The In's and Out's of Unedited Photographs
So let's chat about this rather delicate subject to say the least. One that comes up amongst photographers all the time, and is discussed endlessly on Facebook groups and blogs.
You see, it's a bit of a doozy. My main priority is always that the client is happy, but at some point a line must be drawn in the sand. And so I've enlisted the help of a few other photographers to weigh in on this matter.
Photographer Ett Venter very clearly elaborates:
"I'm afraid I'm not really comfortable giving the RAW files out, and I'd be happy to explain why. In modern professional cameras, photos are created in a way that allows photographers more control in the editing process. Part of how this works means that the photos are somewhat flat and have low colour saturation when taken, but this gives us the room to make the photos truly remarkable in the editing process. RAW files are only half of the artwork - the other half is created while editing. Giving you the RAW files would be like asking Picasso to paint the base of one of his artworks, and telling him you'll finish it yourself. Also, giving my RAW files to someone means there's a chance that that artwork will be finished in a way that I personally wouldn't associate with my brand, and then my name is obviously tied to those images. This has the potential to affect my brand in a bad way. I'm not at all suggesting that you would ruin my work or my brand, but I'd prefer to keep control of all of that. This IS, after all, my job, and if you like my portfolio, you'll be happy with the work I give you and the way I edit my images."
I also recently stumbled across this article written by another fellow photographer, and he summed it up so perfectly:
"My editing is part of my process, my product, and my style. It’s part of why you hired me.
The way that I edit is a crucial component of my photography. My style and skill as a photographer encompass other things like framing, timing, and a whole host of other skills, but the photo is not the finished product that I’m proud to put my name on until I’m done the editing. If you’re baking Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t pull the turkey out half way through cooking and serve it!
The edited images shown here are what I want to represent me. That’s the kind of work that’s on my website, and it’s the caliber that I want people to expect." - Caleb Kerr
PS - I know it's sometimes easy to forget (I do it all the time!), but the person on the other side of your computer is actually real, hehe! I've been taking photographs professionally since early 2013, and I know A LOT about the ins and outs of organising, running and most importantly enjoying a photo shoot! I also have slow days and sick days, and can totally empathise if you're having one of those too!
So many of my clients keep coming back for more, and often we end up sharing stories on their patios on beautiful summer evenings, and I'm grateful to call a heap of them friends!
I can't wait to meet you, and your incredible, fun and sometimes crazy family!