Almost every photographer has been asked for RAW files by their customers at one point or another. For some, it can be hard to understand why their photographer has refused to part ways with their RAW files, but know that your photographer is not trying to be difficult. They have several good reasons why they don’t just hand over all the photos that were taken during your shoot.
When you’re working with a photographer during a shoot, you’ll notice that they’re constantly snapping away. This is because not all of the images come out perfectly. Sometimes a specific pose or scenario needs to be shot multiple times just to get one good shot. A professional photographer spends a lot of time sorting through all of the images that were taken during a shoot to select the best shots.
Once the best photos have been chosen, they are brought to life through post process editing with professional editing software. This stage which takes a lot of time and results in the beautiful end product that is handed over to you. If your photographer had to give you the RAW files you wouldn’t be seeing the end result.
You’d also be surprised at how many people want the RAW files in order to alter the photos themselves. If that individual then chose to share those photos after making their own adjustments, the integrity of your photographer’s work is put at risk.
Something else to keep in mind is that RAW files are huge and you need a lot of memory to store them. You might also find that you don’t have the proper software available at home to view this type of file, so again you would be sitting with megabytes of files that you can’t do anything with.
When you hire a professional photographer you’re putting your trust in their abilities. You need to trust that the photos they hand over to you are a result of their hard work, experience and eye for the perfect shot.