Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average length of videos I should receive from being a member?
The average so far is right around 45 minutes. The videos are no shorter than 15 minutes and no loner than 2 hours. There should be a good mix where general “tip & trick” movies might be 15-25 minutes long and more deep-dive topics might be closer to 1-1.5 hours long.

Can I watch the videos any time I want?
You can watch the streaming videos as long as your membership is active and you have a reliable internet connection.

Do you offer a monthly payment option?
No. We only want people to become members if they are truly dedicated to mastering the tools of their digital trade. If we had a monthly plan, then anyone could sign up, dominate the conversation for a month, download everything and then say goodbye. That does not excite us at all. We want to have a long-term relationship with you so that we can help you get better over time.

Do I have to use Facebook to access the videos and other benefits of membership?
You can watch all the video lessons directly on MastersAcademy.com. You only need a Facebook account if you’d like to participate in our Masters Forum private Facebook group.

When does my membership expire?
Memberships are set to auto-renew by default. You can cancel a subscription at any time in the My Account area of the site. If you cancel the auto-renewal, then your membership will expire exactly one year after you signed up.

What happens when my membership expires?
You lose access to all the benefits of being a member. That means you can no longer access to the videos that come with membership or the ability to download practice files, etc. Also, if you allow your membership to lapse, then you’ll have to pay the going rate if you decide to renew.

Does the price of membership change over time?
Yes! As we add benefits to being a member and increase the size of our video library, we will increase the price that new subscribers pay to become a member. Memberships automatically renew every 12 months and renewals are treated as a repeat of your original transaction and therefore you will pay the same amount each year. Just be careful not to turn off the auto-renewal feature in the My Account section of the site since that would cause you to have to manually renew and you’d be charged whatever the going rate is on that day.

Do you offer general tech support with membership?
We will help you with any technical issues you have in accessing the benefits that come with membership (viewing the videos, downloading practice files, etc), but we do not offer direct Photoshop/Lightroom tech support. Members are welcome to join our optional private Facebook discussion group known as the Masters Forum where you can ask for help from other members. Ben also pops in to answer questions on a regular basis, but we don’t want you to think that he has time to answer every question that is asked.

What are the rules for participation in the private Facebook discussion group?
We’re glad you asked! Here are the posted rules as of Aug. 10, 2016:

We hope we can act like one big happy family. But, just in case you feel the need to have some constraints in how this group is to be used, here are the official rules:

  • No selling or promoting your own products for photographers or otherwise without express permission from admin.
  • No promoting of workshops unless you get permission from admins.
  • No using this group for any promotional purposes whatsoever.
  • No foul language or unruly conduct.
  • No combative or bullying posts or comments.
  • No bargaining for discounts on any products or classes.
  • Any private messages sent to the admins that contain PS, LR or photography questions will be ignored. Sorry, we need to devote our time to this group, so any advice we provide should be available to the whole group instead of a single individual.
  • Please try to be constructive in your criticism of images posted by members. Criticism is mainly useful when it is a) requested and b) phrased in a way that lovingly empowers the reader to improve.

Violation of ANY of the rules gives the administrators of the group the right to delete the offending post. We will occasionally also remove posts that are not useful, gripe, vent or are otherwise not productive to the education and enjoyment of our members.

Having said all that, let us know if you think the rules are too strict or if anything should be added.

Are the videos downloadable so I can watch them offline?
No. The videos can only be streamed when a live internet connection is available. We know it would be nice to be able to watch while you’re offline and we’d love to eventually provide that as a benefit, but we don’t yet have the financial resources to develop a workable solution. If we get a large number of people to sign up, then we might eventually invest the time and resources needed to make the videos viewable when offline.

Will the videos be available forever and can I watch them any time I want?
You can watch the videos as many times as you’d like for as long as you still have an active membership. Since the videos are streaming, they require an active internet connection. One day, years from now, they might be removed if they become completely out of date, but there is no plan for any kind of official expiration date for a video. Forever is a mighty long time, so I just want to make sure we spell out what we have planned.

Does it matter if you have a Mac or PC?
Either one is fine. All the videos are recorded on the Mac since that’s what I use. We have hundreds of members who use a PC so you’ll get a lot of PC-specific feedback when you post on the Masters Forum private Facebook group. That’s the best place to ask PC specific questions. You can visit that members-only group via a link below each video lesson.

Does my membership automatically renew and what happens if I cancel my subscription?
Masters Academy memberships last for a full year and then automatically renew so as to never expire without your conscious input. You can cancel your subscription at any time via the My Account area of the web site. That will cause your membership to expire one full year after the date of purchase and effectively turn off the auto-renewal.

Keep in mind that membership renewal prices never increase, but the price new memberships increases on a regular basis. That gives you an incentive to not allow your membership to lapse since starting it back up again would require you to pay the new member price.

How do I change my payment method?
When you are logged in to your Masters Academy account, click on the “My Account” button in the upper right corner of the screen. This will take you to a page that contains your account info. Click on the “View Subscriptions” button on the left side of the screen. This will show the details of your Masters Academy subscription. Here, you will find a “Change Payment” button. This will allow you to change your payment method.

What version of Photoshop do you use and will this be useful if I use CS6 instead of CC?
​I always teach using the newest version of Photoshop that is available on the date of recoding. The core functionality of Photoshop has not changed in many years, but many new features have been added and the interface has evolved since Photoshop CS6 was released back in 2012. It’s up to you to decide if you mind that the interface looks different and I might use a few features that are not available in Photoshop CS6. If the difference is too great for you to be comfortable with, then you can always update to the newest version (along with Lightroom) for $9.99 a month as part of the Photographer’s Plan on Adobe’s web site.

I have watched some of your classes on CreativeLive. How is Masters Academy different?
That’s great! CreativeLive is a fantastic learning platform. There are definitely some topics that overlap between the CreativeLive classes and Masters Academy. These are the more fundamental topics like Layers, Curves, etc. If you are new to Photoshop and/or Lightroom, Ben’s CreativeLive classes can be a great place to start as they will provide you with a solid foundation.

The difference with Masters Academy is that Ben is able to go into much more depth on each topic. His CreativeLive classes need to begin the class with the fundamentals and then move on from there. This makes it so he’s limited in how much he can cover on each topic. With Masters Academy, he can start a lesson with more advanced concepts. If it’s too difficult for the viewer, they can always close that lesson and move back to the more basic lessons before proceeding. As an example, Ben may cover the basic concept of curves (with some example images) in a CreativeLive class. On Masters Academy, he also has a basic curves lesson. But then he also has two additional lessons on using Curves for Color, and another one on using Curves for Tonal Adjustments. 

Because he puts out a new Masters Academy video every week, he’s also able to keep members informed about all of the very latest updates that Adobe has made to the program. 

Basically, CreativeLive classes are great for people who need to get a good, overall understanding of Photoshop and its features. Masters Academy is more suited for people who are already fairly comfortable with Photoshop (and Lightroom) and want to get more in-depth. This is also a continuing education because a new video is added each week.

Have a question that’s not on the list? Email [email protected] and we’ll try to come up with an answer for you.