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Why your photographers won’t give you the RAW files?

Why your photographers won’t give you the RAW files?

Customers seldom inquire about the RAW data of the photographs taken by their photographer. There are a variety of reasons why just a small number of photographers will publish them. If you're wondering why this matter is so important to photographers, we'd want to share with you some of the most compelling arguments that photographers have made in opposition to the publishing of RAW files in the past. You will undoubtedly be able to comprehend much better later.

What exactly are RAWs?

RAW files are, as the name implies, unprocessed versions of the photos. This is equivalent to the "undeveloped negative," which is only developed into a picture by the photographer during post-processing, and which he then presents to the client with his signature on it. RAWs are massive data monsters that require specific tools to handle properly, as well as extensive developing expertise that a photographer has accumulated over the course of his or her career.

What is it about RAW files that makes them so "holy" to photographers?

It is a crucial component of every photographer's job to convert a raw file into a finished image, and for many photographers, it is the most important aspect of their whole work process. By the way, you already paid for this expert post-processing when you made your reservation, so you are entitled to it as well. You shouldn't be able to function properly without it!:) Additionally, a photographer might utilize the RAW files to establish his or her ownership of the photos.

Post-processing is something that they particularly like doing; it is an inseparable part of work for photographers and their "product" is only truly complete for you after the post-processing is accomplished. If you hire a professional, you should genuinely have faith that their editing provides the best possible finish to your report.

However, because photographers consider post-processing to be an essential component of the purchase, they would prefer to conduct this work entirely for you. You can let them know ahead of time if there is a particular editing style that you enjoy using. They are usually experienced with a variety of styles and like working according to your specifications. As a result, there should be no necessity for you to use the RAW files in this instance as well.


Although your photographer is also your service provider, the photographs he presents to you reflect his or her professional effort. They demonstrate that he knows what he is doing and that he does it effectively. The post-processing of photographs is an important aspect of the photographer's overall depiction. However, for instance, this can also include post-processing in the manner of your choice - but in both cases, it must be clean and photographically precise!

If un-edited or wholly unorthodox (and maybe wrongly or negatively from a photographic standpoint) processed photos of the photographer are made public, this might cause irritations with regard to the outcome that can be expected from this photographer in the first place (stylistically and also qualitatively).

Such irritations can have a negative impact on a photographer's outward image - and in today's computerized world, they can only be restored with effort, if not impossible. When a photographer releases his or her RAWS for clients to edit themselves, he or she may find themselves in precisely this predicament.

Of course, the color of JPG files can be changed after they have been created. However, the options are more limited when compared to RAW files, and the same considerations that apply to RAW files apply here as well. In this context, we'd like to briefly highlight Instagram or other filters that may be applied to an image in a matter of seconds. Such filters can also substantially alter the appearance of an image, rendering it unrecognizable as the one that your photographer has supplied to you.

Therefore, your photographer will be grateful if you leave your photographs in the state in which he has altered them for you. This is especially true if you want to post the photographs on the internet or otherwise make them available to a wider number of individuals. What remains within your own four walls is, of course, entirely up to you; it is, after all, impossible to govern.

The "cost" of RAW files

Some (wedding) photographers continue to sell their RAWs for a multiple (really multiple!) of the price of the report they produced. Thus, they potentially provide their consumers with the possibility to obtain the RAWs, but with a considerably decreased likelihood that customers will actually see this as a benefit of doing so.

The situation is fundamentally different when photographers work for agencies or other organizations who require the delivery of RAW files and transfer of any rights otherwise owing to them as part of their order as a condition of doing business with them. It is therefore referred to as a "buyout," which is often exclusively utilized by business clients in specific sectors and is priced at a substantially higher level than the average consumer.

The Bottom Line

So, as we have seen from this article, that RAW files are generally of no use to the customer. Its can be considered as the base file of the image which the photographer further edits with the help of editing software (like Adobe Photoshop, LightRoom, etc.) and then proceeds to take a print-out of this final processed image.

Next, either this processed image file or the print-out is provided to the client. Apart from this, there is no such reason as to why the photographer does not provide you with the RAW files!

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