Ok, so I’ll be the first to admit that I have often found myself grumbling about the Adobe Creative Cloud, and how annoying it is to have a monthly payment for a software, versus the way it USED to be when you could buy the software and own it. BUT, having the Creative Cloud has a lot of benefits, and it does actually have really good pros that I have come to see as outweighing the cons.
- You always have the latest updates to programs like Photoshop right at your fingertips. You used to have to buy that upgrade every time a new release came out.
- If your computer dies, like mine did a couple weeks ago, (tears) you don’t lose your Adobe programs with it. When I first started in photography, a family member had an extra installation of their photoshop they weren’t going to use, that they let me download a copy on my computer to get started. But when that first laptop kicked the bucket, because I never owned it, I lost my Photoshop with it. (more tears)
- It opened my eyes to the other programs that I honestly probably never would have tried without them being so easily available. I started my Creative Cloud membership with just Photoshop, paying around $20 a month. (the cost of a single app) If InDesign were a $600 or $700 software that I had to buy to even try it and see if I liked it, I probably never would have made that jump! But $20 per month was much more reasonable, and Creative Cloud allowed me to do that easily. I have raved about InDesign for a year now, and how I used to use Photoshop for projects that InDesign was MADE for, and they would take forever and cause me so much frustration. I never once regretted adding InDesign to my Creative Cloud. InDesign was how I was able to easily create and customize my Portrait Session Planning Guide that I print and give to all my clients!
Last year, I gratefully came across the Elle & Co blog, which is truly a resource GOLD MINE for photographers and creative small business owners alike. Her blog posts have taught me about SEO for Squarespace, Increasing Your Blog Traffic, and SO much more. I think I stumbled across her blog in a Google Search, and then I got lost for hours reading and learning SO much free content that she offers. Lauren Hooker, the talent behind the Elle & Co blog, is a GENIUS. I had the honor of meeting her at the Creative at Heart Conference and she is just as sweet in person as she is online.
*Bonus Tip: Yes, attending conferences and workshops in person is often a great investment. Yes, there are a lot of things you can learn online from the comfort of your pajamas for a lesser one, but there is just something magical about being at some of these events- and the connections and relationships that build over a cup of coffee or dinner- I would NEVER have some of the friends in the industry that I do, had I not stepped out and attended things that were bigger than myself. Creative at Heart just opened their Denver registration, and you guys, it is SUCH a well done event. Their leadership team not only keeps every detail beautifully handled for all the attendees, but they are the most genuine of hearts. Don’t miss out!!
Ok, back to Elle & Co. Shortly after finding her blog, I signed up for every way to follow her that I could. Her mailing list has RICH content you guys, and I seriously learn something new every time she posts something. This past fall, she opened up her second Adobe Illustrator Basics online course, and I snagged it right away for a few different reasons- It was affordable, nothing Ell & Co had ever produced for educational content had been disappointing thus far, and I KNEW that I wanted to learn Illustrator but just felt really overwhelmed at the thought of learning a new software on my own. Knowing how to use Illustrator will be SO helpful in my business as I learn to quickly make blog graphics, and a gazillion of other uses. (Because we all know that running a photography business really IS 90% business and 10% actually taking pictures! There are so many other tasks on our plate!)
I admit that I got really busy this past fall, and never started the course. But after having dinner with Lauren at the Creative at Heart Conference, I was reminded that I needed to set time aside for myself to GROW and learn new things. How often do we spend our days in Gmail, and never growing as a business owner??? I want to change that for me!
Because the course included a year of access to the material, I was able to jump right in, and you guys, I am LOVING it and can’t believe I waited so long to start. Her videos are so simple and step by step- and truthfully I felt that just after the first module that I had a good grasp on what makes Illustrator worth investing in. Because I already had Photoshop and InDesign in my Creative Cloud, I was able to upgrade to have have the full creative cloud, giving me access to Illustrator and the full Adobe library for an extra $10 a month. Um, YES please!!
Her next class starts TOMORROW, so I just had to share with you to consider signing up. If you are wanting the confidence to create the marketing tools, blog icons, and other self-designed graphics to use throughout your brand to make it stand out even more, and to not depend on a hired designer for every little thing, I would consider reserving a seat. If you’re not sure about downloading Illustrator before the class, there is a free trial of Illustrator and other Adobe Cloud Apps HERE!
I can’t wait to dive into the next module already! Learn more about Elle & Co’s Adobe Illustrator Basics Online Course HERE!