If you ask a photographer if they can give you the entire set of unedited RAW photos from a shoot, there’s a very good chance they’re going to say no. No, it’s not because they don’t want you to have all your memories — it’s because they only want to deliver their very best finished work. Consider these points.
1. RAW files are not the final product
“It’s like asking an artist for their unfinished painting.”
2. Prospective clients may get the wrong impression
“Hey, is this really their work?”
3. Special tools and processing are needed for RAW files
“You may not even be able to open the files if you don’t have the proper software. The files also take up a lot of space”
4. It allows editing and manipulation without our consent
“It’s like giving someone a rough draft of your script and then having them edit and add things in there and then release a final version.”
5. Sometimes editing IS necessary
6. Many clients are unhappy with unedited photos.
Raw unprocessed photos are almost always unflattering.
People aren’t happy to see unfiltered work, outtakes and all.
7. Quality over quantity
“Would you rather have 30 beautiful retouched photos, or would you rather have 2,000 unedited, dimly lit, uncorrected average-looking photos?”
8. We aren’t out to get you! Talk to your photographer about it
9. We don’t want judgement from unfinished work
“We want to make sure that whatever people see in public is an accurate representation of both ourselves and our skills.”