Why I don’t deliver Raw Images

This is a question we photographers get asked a lot. I will go through 5 points to explain why I don’t deliver RAW images and will show you some before/after shots of my work below.

Father holding his daughter in his arms in Kenwood House

But first, what is a RAW file?

A RAW file is an unprocessed and uncompressed file captured with a digital camera. As opposed to JPEGS, RAW files hold a lot more information and are able to retrieve data in a photo that has almost disappeared. RAW files are a lot heavier and will need to be imported into a photo processing software to be transformed into a final image.

1. Proof of ownership

In case the photographer’s work is stolen, owning the RAW images will be the proof of their ownership. Unless mentioned otherwise in the contract, the client pay for a final edited JPEG and not the original product, which is unprocessed, like a film negative.

2. Brand value

The Photographer’s brand is composed of a lot of aspects, their imagery, the editing, marketing, the client experience, etc… 

Editing is a huge part of our brands. Consider it like a painting, where the artist will give it its last strokes of a brush.

And a question I like to ask is: why would you want to have the RAWs? To try out your skills in Photoshop? If that is the case, maybe the best practice will be to get your camera out and try out to create your own portraits in your own specific style, there is so much more to learn than the editing. As a photographer, having your photos altered by someone else and shared online could be truly damaging to your brand as it will damage the consistency that you have been trying to build. It won’t represent a true image of your work which could result in losing clients.

3. Heavy files to transfer

RAW images are so heavy, usually around 32-38 megabytes per file. My JPEG files are oppositely between 9 to 13 megabytes, which is roughly 3 times smaller! It will be a headache to digitally transfer and store these files with a client.

In order to open these files, you will need to purchase software licenses such as Lightroom and Photoshop to read and alter them, which will be costly.

4. Reputation

RAW files are quite unappealing as they are flat and disaturated files. All the magic happens in the photographer’s hand once they’ve processed it. And as a photographer, I have my own signature, which is my own preset that I have created on Lightroom. I use this preset on all my photos and adjust it to my taste and style. This comes back to the brand value, I would not want a raw, unedited file to come out online. This won’t represent my brand accurately.

5. Wasting time and effort

Why would a photographer spend hours culling and editing a client session if the client is going to alter them themselves? It seems pointless. Maybe the client has not chosen the right photographer if they don’t appreciate the final product. If it’s a minor issue with a stain on a dress or a spot on someone’s face, then maybe reach out to the photographer and check if that’s something they could fix, and if so, how much it would cost.

I thought I will give you a few examples of my before and after editing to give you an idea of how much work is between a RAW and the final file. The photographer’s job doesn’t stop at the end of the session, it goes way beyond.

Before and After photo editing of a family of 4

Before and After photo editing of a family of 3

Before and After photo editing of a couple with their dog

Before and After photo editing of a mother holding her daughter

I hope this has been helpful, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have more questions.



If you’re after a candid, relaxed and intimate photography experience, you’ve come to the right place. 
My work focus on emotions, no stiff poses and forced smile; only gentle love and embraces. I offer a very hands-on experience, connecting over a video consultation with each family beforehand ; we explore their stories of love, loss and wins and turn it into a beautiful, meaningful session. Each family and session are unique and crafted with patience, love and understanding. 

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