Should you learn Photoshop?

So, you wondering whether or not you should take the time and effort to learn how to use Photoshop.

There are many things to consider. Is the time spent learning worth the result of having the skill? Is it even worth doing this work yourself?

As a graphic designer, I understand the power of visuals. In my opinion, it is quickly becoming the most powerful form of media for grabbing attention online.

So let’s weigh up the factors and point out the pros and cons of learning Photoshop, so you can make an informed decision.

Below is a video, followed by a written post summarising the same points. Let’s get into it!

Please note: the following links contain affiliate links I earn a commission from upon purchase. These links do not affect your purchase price and I would recommend these products either way!

Download Photoshop here by signing up for Creative Cloud.

Let’s talk visual media.

It stands out. In a world of competition, plain text will blend in, audio can be muted and visuals grab attention right away when done correctly. Bold, striking imagery and compelling text will arouse curiosity

It can also represent a problem, solution, or object in an instant as visuals are processed faster than words. Do you have a problem with a tool? Showing that the tool creates an instant connection. Showcase positive or negative emotions can also talk to the person viewing the visuals more effectively.

Imagery is quicker and more memorable in most cases. With text, most people scan and then read, which is visual behavior. This is why imagery can convey that message quicker. We are in a world that lives on devices like phones, tablets, and televisions – these devices showcase and prioritize imagery.

Our brains are wired for visuals, learn to embrace visual media!

Ignore that above information and you are already fighting an uphill battle.

time is a factor!

You can do it yourself, or hire someone.

I’ve also covered this before in a recent post/video here.

Essentially it comes down to this – will you have the time to do the work or the budget to hire. If you do it yourself, will your skill level and quality of work be enough to do the job?

Time, budget, and skill are the main things you need to consider here – not just for you but the designer you choose! Can they communicate well enough to do what you want whilst also being good enough to do the job? Remember you could be paying anywhere from $20 to $100’s per hour for their expertise!

So let’s cut to the main cons, before addressing the pros and possibilities.

Learning will take up a lot of time and practice. Actually doing the work yourself also takes up time. Time will be the biggest factor.

But also there is still a small cost is involved in using Photoshop as you do need to pay for Creative Cloud.

Overall, time is the biggest factor while cost is small but still less than hiring a professional. Any level of skill is attainable with enough time invested.

The Pros of learning Photoshop

Where to begin here…?

In direct response to the above, you can save money and frustration if you can do visual work yourself. Quick fixes become instant instead of an email and waiting for an update.

Photoshop also is a valuable skill you can make money from and have fun with, whether selling those skills directly or by applying your knowledge to marketing your other products & services.

Let’s get into a few really good benefits of being able to use Photoshop…

Create your own Products & services

Your imagination is really the limit here, as everyone has different areas of expertise. But there are a few main ideas I want to convey which can easily open up a realm of possibilities

  • Sell art and design on stock photo and stock art websites.
  • Create and sell editable templates online
  • Create your own Print on Demand products and apparel.
  • Create your own printed merch, pre-printed and ready to sell off the shelf
  • Hire out your skills by the hour (design, photo fixups, digital art, etc)
  • Run a marketing business where you create the graphics along with running the ads

Look at the various ways to make money online and think of a way to marry the skill to the method.

Photo editing in Photoshop

Do your own photo editing

You can edit photos for yourself or as mentioned above, as part of a business. There are a lot of different types of photo editing you can do with photoshop

  • Cleaning up / restoring photos
  • Colorize old photos
  • Adjust colors and lighting on photos
  • Add artistic elements to photos
  • Manipulate imagery, cut out or insert people (and so on)

As your skills grow so will the possibilities here. Especially if you focus on the areas that interest you most.

Basic functions & Quick Fixes

As I mentioned earlier, sometimes it is quicker to do the basic stuff yourself instead of communicating with a professional, sending emails, and the whole “back and forth”.

This can include:

  • Resizing, cropping images, saving for web, etc (see this video!)
  • Colour correct pictures
  • Fix typos in PSD designs
  • Cutout a people for marketing material
  • Quick and easy design/fixups for social media platforms and printing.
Photoshop your social media designs

DIY social media images

This is a big one if you’re trying to grow a presence online.

You can take control of your branding, style, and quality by creating images for your profile layout, feed (such as Facebook or Instagram), or simple video thumbnails for YouTube.

This extends itself into developing skills for basic web design, graphic design so you can move on from there into many other fields.

Download Photoshop here by signing up for Creative Cloud.

Quick website image updates

Have you ever looked at your website and realized you need to change one image?

If you know how to alter the image sufficiently, save it in the correct format, and making sure it’s optimized for loading speed without sacrificing quality – then you can do it in a few minutes. Again, this is instead of emails to someone else, the back and forth, etc.

using photoshop on a computer

Finally, why choose Photoshop over a simpler program such as ‘Canva’.

First of all, Canva is great!

The basics in canva do cover a lot but not quite as much as Photoshop. Photoshop allows you to perform all of the tasks you’ll needs for visual media and beyond, since it is a more comprehensive program with a tonne more options.

Photoshop is the most popular image editing program in the world and the one used by most people. It allows you to really get into the nitty-gritty and finer details of images, text, and other elements so you have full control. It’s designed to do more, whereas Canva is designed for the quick, easy, and basic design.

They’re both great, but if you’re skilled in Photoshop you don’t need Canva, but it doesn’t work the other way around.

What happens if I stop using Photoshop?

Here’s the thing, you may stop using it and start outsourcing your photo work, and that’s fine. I’ve been using Photoshop for over 20 years and I occasionally outsource work from it.

The major benefit of having skills in Photoshop is that when I talk to a freelancer I can describe exactly what I want more effectively, in a language he or she understands, and get the result I need with less fuss.

Even if the work I outsource returns incorrect, I can get the Photoshop file and fix it myself in 5 minutes afterward. So even if you’re outsourcing your skills still save you time and frustration.

Photoshop is fun!

Finally, it’s a tonne of fun

I started using Photoshop for digital art, and I still giggle like a school girl when I do up a funny picture of a friend or family member doing something weird or holding a lightsaber.

You can really explore and experiment and have fun discovering what you’re suddenly capable of with this program at your fingertips.

If you want to learn quickly, come up with some fun projects and have a play! If you don’t know where to start, check out our Photoshop section for some tutorials.

Otherwise, thank you for dropping by and reading this post. Be sure to share your experience with Photoshop here in the comments.

Download Photoshop here by signing up for Creative Cloud.

Have a great day and see you soon!