Bournemouth Wedding Photographer – why I never release RAW files


I’m trying something new as I write this Blog post. I’m standing up! No, I’m not crouching over my desk, but the laptop’s on a cupboard. Why? Well, to be honest, being a wedding photographer’s one way to make sure you end up with back problems. Believe me, carrying 8-10 kilos on your shoulders for 12-13 hours is definitely going to give you problems! Then spending 12-16 hours a day hunched over the keyboard, slumped in a chair whilst I edit doesn’t do me any favours either! 🙂 Anyway, I read somewhere that standing up and working’s better for your back, so let’s see what happens. So, onto today’s post “Bournemouth wedding photographer – why I never release RAW files” ….


…….. a couple of times every year I seem to get requests from couples asking for the RAW files. I don’t know whether it’s because they’ve seen an article in a wedding magazine or one of the “trendy” wedding Blogs.  If you’re not a photographer let me explain a little (hopefully without getting technical and sending you off the sleep!) ….

RAW files are really the equivalent of a digital negative (if you compare back to the days of film). There’s no camera wizardry or algorithms involved, like sharpening, adjusting tone and contrast etc. What you shoot is what you get. It’s like an artist’s palette, ready for the photographer to work on it. The files are also HUGE in size! Now, not all cameras shoot RAW, but they do shoot jpegs (jpg) which are effectively compressed, sharpened, adjusted images. They’re designed so that they can be used without any post production. The benefit of RAW files for professional photographers is that we can adjust the white balance, exposure and tone of an image much better when the file’s big and not compressed. A jpg file throws away huge chucks of data that are useful. That’s why most professionals shoot RAW, but, it’s a time consuming process. Now, there are lots of keen amateur photographers around who like to take a RAW file and create their own version of an image – I have no problem with that, providing it’s THEIR RAW file, not mine! 🙂 Asking a professional photographer to release their RAW files is like …. well, take a look at this great article that’s appeared in the photographic press from Daniela Bowker …..

Asking a photographer to hand over a memory card, USB, or DVD of raw images is akin to asking an author to present you with their book in manuscript format: unedited, unformatted, and including the paragraphs and chapters that didn’t make it.“

Here’s a link to the article in full on Photocritic – please take a look, and feel free to leave any comments below.

Blog Post: Bournemouth Wedding Photographer – why I never release RAW files

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Ian Hamilton - ianH photography - 07575 567408