In the months before Brianna Lamberson began studying photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, she heard a rumor that there were bootleg copies of Photoshop floating around campus. Four years later, though, the 22-year-old aspiring photo pro was still looking for that fabled free software.
“When I got here, I realized that it was all a legend. The school really put a lockdown on that stuff,” said Lamberson, who’s spent her college career growing increasingly tired of borrowing the cameras, lighting equipment, computers and software programs she needs to turn out her work. Lamberson, now shooting weddings in addition to her own fine art projects, is ready to invest in her own gear. “I’m graduating in December,” she said. “It’s time.”
Lamberson’s at a crucial point in the eyes of both vendors and dealers. Quite often, they say, the retailers and brands that students choose in those critical tooling-up years will be the ones they stick with for decades to come.