NaWink Photography Tips & Insights - What are RAW photos (and why you should never ask your photographer for them)
I must say, I have amazing clients because I've never had this situation come up. I hear this story from photographers all the time - "My clients want the raw photos... what do I tell them?" My answer is simple "Show them."
A RAW photo is just that. It's raw. Yes, like raw meat. I don't go to the Keg and ask for a completely raw steak and expect them to give it to me.. Even a blue rare (yuck) steak has had a bit of "processing" done to it. In the photography world, a raw photo is basically your digital negative. The acronym RAW actually doesn't stand for anything, unlike the term .jpeg, which stands for "Joint Photographic Experts Group". A raw file is completely unprocessed and needs quite a bit of developing from the photographer. It has so much information stored in that one file that it can take 20 times the amount of space on your hard drive compared to an edited jpeg, which is why photographers love processing raw photos so they can easily fix lighting and skin tones without loosing vital information. Also raw photos can't be opened without specific editing programs like Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (just to name a couple.)
You're probably thinking ok, but what if I want unedited photos? My question to you is, "Are you sure you really want them?" Raw photos converted to jpeg without any processing done to them are very blah. Skin tones are muddy and lighting usually has a flat look to it as you can see below.
If you're interested in learning more about raw vs. jpg for taking your own photos, check out this link for some great info. https://www.slrlounge.com/workshop/dynamic-range-and-raw-vs-jpeg/
So why should you never ask your photographer for raw photos? Unless you're paying for a commercial shoot where you own all the rights to editing the photos (and paying big $$$), you'll end up with just the raw ingredients when your photographer has the ability to make you a gourmet meal! Good portrait photography is an investment, so don't be afraid to let the professionals do their work and provide you outstanding portraits that you will cherish for a lifetime!
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