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7 Reasons why Photographers "Do Not Share" Raw Images with Clients!

Imagine this situation:
Client: Hey, thank you very much for the amazing photos. If you don’t mind, we would like to have all the RAW ones too.

Photographer: Glad you like the images but...umm, I can’t share the RAW files.

Ever been part of this conversation and thought that your photographer was being quite unreasonable. Well, turns out he has good reason to be miffed with you. Read on to find out why photographers blanch or redden (varies from photographer to photographer) on hearing this question thrown at them from time to time.

  • Many photographers consider their images to be equivalent to a painting and RAW images are unfinished paintings. You wouldn’t want a car without a paint job, so why ask for an unfinished image?
  • Sometimes, there is a major difference in the final image and the RAW one, seeing the RAW image, the client may think whether it was indeed taken by the photographer.
  • Processing RAW files requires special software which sometimes comes with its own learning curve. Would you rather have great photos or be struggling to edit a photo with a fairly complicated software and with not so great results?
  • A big reason for refusing to share the RAW files is that it leaves the photographer vulnerable to unauthorised use and editing of the picture. Not getting due credit is very discouraging for the photographer.
  • Your photographer has his own brand and style which he or she uses for editing images. If they share the RAW files, it is likely that the images will get posted somewhere as is or with minor edits. This may not be in line with your photographer’s brand or vision and may actually damage it, costing them clients in the long run.
  • For some images, it is necessary to edit the image before sharing. Your photographer may not want you to see the unedited version as it takes away the magic from the final image.
  • You, as a client, may be unhappy with the RAW images as it will contain the not so good photos along with the ones you love. Photographers share their best images with you. Would you rather have a selection of 200 really good images or a 1000 average images?

So, next time you want to ask for RAW images from a photographer, don’t! Trust the photographer that they are working in your interest and will share their best work with you. Looking forward to hearing from customers and photographers alike in the Comments section below.

anant singhComment