Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cost Justification Time

I just loved when John Nack over at Adobe revealed the color schema and iconography of the entire Adobe line (click here to see larger)

Which leads me to talk about software. Today, I committed to my upgrades to:

Yes, that would be the amazing CS3, the new Bridge, Lightroom, and the new Acrobat 8 Pro. All together, my upgrades ran just over $2k.

"That's A LOT of money, you say!"

I say, it's worth every dime. Each version, I do a reasoned analysis of the capabilities of the new upgrade. I did skip Acrobat 7, for example. I didn't see the cost justification for the number of seats I needed, and the functionality. However, with v8, I see the benefits.

When you're just flopping around thinking that post production doesn't cost much, or is no big deal, don't forget that on a fairly frequent basis, you'll need to be upgrading your software.

For those of you still using pirated versions of any software application, shame on you! Don't ever complain when someone steals your photographs, because that will make you a hypocrite. Then, when you have to shell out $600+ for a full (and, unless you're a bonafide student, that does NOT mean Academic version!) version of Photoshop, you'll understand why it is necessary to charge for Post-Production. Next week, check out Black Star Rising for more on post production charges justification.

For now, though, realize that your soon-to-be expense for your upgrades will only cover your use of the software for about 18 months, before you need to buy the next version, with whatever can't-live-without feature additions.

If you're not factoring in these software costs to your overall expense, you are setting yourself up for more bad business decisions as you "eat" things like upgraded computers, screens, and so on.
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Ahmad Alhashemi said...

The good thing is that after paying $600 for PS, upgrades only cost $150.

I bought Photoshop Elements for less than $100 first, which is working very well for me.

But paying $100 every time a new version comes compared to $150 for full PS upgrades is not that attractive.

Specially when you consider the kind of new features you get in the new release and the faster release cycle of Elements.

Interesting thing is how you managed to get it to $2000?

PS upgrade: $150
Lightroom: $185
Acrobat Pro upgrade: $140

Total: $475

Anonymous said...

You mentioned a touchy subject - piracy. Be it Photos, Software or even Music, please be sure you have legal copies of everything.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting thing is how you managed to get it to $2000?"

I'm relatively sure that John has multiple copies (seats) of the software for the multiple machines he has in the office...he may also need Mac and Windows versions of some to the 'ware as well.

Anonymous said...

"PS upgrade: $150
Lightroom: $185
Acrobat Pro upgrade: $140

Total: $475"

For two machines. Adobe allows you two activations. If you have - say an assistant on one machine, then your desktop then say one or two laptops that you carry on the road - then it is double the $475.00. Let's say, you have an office manager, an intern, two assistants and your own gear - then you can hit 2K easily.

I don't think John is embellishing his costs for an upgrade. Maybe guilty of rounding - if you have employees with several Macintosh's (which John does) than that is well within the realm of what it costs a small studio to upgrade.

Ahmad Alhashemi said...

Of course.

He might also be buying new Intel machines and want to keep some of the old ones with the old software, therefore, an upgrade will not be possible and the price will raise another $700.

I was just pointing out the fact to small shops who might have got scared from the $2k figure.

John Harrington said...

To answer the inquiries -- I have FIVE seats of upgrades to CS3, Six seats of upgrades to Acrobat, and am getting two seats of Lightroom.


Anonymous said...

Boy o boy - what you need to run a biz these days....

Thinking about all the software I use and the costs plus upgrades.... And some clients still think it is cheap.

On my primary imaging machine I have

Capture One Pro ($400)
Raw Developer ($100)
Photo Mechanic ($149)
iView ($99)
PhotoShop CS2 (huge amount of upgrades since 2.5)
Capture One LE (Free with a Sandisk Card)
Exposure ($200)
DXO ($345)
PhotoKit ($99.00)
PhotoKit Sharpener ($99.00)
BW Pro ($29)
Nik Sharpener Pro ($149)
Nik Effects ($200)
Noise Ninja
Yojimbo ($29) to stay organized)
Monoca Optix for Calibration ($300)
ColorBurst Rip ($695)
Carbon Copy
Aperture (@299.00)

All legal - All require upgrades.


Unknown said...

Will there be a post about your hardware? I would be interested to know how often you buy new computers and monitors, and where the old ones go.


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