Can we have the RAW photos?

May 10, 2021
Wedding couple walking through cathays park
Wedding couple walking through cathays park

Ok, so this is a topic that we want to address and educate couples on, surrounding the term RAW files. Fortunately, this has only ever happened once to us and its a very difficult topic to discuss without being emotional.

Background to being a wedding photographer

Why are we wedding photographers? A lot of people would think “It’s easy money, as you only need to click a button“. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Photography only accounts for approximately 30% of a wedding photographers business; “but what do you do apart from that?” we hear you ask.

A large portion of being a Cardiff Wedding Photographer is branding and customer engagement. Over the past 3 years of being in business, we have developed a consistent brand. Ever noticed that we use the exact same font? or that we use the exact same colour scheme in all of our posts/documents (grey, yellow and white)? Customer engagement is essential in the wedding industry, with routine posts on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok) for our clients to benefit from.

Then theres also customer experience. We continue to invest and learn new ways to improve our clients experience. This includes our online gallery/shop service and client portal’s. Not to mention learning new editing and camera techniques to continually improve the quality of our images. All of the above is the bulk of a wedding photographers job. So you can see, its far more than clicking a button.

Get to the point!

We are wedding photographers because we love the industry and the creative freedom it gives us. We love seeing couples blown away by their photographs/albums (checkout our albums here) when they are opened for the first, second, third fourth and many more times after that. It’s far more than a business to us, it makes us so happy when we see the final results (Your reactions!).

What has this got to do with asking for RAW photos?

Very rarely, we will receive an email which is requesting the RAW files from a wedding day/event. This email also acknowledges a poor understanding of Lightroom, Photoshop and various other photo editing softwares; merely wanting to add a social media filter to them.

They have not spent the best part of 8 long years learning the principles behind these software packages like we have. RAW files are just that! straight out of camera images, which are huge in size. An average wedding can be up to 300GB’s in size! compared to the 10GB file thats delivered post-processing on a computer designed to cope with the larger files.

Why did you book us?

You most probably booked us from seeing a social media post or from looking on our website (Take a look). Therefore, you have chosen us based off of our style and reputation, which sets us a part from the crowd. It does make us wonder why a couple would specifically book us if all they wanted was the RAW files. Why not buy a professional DSLR camera? it would be much cheaper!

Asking for RAW images from your wedding photographer can also be taken as an insult to the photographers work. By all means we are very happy to look through the RAW images culled out and send you an edited image. But asking for the RAW files maybe perceived as the photographers work not being liked/admired by the couple.

We have developed a trained eye for capturing intimacy, raw emotion, laughter, and love. Our skillset also enables us to transform a space that you may not be able to visualise into potentially your front cover on your album. A big part of being a wedding photographer is being able to tell a story through your images, which takes time and skill to perfect.

Summary

RAW files are not an accurate representation of our work, the same work that made you book us, that you saw on Facebook, Instagram and that you will see in your wedding album.

After all, you wouldn’t purchase a brand new house and ask for the bricks to be delivered separate!

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