3 Reasons Not To Request RAW Files - Grand Lens Photography

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3 Reasons Not To Request RAW Files

Photographers at times find themselves in a situation where a client requests to obtain all the unedited photos from their photo session or event.  In reality, the customer has no right to the work in progress.  Obtaining RAW photo files are a popular request among clients. However, several of them do not comprehend why they are not able to receive them.  Clients may feel as though because they are paying for the photos, they have rights to all of the photos.  This article shares Grand Lens Photography's 3 reasons as to why photographers prefer not to release RAW files to their customers.

1) Incomplete art

A request for RAW files is similar to asking for a painting that is unfinished.   RAW files are not the final product of a photo session or photo-documented event.  Not every picture a photographer takes is guaranteed to appear flawless.  Clients compensate professionals so that they are able to discern which photos are best to save.   Although photographers capture numerous photographs during a photo session or event, possibly hundreds, the photos that are especially flattering to the client and have the highest potential to be amazing creations of art are edited to be balanced and natural. There is absolutely nothing to gain from rummaging through hundreds of unedited, unused photos when the professional plans deliver the utmost outstanding shots, edited to the best possible standard.  No person enjoys to think of themselves as unphotogenic, however, oftentimes a photo unintentionally highlights flaws.  No matter how much a customer assures the photographer that they will not be upset by the unedited pictures, this unfailingly turns out to be the case.  Clients see themselves portrayed in unflattering ways and become upset.   Thus, feeling doubtful regarding their photographer's skills.

2) Loss of brand control

Brand control is a major concern for professional photographers.   Every picture that a photographer shows the world should be a representation of their style and brand.  Releasing all of the RAW files to clients generates the opportunity to expose these photos as is or edited in a style different from the photographer.   This kind of inconsistency may damage the photographer's unique brand and cost them potential business.  A professional photographer displays their finest work after the best photos have been edited to their greatest advantage, developing pictures of the highest quality.   Deliverance of discarded photographs represented to others as professional work could make the photographer appear unprofessional and inefficient.

3) Quality over quantity

Photographers record the maximum amount of detail when capturing images in the RAW format, which is appropriate to use if they are planning to edit them.   Unprocessed images require editing for a polished appearance instead of a dim and flat appearance in order for them to stand out. Photographers advise their clients to view photos after they are uploaded for processing, so people do not think they are inadequate.  Customers need to comprehend the value of quality over quantity.   Receiving additional images as a great return on investment may feel natural, but compromise with the photographer by viewing the photos before and after post-production to properly understand the benefits of retouching.  


Photographers rightfully take ownership of their work.   It is not simple to create exceptional images, so the thought of giving a client an unedited photo to manipulate without the photographer's consent is a troubling probability.  The emotions attached to photos of a particularly important occasion, for example, commemorating an engagement or a child's birth, tend to be extremely high and professionals hope their clients to love the photos as much as they do.  Photographers prefer to provide their clients with the utmost customer experience.  RAW file images are simply the rough material photographers utilize to craft the stunning images their clients hired them to do.



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