I'm not going to give you the RAW files.. #sorrynotsorry // Just my Opinion

So after the session, what happens with the pictures? Can I just get all the photos unedited? 

This question is the bane of my existence. And as you read on, you will be able to tell I am VERY passionate about the subject of RAW image sharing. Believe me, in my early stages of photography I did give out RAW files.. and I always regretted it. But that was because I was too mini and shy to say no to people, not because I didn't know better. I would compromise my skills and vision to not have conflict, and boy, did I get burned for it.

Why won't you just give them to me, you may ask, but... I'd actually like to ask you the same thing. Why do you want 1000 photos that need to be processed, retouched, styled and then compressed .... *shakes head* please just read on. 


Size Matters

Do you know HOW BIG RAW files are? Every year I fill a 3TB hard drive. EVERY YEAR... with the RAW images I take. Each shoot ranges from approximately 20GB to 40GB, and in the end, I only really end up using 20-200 images (that get compressed to usable .jpg files anyway). Trust me, you don't need the extra 900, if they were worth giving you, you'd get them.

Also, these files are .CR2. If you don't have the proper software to view them, you literally can't do anything with them unless you know how to use photoshop. I mean, I guess you could try Apple Photo... but your friends will probably laugh at you. So no, I will not be giving you the RAW files.


That isn't our product

Asking a photographer for their RAW images is like asking an artist for an unfinished painting. That isn't the product you are purchasing. Yes, okay it is PART of what you are purchasing... but as an artist, I'm not giving you anything that doesn't represent my style or my artistic vision, and post processing is a big part of that.

What I do in photoshop, changing the colour of the shadows, using the contrast, getting rid of those fly-away hairs, that is as much a part as taking the photo as what I do with the camera itself. Look at these two images side by side for instance, the one on the left is the RAW and the right is what I gave to my client. There is no way they would use the one on the left.  So again no, I will not be giving you the RAW files. 

I do not consent 

Giving you my RAW files, would mean you would go through them find the ones you like (which would probably be the same ones I like anyways) and then have to find some way to edit them in order to print. I'll bet you something valuable that you don't know how to edit those photos. So what other choice do you have? Of course! Find a friend who will edit them! Okay lets stop that train right there... DO NOT DO THAT... EVER. As a retoucher or photographer, editing another photographer's work without them coming to you directly is a major no go. It is an ethical violation of that person's vision and art. We all saw the way this woman didn't listen and did an epic botch job. Same thing, and usually... it looks about the same quality.

It would be like if you gave me a draft of a story you'd written, then I added some stuff and publish it under your name. I'm not an author, I have no idea how to write a book. Don't be a dickhead, I'm not giving you my RAW files. 


I'm not a grump

Okay, so obviously, we have all learned this is something I'm very opinionated about. But it's not because I'm out to get you. I'm not going to keep all the awesome photos of you a secret. There would literally no point in that. As a photographer, I am trying to get as many awesome shots as possible, and the images I do get that look good, will be there for you to see.  I get that you are curious and I understand that photos are a big investment, and not to be taken lightly. These are your memories so I will give you everything that reflects positively on those memories. But giving out images that don't reflect my finished product, is not an accurate representation of my skills or brand. 

So in conclusion, no, I will not give you my RAW files.


What do you think? Still want those RAWs, tell me why in the comments below. I dare you to convince me.