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Wedding photography - why can't I have the RAW's?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Armanius, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    So this potential wedding pro that I want to hire says she will not provide me with the RAW's due to artistic reasons. Certain wedding pro's over at MU43 seem to be split on whether or not photographers should provide the RAW's to the client if asked.

    I want the RAW's, begged her for it, but she won't budge. While I understand her reasoning, I still think clients should be given the RAW if they ask. Now I'm hesitant to hire her even though I like her work. Wedding preparation and planning bites!! :mad:
     
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    "artistic reasons" ? hmmm ...
    I'd imagine it's more about ensuring that you don't produce and distribute more images for which she wouldn't be getting paid ... she has a product and an income stream and wants to protect it ... I'd be surprised if most wedding snappers didn't say the same, (but I'm only assuming) ...
     
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  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I can fully understand it actually. She doesn't know anything about your processing skills or artistic taste. If she started letting clients have raw files (do they even let you have decent sized jpegs, or just heavily watermarked samples to choose prints from?), it would only be a matter of time before a client would process some of them in a way that would reflect very badly on her business. I can totally understand her maintaining total control over the final look and feel if her images. Even if it is your wedding, her professional reputation is on the line with every image that goes out with her name on it.

    I'm far from a pro, but if I was one, I'd adopt the same policy. Not even a close call.

    -Ray
     
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  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Someone else's raw files? Ugh, no thanks! :tongue:

    We got over 700 images (jpegs, processed) from our wedding photographer which was PLENTY. So far some have been posted on facebook, some have been given to family and friends, one was used on the thank you cards, and we'll probably print one of them to put up on the wall.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie SC Rookie

    10
    May 31, 2012
    It is pretty standard practice for pro wedding and portrait photographers. Their business depends on the final images. We all know there can be a huge difference in the look of an image straight from the camera and what you see post process. Pros usually do not want to chance badly processed images getting out there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    To me this is such a no-brainer that if someone DID offer the raws and allow them to be processed, I'd question how good they were. It seems to me that any good wedding photographer with a reputation would want total control over the final product. I'd be shocked if they'd even give up jpegs without somehow assuring that they're read only and if anyone copied them that the copies would be read-only also.

    Maybe there are pros out there who do let the files go and let you work on 'em, but I'd find it really surprising...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Actually, when my daughter (the princess) was married, I was delighted that we even got a CD with decent-resolution JPEGS on it. Some years before that, you would get to see printed proofs which would be severely water-marked, then get to select the few dozen that would be printed for you in the wedding album; no negatives or digital files of any kind.

    Printing services - including the one-hour variety - have also become very aware of their responsibilities under the copyright laws of the US. They'll often refuse to print photos that look "too professional", implying that the customer doesn't have the rights to the photos being presented. (I've never run into this problem, which of course speaks to the quality of my photos).
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Fascinating! So, if I've sent pics to mpix (I have) and they actually print them (they have), that means I suck! Cool, they should use that in their advertising! :biggrin:

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    :smile: More likely to happen at a Walgreens, CVS, WalMart, etc., where the staff aren't trained or equipped to read EXIF information; and the clients for their services are not often professionals or even enthusiasts. :rolleyes: But I do use their services when one of the kids wants a snapshot turned into a 4x6 ($0.19) or 8x10 ($2.99) on short notice.

    EDIT: Lest one think this story is apocryphal...

    http://www.petapixel.com/2011/11/08...elease-for-photos-that-look-too-professional/
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    My wife and I didn't have a "proper" wedding and I'm glad for that, but if we had.....as much as I love photography, I wouldn't want to be pixel-peeping photos from the day. Armando, if you've seen her work and are happy with it, just trust her and enjoy the day.

    And bring a serious compact and sneak in a few of your own ;)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Chris2500dk

    Chris2500dk SC Top Veteran

    598
    Dec 22, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Our wedding photographer provided us with prints only, no digital at all.

    The pictures are awesome and we're very happy with them, and I understand them wanting to protect their source of income, but I would have liked to have the images to work with myself.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Depending on the solemnity of your wedding...you might want to consider putting single-use cameras (film or digital) on the guest tables and let them snap away. Some of the most memorable candids come from those cameras!
     
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  13. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    But Chuck, can you set those single use camera to RAW?:biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    :rofl:
     
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  15. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    wow I bet Armando's ears a burning now Chuck ... ouch!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    1. I wouldn't want to shoot weddings
    2. I REALLY wouldn't want to shoot a wedding for a photographer
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    682
    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Dan
    Armando, you should invite all of your SC friends to come and bring their cameras. :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Thanks for the comments!

    All kidding aside, I just believe that a paying client should get the RAW if he asks, especially after I'd explained that having the RAW's is for my personal satisfaction.
     
  19. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Did people used to get their negatives when film was the only medium?
    I just can't remember ...
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I guess you need to weigh in how important having the RAW files is to you. I know there are many different levels of wedding photographers out there. If she is that good and her photos look good....it might be worth it to just let her do her job. If she is merely competent, I;m sure she can be replaced by someone else who will give you the RAW files for an additional fee.
     
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