Earlier this year, Adobe ditched the option to buy Lightroom for a one-off fee, forcing customers to take out annual subscriptions with monthly payments, and annoying a few people along the way. However, this subscription model does present a few opportunities to save money. Check out this simple trick.
While exploring out a couple of different packages for my photo editing, I wondered what would happen if I were to try and cancel my subscription to Adobe. Logging into my account on the Adobe website and finding the right page, I was first warned that I would face a £45 ($58) fee for canceling my annual contract early, but I chose to continue. I was then presented with these options.
I was a little surprised. Because the prospect of a fee that was the equivalent of more than four months’ of Lightroom and Photoshop wasn’t enough to put me off canceling, I was presented with a bribe: stick with Adobe and get two months for free.
Intrigued, I wondered what would happen if spoke to one of their operators and opted to discover what the “custom deal” might be. I clicked on “Start chat” and chatted to Harish, one of Adobe’s agents.
I explained to Harish that I was thinking of moving from Lightroom to Capture One because it seemed more powerful, has better control over colors, and that I could buy Affinity Photo outright in order to replace my occasional use of Photoshop (check out this article if you're interested in giving Capture One a whirl).
“Before you make a decision,” wrote Harish, “I see that there are three free months on your subscription that haven’t been applied yet. I can add those to your account and you wouldn’t have to pay for the next three months. How does that sound?”
That sounded fantastic so I agreed. From having randomly wondered what would happen if I tried to cancel my Adobe subscription with no real intention on carrying it through, a few minutes of clicking and chatting had saved myself just under $40.
Delighted, I mentioned my discount to a colleague. I was aware that he was interested in trying Capture One, and I also knew that his occasional use of Premiere meant paying $21 a month on top of his $10 per month Lightroom/Photoshop bundle — something that can feel very expensive if you don’t use Premiere professionally.
He followed the same route as me, ignoring the first deal that was offered and opting to speak to an agent via the online chat. I thought I’d done well with my saving — he came away with an annual subscription to the entire Adobe suite for half the normal price. He’s now paying significantly less than he was before and can use any Adobe app he wants. He’s quite pleased and now owes me a beer.
If you try this same trick, keep this in mind: there is a risk that your subscription will simply be canceled. Quite how this works if you’re informed that there’s a cancelation fee, I’m not sure, but I’ve heard more than one tale of someone holding out for a deal and seeing their entire package terminated.
If you’d like to get yourself a discount through a means that is slightly less morally ambiguous, simply upload 300 stock photos. As detailed on Adobe’s blog back in September: “Contributors that have more than 300 accepted assets between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 will receive a bonus in addition to any royalty payments: a one-year subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan featuring both Lightroom and Lightroom Classic as well as the latest version of Photoshop!” Thank you to Fstoppers' Ryan Mense for tipping me off about this deal.
For videographers, the deal is a little tougher though the offer is a little sweeter: upload 300 videos and receive a free subscription to the entire Adobe suite.
Keep in mind that you will need an acceptance rate of at least 50%, so don’t expect to upload 300 photos of the spineless yucca on your desk that desperately needs watering and get a year of Lightroom in return. Nice try.
Have you tried canceling your Adobe subscription and bagged yourself a deal? Will you be giving it a go? Leave a comment below telling us how you get on.