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Why Your Photographer Won't Give You the RAW Photo Files

Updated: May 30, 2020

Alright gang, here I am, opening up about one of the the most asked question photographers receive! "Can't you just send me the raw (unedited) images from my session?" To be honest, I even asked this exact question before I was a professional photographer myself. So, if you've ever wondered why you won't be getting your raw photo files...keep on reading!

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Bailey Livingston Photography, Utah Wedding Photographer

One of my favorite photographers (she's based in Hawaii and has amazing dance moves so...of course she's my favorite!) Lindsey Roman, posted on this same topic and she has a metaphor that has to be shared...

"When you ask a photographer to give you their RAW photos, if they are a professional you're most likely going to be met with a firm, hard no. I'm going to use a metaphor to help explain why. Roll with me here. Imagine you go out to eat at a fancy restaurant. One where the cook is established and well known. You look at the menu and decide you'd like to eat there. The waitress comes out to take your order, but when you order one of the Chef's specialty dishes you request the entire thing be brought to you uncooked on a plate. The reason the Chef is unlikely to do that is because he has carefully crafted this specific dish. He's gathered the ingredients, spent hours learning the proper technique of cooking them precisely to his satisfaction in order to give his customers the best dining experience possible. When you ask a Chef to deliver his specialty dish, but not as he designed it to be consumed, you're not going to receive the quality meal he intended for you. Ingredients are only half of a meal. The way you prepare and cook those ingredients is the other half of the art of cooking. "

So...I don't know about you but I don't want an uncooked meal served up to me! And as a photographer, I don't want to serve up something that I'm not proud of, or something that's incomplete!

Photographers spend hours and hours making sure their images are edited in a way that reflects their own style and are a beautiful end product for their clients. We want to be sure we capture your memories in a way that you'll cherish forever. When you ask your photographer for the unedited images, it means that you don't trust them to deliver edited images you'll love...which probably means you don't like their editing style. And if that's the case, why did you hire that particular photographer in the first place? Before hiring someone as your photographer, be sure you know and like what end product you'll receive by checking out their portfolio!

Well my friends, I hope this helps to bridge the gap of understanding for those that don't understand why photographers won't give you their raw unedited files! We aren't trying to be mean. We simply value our art and want to be sure our clients receive an experience they'll love from start to finish! So, when looking for a photographer, be sure you find someone who is a good match for you in both personality and style and you'll never have to doubt that you'll have an incredible gallery of images to love forever.

If you'd like to read the amazing Lindsey Roman's post on this topic check it out here:


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