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How to Learn Photoshop

  • Published on June 6, 2020
How to Learn Photoshop

There are several ways to learn Photoshop including low-cost, self-paced learning over a longer timeframe along with traditional courses and private training. These options make it possible to learn Photoshop in a way that meets individual goals, considers how quickly an individual needs to gain new skills, and takes into consideration whether preferences such as learning independently or in a more traditional classroom setting is preferred. These options meet unique learning styles, time constraints, and budget requirements which can determine the best way to learn Photoshop for each individual. 

Reasons to Learn Photoshop

Before examining how to learn Photoshop it is worthwhile to understand who uses Photoshop and why it is such a popular application. Photoshop is the original photo editing application and has become the industry standard for visual designers, marketing professionals, and photographers. As the most widely-used image editing program, learning Photoshop is often essential for many design and marketing jobs. Amateur artists and photographers also learn Photoshop because it is used for tasks that range from creative image manipulation to more basic image editing, such as lightening an under-exposed image.

Learn Photoshop in the Classroom

There are many Photoshop classes which provide a more traditional, structured learning environment that some students prefer. An in-person instructor can help to make a complex application such as Photoshop more accessible through demonstrations, lessons, and projects. Learning Photoshop in a classroom provides both essential skills as well as an overview of the application’s capabilities, learning the full potential of Photoshop. While most classes at American Graphics Institute range from five to 10 participants, there are schools that place up to 25 participants in a course. As Photoshop is a complex application, it is useful to check to class size before enrolling. Photoshop classes for beginners offer small-group courses.

Where to learn Photoshop

If you're in the Boston, New York City or Philadelphia areas, public Photoshop classes are available monthly at American Graphics Institute. For those living in other areas, live online Photoshop classes are available, as these can be attended from any location with an Internet connection.

Private Training to learn Photoshop

For those interested in gaining highly specific skills, wanting to accomplish unique tasks, or with a busy schedule, private Photoshop training is an option.  Available for individuals or groups, a private Photoshop training program can be focused on unique tasks and requirements, and provides opportunities to use images that relate to projects and work requirements. This allows participants to learn Photoshop skills and processes that help them to work efficiently and accurately. Private Photoshop training can be held off-site at an American Graphics Institute location, or on-site at a company or organization. For groups with a team distributed over different locations, live online sessions can also be arranged.

Learning Photoshop Independently

Individuals who prefer learning on their own will find there are many options to learn Photoshop. These include books, tutorials, and video lessons which include a variety of both no-cost and paid options. The Photoshop Digital Classroom is an example of a self-paced way to learn Photoshop. This Photoshop book includes step-by-step instructions as well as lesson files for practicing. As a complete book, it includes a structured option for learning introductory through intermediate Photoshop skills. Another self-paced way to learn specific Photoshop skills is through video tutorials. 

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F credential from the UXQB.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with the Microsoft Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.