Like most (and, hopefully, all) photographers, I'm fiercely protective of my RAWs. They are, after all, the digital negatives. The originals. The source of all my ungodly power. Hand it over to a client and you may as well be letting them behind the curtain to see the meek and not-at-all-terrible Oz.
Recently, however, I was talking to a non-photographer friend about event photography, and he asked why, especially if I wouldn't be selling prints or other photos after the fact, I don't give copies of the RAWs alongside the JPGs.
And the thing is, I couldn't really think of a good answer.
With all other jobs--fashion, editorial, product, etc--guarding your RAWs like a hungry dog guards a steak is pretty much a no-brainer. But event gigs tend to be much more mercenary than other jobs; go in, shoot, do some post, hand over the JPGs, and that's it. In over six years of doing events here and there, I've never once had a client come back for prints or the like. The only times clients have ever come back has been to hire me for other gigs, never to do further image work on a past gig.
So why, other than principle, am I so protective of my RAWs in these cases? If I never plan on ever returning to these photos, where's the harm in giving the client the RAWs?