Do we get the RAW files ??

No ! And heres why !!


The question that probably strikes fear into the heart of most photographers ! The mythical RAW files ! Whilst its not unheard of to give the raw files away to clients, its probably inadvisable. Firstly, the RAW file is sort of the equivalent of a chef giving you the recipe to their most famous dish. The reason you go to the retaurant is to enjoy the special way that they prepare and blend the recipe and in return they paid for this. The RAW files or SOOC images ( straight out of camera ) are unprocessed and can look pretty dreadful. A jpg image on the other hand has been processed by the camera and whatever settings that are selected on the camera will be applied to the images. The image can still be altered but not to the degree that a RAW file can be. So for maximum quality its probably best to shoot RAW images although the jpg files are pretty good and more than adequate for most situations.


The images below are from a wedding that I shot last year at Chateau Rigaud, and illustrates the point pretty well. Here is the file that I got SOOC

rigaud orig Do we get the RAW files ??

Pretty dull, flat, very little detail hardly any colour. In fact on my initial edit I almost rejected this in favour of a better image that was taken in the so-called “golden hour” just before the sun sets. Had I shot this as a jpg I would probably have got a better image – initially. But once I had processed this and delved more into the file some of the details of the beautiful sunset and the long shadows became more evident.

chateau rigaud wedding photographer paul atherton 092 Do we get the RAW files ??

So there you go – yes it would save me an awful lot of post production work but ultimately would not really be something that I would want to represent my work. The processing of the images is very personal to each photographer. And of course anybody could, with the time and knowledge, produce a similar image using the various photo editing software that is readily available today. But once the wedding has ended and all that is left are the memories of your wedding day, so does the inclination to spend time on it. New things come along – work, moving house, babies – life !! Much better to get it done by someone who knows what they are doing eh ??


If you would like more details of weddings how I shoot them and process them have a good look around the rest of the site. Thanks for reading.



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Jo Ingram -

Great way of explaining it Paul with the chef and recipe!!