November 3, 2020

Why I don’t give RAW files to clients

I just got an enquiry asking about “providing RAW files”. Our studio’s policy has always been to not provide RAW files, mostly because … well, RAW files kinda suck. While my photos aren’t heavily processed and I do my darnest to get things right in camera, RAW files are somewhat blah. They don’t sparkle. What’s missing is that last 1% of magic post-processing dust.

I took to Google to see what the general consensus was and that research was about as much fun as following the US Election today. Arguments could be made either way (unlike the election) and there was no overall consensus (very much like the election).

So I’m back to what I feel is right for us. I don’t feel I have to “hide” my RAW files but if you’re paying me for a service, I’d be half-assing it by sending out RAW files. What you as the client deserve is the same level of editing found on my website and portfolio, fully edited and ready to be printed & shared.

Take Lucy & Sean for example. The top photo is the final version and the bottom one is the one straight out of camera, unedited. While the moment is the same, the microphone in the back is distracting, the hue is just a little on the green end of things and I really, really wanted Lucy and Sean to just pop as they’re BEAMING walking down the aisle together.

Agree – disagree? Feel free to leave your comments down below.

Kat – Kat Mooney Photography / Vermont Destination wedding photographer

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