Wedding Photography RAW files – Do you need them?

Requests for RAW files are becoming more common, as uninformed wedding blog sites tell new brides what to do.  I find that clients making these requests often don’t really understand what these files are.  As a wedding photographer, I wanted to give you some correct information regarding the digital files and what to expect, and to explain why we give you your digital copies (the finished edited photos) in JPEG format.

wedding photographs raw or jpeg

RAW unedited file on the left


If you are one of those brides who has been told to ask for RAW files, then this should clear the matter up.

RAW files are the basic, unprocessed data from our professional digital cameras.  In this form images, cannot be viewed on most home computers without purchasing and installing special software, nor can they be printed.  If you walk into Office Works or Harvey Norman with a USB of RAW files, you will get a lot of confused looks!  Even if your photographer was willing to turn over his RAW files, you wouldn’t be able to do much with them but put them on a shelf to collect dust.

In effect, they are really not pictures yet.  These files need to be processed with specialised post production software and put through an editing process like Lightroom and Photoshop, before they become the moving and artistic images that you want from your wedding day, and for your album.

JPEG files are what you need to make digital copies.  You can back them up and store them, like the negatives that you would keep from film photos in the past.  The JPEG files that we give to you are the finished product.  They have been processed into those lovely photos that you first saw when you decided to book us, in the style that you fell in love with.  All the  images that leave our studio are edited, as only after the edit are they an accurate projection of the finished work that you initially booked us for!

Most professional photographers, including us, do not give out the RAW files, and there are very good reasons for that.  Remember, those RAW files are the equivalent of a rough draft.  We want to give you the finished product, the images that we have used our talent and skill to transform into the photographs you will be proud to display in print, or put in your wedding album.

At Anna Blackman Images, we make sure to get enough information from you regarding style of images and effects you love (including things like Black & White conversions), so that the finished product is a fabulous representation of your day.

Now you know the difference between JPEG and RAW files.  So, you can relax and enjoy your day, and let us take care of all your photographic needs!


5 Replies to “Wedding Photography RAW files – Do you need them?”

  1. Brilliant!! Imagine going into a restaurant and asking the chef for the ingredients to bake the cake yourself.Or the hair salon, asking the stylist to mix the colour so you can apply it yourself.

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