Why don’t photographers give the Raw files to clients?

If you ask a photographer if they can give you the entire set of unedited RAW photos from a shoot, there’s a very good chance they’re going to say no. No, it’s not because they don’t want you to have all your photos — it’s because they only want to deliver their very best finished work.

This is a question that’s been weighing on photographer Jessica Kobeissi‘s mind, so she decided to make the 5.5-minute video above to share her explanation.

Source: PetaPixel.com

There is a reason why you might get a bad look when requesting your raw photos; no, the photographer is not out to get you. Instead they simply want to deliver you the completed product, retouched with all that their talents have to offer.

Why oh why?

  • A photographer’s job is weighed heavily by their reputation and releasing raw photos could potentially damage that.
  • Most photos are potentially shot darker as it makes them easier to retouch and highlight appropriately
  • People who have received raw photos are not happy with them for reasons like the one above
  • Camera raw files are difficult to work with if you are not a professional
  • Raw photos do not possess a photographer’s signature style – basically the reason for which they are hired
  • Post-editing of photos by clients also threatens a photographer’s reputation

Featured image credit: Jessica Kobeissi‘s