It's difficult to put a price tag on a well-edited photo.
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The right shot (or series of shots) can be used in a broad range of business applications, any of which can result in better marketing materials, higher visibility and increased sales.
But putting a price on photo editing software? That's a little easier. Most photo editing software packages are priced within the reach of the average small business owner. Still, prices vary widely and you'll need to know what you're looking to avoid spending either too much or too little on a solution.
There are a number of considerations involved with photo editing software pricing. At a minimum, here are the factors you'll want to include in your decision-making process.
- Features. More features equals higher pricing. It's a simple equation, but it's especially relevant when buying photo editing software. For example, you can buy a basic Adobe Elements package for around $65 while a full-featured Canon Studio Solution package will run closer to $1,500.
- Pro vs. novice. The type of user who will be employ the editing software plays a role in pricing. Some business owners make the mistake of buying professional grade software when all they really needed was a streamlined solution for the occasional office shot. At the other extreme, thrifty pros sometimes try to get away with a cheaper software solution, only to discover that it doesn't have the features they really need.
- Scalable. Some photo editing solutions are scalable in the sense that they have individual components that can be purchased separately. Others are essentially all-in-one solutions that need to be purchased in their entirety.
- Brand names. Reputation counts in photo editing software. Although solutions from recognized brand names are frequently more expensive than those from lesser known manufacturers, that isn't always the case. For example, Corel is an established name industry brand, but their PaintShop Photo Pro X2 Ultimate is priced reasonably at around $90.
- Hardware requirements. Hardware is sometimes a hidden cost that sneaks up on buyers after the sale. Advanced photo editing software has the potential to use a lot of memory and could ultimately translate into a hardware upgrade.
- Free alternatives. If your budget is really tight, you may want to consider a couple of free photo editing software alternatives. Google Picasa and GIMP are completely free solutions that provide basic photo editing features.