Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is Now Available: Where Should I Buy the Software?

Life is all about choices and software purchasing is no different. To get your copy of Lightroom ®, you could buy the product directly from Adobe, you could purchase the software from an online retailer, or you could pick up a copy at your local computer box store. So does your choice make any difference?

The answer is both yes and no. The software is the same no matter where you purchase the product as long as you pick up a legitimate licensed copy. So in a sense it makes no difference where you buy the software, but the price that you will pay does vary depending upon the source. I often see software prices advertised online from sketchy retailers that seem just too good to be true. Some of these “discount software” sites may be legit, but I am going to stick with retailers that I know and trust.

Without going to sketchy sources, how can you save money on this purchase and get the product from a reputable source? Well, first, students and faculty, with valid identification from an accredited academic institution, qualify for deep discounts on Adobe products. If you meet Adobe’s Educational Purchasing requirements then this is definitely the way to go. Nobody gets better prices than qualified students. [Hook them when they are young and you have a customer for life. It’s a very clever marketing strategy that works for software and cigarettes!]

If you don’t meet Adobe’s educational purchasing requirements then I suggest shopping for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, and other Adobe software, at Amazon.com. Amazon’s everyday price is usually a few dollars lower than Adobe’s online store and Amazon often offers discounts and special bundled pricing. Bonus: Amazon Prime member’s can get their software with free second day shipping, or overnight delivery, for just $3.99!

There is another reliable, legitimate, way for anyone to save on Adobe software purchases and other useful services. Members of professional organizations like the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) or the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) qualify for a 15% discount on all Adobe purchases plus hundreds of other benefits. There is no entrance exam to join either group. You don’t have to be a professional photographer or a Photoshop expert to join either.

Let me add that as a professional photographer, I am proud to be a member of  ASMP. My membership in this organization helps support their educational efforts and their legal campaigns on critical issues like copyright law, orphan works, and the business of photography in a digital world.  ASMP membership qualifies me for membership in a group health care plan and it has brought me work! Likewise, I am proud to be a NAPP member and think that their magazine, website, and Photoshop World conferences are fantastic ways to learn about my favorite software programs. (See you in Vegas this fall NAPP friends!)

Where everyone learns Photoshop - National Association of Photoshop Professionals