Useful subscriptions to help photographers through lockdown

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has left many photographers in difficult situations and as a result, many are having to find new ways to fill their time while carefully considering their expenditure.

Low cost monthly subscriptions offer the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, update or create a website or organise your work, without putting too much strain on your finances. So remember that now is the ideal time to do the things you’ve been putting off. I’ve put together a list of useful software for photographers you may find useful during this time, including photo editing software, website hosts, marketing tools, general admin and others. Some of these are completely free, while others offer free trials if you want to try it out before committing.

Photo editing software

Of course Photoshop has to be first on this list as it is arguably one of the most important photo editing tools for many professional photographers. To do their bit, Adobe is offering free Creative Cloud access to students and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen released a letter outlining what else they’ll be doing to help customers during this period, which you can read here.

Adobe Photoshop logo

Affinity, who is perhaps the most similar to Photoshop, are also doing their bit to help photographers and other creatives during these difficult times. They are currently offering a new 90-day free trial for the whole Affinity suite (Photo, Designer and Publisher), a 50% discount for once-off purchases.

Affinity Photo logo

Another popular photo-editing program, Luminar already had a 7-day free trial available for anyone wanting to try their software. However, for anyone who decides to purchase their software, they have pledged to donate $5 from every purchase to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

Skylum Luminar logo

Learn new skills

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your photography skills, learn Photoshop or other useful skills like 3D modeling, there’s no time like the present.

To help photographers through this difficult time, we’ve made our Introduction to Photography course completely free. The 10-part course covers the basics of photography, covering fundamental concepts that will help lay a solid foundation as you move forward with your photography. The comprehensive chapters include everything from aperture to shutter speed,  exposure to composition, and even other important concepts that some professional photographers have never learnt. It also includes a free, downloadable 90-page e-book.

Adobe Photoshop logo

Whether you’re beginner or advanced, take a look at our range of over 40 Photoshop classes that will help you learn quickly and easily. Our post production section also covers how to use Lightroom for those looking to make use of both of Adobe’s softwares. With almost 100 post production classes for only $19, that’s one low subscription. 😄

3D Modeling is another skill more and more photographers are adding to their repertoire. Learn how to create your own 3D models with our complete introduction to 3D modeling course, presented with professional retoucher Viktor Fejes. To help you keep busy without adding pressure to your wallet, many 3D softwares, such as Cinema 4D and Arnold, offer free trials.

Adobe Photoshop logo

Websites for photographers

If you haven’t already designed a website to promote your photography, now is the perfect time to tick it off your list. Squarespace is one of the most popular websites for photographers, offering a variety of ready-made templates designed to show off your work. They offer a 14-day free trial if you haven’t yet used them and you can get 10% off your first purchase using the offer code ‘Karl’.

Sqaurespace logo

Another highly popular website service, Wordpress offers a free sign-up option that allows you to access dozens of free themes. They also other affordable plans if you require additional customisation or optimisation features.

Wix is another site you’re already likely to have heard about and they too offer a free 14-day free trial if you’re looking to try out premium features not available with their free sign-up plan. Depending on how confident you are, you can either create your own website from scratch or have Wix build one for you.

Wix logo

Marketing tools for photographers

If you don’t fancy creating your own website, Behance, by Adobe, is a free and easy to use platform that allows you to showcase your work, with no limit to how many images you can upload.

Canva is a powerful tool for any creative, and best of all it’s completely free. From social media graphics to business cards and logo design, Canva offers it all. You can sign up for free or try their Premium plan.

Canva logo

Similar to Canva, Adobe Spark offers the ability to create graphics, web pages and video stories. The Adobe Spark Starter Plan is available for free while the full version is included with any Adobe Creative Cloud plan.

Adobe Spark logo

Social media planners

Once you’ve created all those eye-catching graphics, the next step is to get them out on social media to help create brand awareness. But this can take time. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are just two popular options for these. Buffer offers a free basic plan along with a 14-day trial for any of their paid plans, while Hootsuite offers a free plan or 30-day free trial of their professional plan.

Other useful software for photographers

Google docs is an incredibly useful resource for anyone needing to create or access documents or spreadsheets. With everything stored online, you can access your files from any smart device.

If you haven’t already used WeTransfer for transferring files you’re missing out! The file transfer service allows you to send files of up to 2GB for free or upgrade to Pro to transfer bigger files.

WeTransfer logo

There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling of looking and looking for images, only to realise you’ve lost work. This is where cloud-based storage solutions such as Dropbox come in handy. Although it doesn’t offer a lot of storage space for those on a tight budget, Dropbox does a free basic account with 2GB of space.

You may not be able to bill for new projects while you’re in lockdown, but you can certainly bill for images that have been used without your permission. Pixsy is an online platform that automatically detects image theft and helps you resolve this. They offer a free plan, as well as other advanced paid plans.

Pixsy logo

These are just a few of the softwares available for photographers. Let us know what you use in the comments…

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To learn more about photography, take a look at our extensive range of photography classes, with everything from product photography to post production classes.

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