab) is an affordable alternative with the same 1TB amount of cloud storage.
The premium option
These three Adobe plans are aimed at photographers who are only interested in image editing and image organisation software. They don't take into account the needs of videographers or other creative side hustles.
If you're also interested in audio editing, video editing, VFX, 3D modelling, illustration or graphic design, there’s a fourth option that may interest you. The full Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan (opens in new tab) gets you access to more than 20 apps to use including not just Photoshop and Lightroom, but Premiere Pro, Premier Rush, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, and more.
• Download Photoshop for free (opens in new tab)
• Download Lightroom for free (opens in new tab)
• Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic (opens in new tab)
• Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom Classic (opens in new tab)
• Best photo editing software (opens in new tab)
• Free Photoshop templates for photographers (opens in new tab)
• Free Photoshop brushes for photographers (opens in new tab)
• Free Lightroom presets (opens in new tab)