You Don’t Actually Want RAW Photos

I know you think you want “all the raw photos” from your session, but the reality is you really don’t. First of all, I took between 3-4 times as many photos as I’m going to show you in a gallery. I went through and culled all the images where someone was blinking, in an awkward position, or caught mid-sentence. And trust me, you don’t need to see those, they’re not confidence boosters. Second, RAW photos probably don’t mean what you think they mean. Most point and shoot cameras only shoot in jpeg, which means color correction is automatic and doesn’t need to be done post production. When your camera shoots in RAW, post production is needed to do basic profile and color correction because the camera has kept all the data. This extra data allows photographers to correct lighting (most often shadows and underexposure) without the image getting grainy or losing any detail. Long story short: RAW photos are ugly and the color is kind of blah.

Why You Hired a Professional Photographer

Chances are (hopefully) you spent quite a lot of time and research finding a photographer that complimented your style. A photographer’s style has a lot to do with editing, especially in this digital age. My style, for instance, is moody and vibrant. Other styles include light and airy, matte, true to color, desaturated, boho, and on and on. Just like you wouldn’t go to an impressionist painter and ask for a surrealist Dali style painting, you wouldn’t ask a light and airy photographer to do a session moody and vibrant. Sure, composition and lighting play a huge part, but again lighting is often manipulated or enhanced in post-production. I’ve heard this comparison also described as going to a Michelin starred restaurant and ordering their most recommended dish uncooked and raw (ha!) on a plate. Presumably, that chef has spent years perfecting his style and recipe and cooking methods, and after all, that’s what you’re paying for—experience and expertise.

It’s Kind Of Insulting

I don’t want to sound like a brat, but it’s a little insulting when someone asks for RAW images. What that says to your photographer is I don’t trust you to edit these images in a way I like. But that’s why you hired this photographer, right? Because you liked their work, so you should probably trust them to do their thing. Plus, RAW photos is just a bunch of extra work for you! You just paid all this money for photos and you want to do half the work? Nah. Leave it to the professionals. I asked my uncle once if he would be interested in a beer brewing kit for Christmas because he likes craft beers. He said, ya know there’s this thing called a liquor store and they have a whole bunch of beer made by people who know what they’re doing and it already tastes good. So, yeah, you could get the RAW photos and try to edit them with Instagram filters but, why?