raw vs. unprocessed images blog post

RAW Images Vs. Unprocessed Images

Do I Deliver RAW Images to Clients?

Do I ever deliver RAW images or unprocessed images to a client? In the many years I’ve been shooting digital photography, only a few clients have ever asked me for the RAW images or unprocessed photographs.

As an artist, I generally get hired to deliver a specific look, and post-production plays a big role in my style. People who commission me to create photographs have seen my portfolio, and they hire me because they want the look of my photography in their branding and advertising campaigns.

Photo of a photographer editing raw images in Adobe lightroom.

With my photographs I prefer to have control of the final look, otherwise I don’t feel that I’ve finished the job I’ve been hired to do. It’s our studio policy to deliver edited and processed photographs that are ready for print and digital media use to our clients. This choice reflects our beliefs that:

  • our clients deserve the best photographs we can produce
  • shooting is just one step in a series of steps required to create the final images. As the image creators, only we know which photos need to be combined together and how to combine them, tone them, dodge and burn them and colour balance them to create the final master image
  • the specific style that is associated with my photography has great value and we can’t risk diminishing that value
  • that if unprocessed RAW images from our photography studio were published, when people see them, it would reflect badly on the reputation of our photography studio and damage our photography business; and more importantly, our client’s business.
  • we only put our name on photographs we create from start to finish, putting our name on our photographs has value, to trade away that value the photo studio needs to be compensated

A chef never serves a plate of raw beef because it won’t have all of the amazing ingredients and cooking skill that make it taste fantastic. Like a chef, I’d never serve RAW images.

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