Why Your Photographer Won’t Give You the RAW Files


Why Your Photographer Won’t Give You the RAW Files

Like any other commercial craft, a photographer needs skills photography to set himself apart from the competition. One such method is to digitally edit the RAW file in commercial photography to make the image appear more intriguing. When a photographer does deliver the finished product, he/she always send the edited version rather than the RAW version.

What makes photographers refuse to share the RAW files? Because RAW files are a sort of negatives that belong to the photographers, they are not provided to clients. Even when a client commissions a photograph, the client only ever pays for the finished image—a JPG or TIFF, for example—not the original shot.

Is it the sole explanation, though? No, but it is a significant factor. Unless otherwise specified in a contract or agreement, ownership of a photograph will always remain to the person who took it under copyright rules. Let’s look at the reasons why the majority of photographers never share their RAW files.

What is a raw file?

Why Your Photographer Won't Give You the RAW Files

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It’s crucial to first comprehend what a RAW file is. An unprocessed image file called a RAW file contains all the data that the camera’s sensor has recorded. RAW files are frequently very big, and only specialized software can be used to open and manipulate them. A JPEG file, in contrast, is a smaller, compressed image file that has already undergone processing by the camera.

Ownership of the photos with the photographer

Like in any other industry, the possibility of having one’s work stolen looms large. The RAW files are evidence that the photographer actually took the picture, and they may be useful if you decide to take legal action against someone who plagiarized your work.

Even for commissions, the customer is only entitled to the finished product; unless otherwise specified in the contract, they are not entitled to the RAW files.

Brand value of the photographer

Why Your Photographer Won't Give You the RAW Files

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Nowadays, practically all photos are digitally improved to improve their aesthetics or to express a specific feeling or message. If the RAW files are provided, anyone can add their own unique touch by digitally editing and posting the image online.

That image might be mistaken for the original by someone who is unfamiliar with the photographer’s work. The reputation and brand value of the photographer may suffer as a result. Thus, even if they give the photographer credit, a potential client may still judge him or her based on a copy that was created by someone else.

Accessibility and size

Huge RAW files are extremely difficult to send to another person. Sending several copies of a single file will always be a huge time waster for both sides because a single file can be many terabytes in size. Additionally, even if they are delivered to the customer, viewing them will require a compatible piece of software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom CC.

In order to avoid wasting time and energy, if they do send them, they will have to explain to them how to see them or why they are so large. Many customers don’t know how enormous RAW files are until they view them for themselves, even those who are knowledgeable about the field.

Reputation of the photographer before the client

Why Your Photographer Won't Give You the RAW Files

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Due to the fact that all the magic happens during the processing and editing of the image, RAW files are usually always very unpleasant to look at. Every photographer will have a distinct manner of digitally modifying their photos, and that particular style may be what makes them stand out from the crowd.

Giving out their RAW data will therefore make their work appear to lack the magic or edge it once did. Since the photographer’s reputation is all they have when trying to attract new clients, this could be disastrous for them.

Wasting the efforts of photographer

Photographers sort through dozens or hundreds of photos after the shoot is finished to choose the best ones for editing. They are essentially squandering all the time and work they put into selecting the final files by providing the RAW files.

Some people think that by providing the customer with the RAW files, they will hire them again if they choose any of the photographs from the batch. However, this rarely occurs because most of the time the client either opts to perform the editing themselves or hire someone else to do it (who is more affordable but less competent). In either case, the photographer’s reputation suffers.

RAW files are unedited

Why Your Photographer Won't Give You the RAW Files

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The RAW files contain the raw, unedited data and are not an accurate representation of the finished product that the photographer wants to offer, which is one reason why they might not want to send them to their clients.

In order to acquire the final appearance and feel of their work, photographers may expend a considerable amount of time and effort during the editing phase of their creative process. If the client decides to alter the files themselves, providing the RAW files could undercut their efforts and possibly reflect adversely on their work.

Legal reasons of photographer

Photographers may not offer RAW files for ethical or legal reasons. The use and ownership of RAW files are frequently outlined in legal contracts between photographers and their clients. RAW files are frequently regarded as intellectual property. Unauthorized distribution of RAW files may constitute a violation of contract or a copyright infringement.

RAW files need special tools to access

Another justification for withholding RAW files from customers is the likelihood that they won’t even be able to access them with their present software. Only specialized software packages, such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC, can open CR2 files.

A client’s hard disc likely won’t have the room to keep thousands of enormous RAW images. Each of which can easily surpass 25 megapixels. Thus, this is another issue.

Wrong impression on future clients

Why Your Photographer Won't Give You the RAW Files

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Giving out unprocessed images will offer clients and anybody else they let view the photos an erroneous idea of your talents. And distinctive style because RAW files are only the raw materials that photographers employ. Along with digital image editing to create stunning images.


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