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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 30 Jul 2016 (Saturday) 06:10
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Wedding client asked to have all raw images -advice?

 
smorter
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Aug 01, 2016 04:01 |  #16

Before I start, by "Raws" I'm assuming they simply mean all the unculled, unedited photos. I don't think there's really many clients out there who want NEF/CR2 files. And if so, they'll be photographers who understand what NEF/CR2 are and so it's not really an issue and my answer doesn't change.

In my day job I'm a company auditor - and it would be an absolute NO if the client asks us for a copy of our workpapers, or even a PowerPoint or Excel version of our final deliverables (audit report etc.). It exposes us to incredible amounts of risk - i.e. is our final report based on the correct data used, correct methodology etc. Basically it even exposes the firm to litigation.

So I can definitely understand why some people feel insecure about giving unedited, unculled photos, all creative elements aside.

However, I also cannot ignore the fact that EVERY client I have given those photos too has thanked me for it and found valuable photos that I had deleted/disregarded, even though I deliver 1000-2000 photos per wedding

So if they ask me for it, I do deliver them the unedited, unculled shots.

And besides, if I was really worried about the risk factor, I'd just ask them sign a disclaimer.


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absplastic
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Aug 01, 2016 12:26 |  #17

smorter wrote in post #18083333 (external link)
Before I start, by "Raws" I'm assuming they simply mean all the unculled, unedited photos. I don't think there's really many clients out there who want NEF/CR2 files. And if so, they'll be photographers who understand what NEF/CR2 are and so it's not really an issue and my answer doesn't change.

16-bit TIFF would make the most sense, followed by DNG. NEF/CR2 would be a poor choice for delivery format because these have proprietary compression (lossless, but still compressed) and are less likely to be easily usable in the software of the distant future. Uncompressed TIFF on the other hand is just raw RGB data, which is timeless.


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mike_311
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Aug 02, 2016 12:24 |  #18

if your policy is to not give up the RAW, stick to it.


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mikeinctown
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Aug 02, 2016 13:06 |  #19

Every time I read one of these threads I think about one of the lawsuits from a year or two back where the person wanted all the shots, then sued the photog because there were a lot of photos that were exposed incorrectly and or blurry and unusable.




  
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absplastic
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Aug 02, 2016 14:48 |  #20

mikeinctown wrote in post #18084656 (external link)
Every time I read one of these threads I think about one of the lawsuits from a year or two back where the person wanted all the shots, then sued the photog because there were a lot of photos that were exposed incorrectly and or blurry and unusable.

The takeaway from this is clear. Explain in the contract what RAW unedited files are, and when the client asks for "all" the shots, interpret that as all the ones you would consider suitable for making final prints from. Cull the rest, like they never existed, and rename the keepers with sequential numbering with no gaps. Make it clear that shots you did not process into final images have had no white balance, exposure corrections, etc.

I also highly doubt a lawsuit like this was settled in favor of the client, unless the contract was really poorly written.


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LucasCK
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Dec 15, 2016 20:11 |  #21

I never ever give RAWs. I'm not afraid that the client is going to steal the photos or edit them weird and use under my name or anything like that. Mainly due to because client's DON'T NEED THEM or they don't know what they are for.

I once had a potential client who claimed how knowledgeable he was with graphic design and would only book me if I gave the files in RAW or TIFF. When asked why he said because the RAWs are higher resolution. Very frustrating. Needless to say I declined his booking as he seemed a bit "precious".

Another client wanted them so she could "much around with the editing" i.e. wack cheap filters over the top which you can also do with JPG. Many people get told in cheap photography classes that RAW's are better, but rarely do they know why.

Also, they are too big. I cant be bothered with receiving and sending hard drives in the mail

/rant over


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Dec 16, 2016 13:37 |  #22

Got the link on this site but just give it to your clients. On the fstoppers site about giving out raw files unprocessed. Saves a bunch of explaining. I just send them the link when they ask about the raw files.

Bottom line, Never give them to a client.


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umphotography
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Dec 18, 2016 08:13 |  #23

I honestly dont know why photographers FREAK OUT about selling the raws.

1- you are in business to make $$$
2- The person asking is likely to have access to LR or editing software so they are NOT going to buy product or sit through an IPS session
3- its far far less work for you

solution

Sell the raws at your best package

A- that way you cover any loss you have from any product you might sell
B- you dont have a darn thing to do put import/export a file

and Most importantly

while this client is stuck behind a computer editing, you will be out sipping a cool one and have some valued free time with your family


STOP FREAKING OUT
turn this into a win win for your business and your personal time


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Dec 18, 2016 08:20 as a reply to  @ umphotography's post |  #24

I don't get the freaking out either. For me far too many think of themselves as special artists when in reality they are just run of the mill data collectors.

Collect the data, manipulate the data, deliver the data. No middle step means less work. What's more is that selling raws (less work) can often be at a premium price too. Less work... more money.


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Dec 18, 2016 09:00 |  #25

I don't offer raw files initially. However, I will provide them (without a whole lot of heartburn) under a higher priced package.

I've had a few clients that actually knew (correctly) what "raw" meant, with the others meaning "all files". I'll still go in the direction of DNG or TIFF files because keeping the sidecar files with the (in my case) CR2 files is too vulnerable to losing the metadata and therefore a "worse off" image. Raw files need to have initial adjustments of contrast and sharpening and therefore sidecar data must be supplied. Can't do that with raw, so it must be DNG or TIFF. The choice between DNG and TIFF is based on what software they'll be using and how I perceive they'll want the files.

The other thing that I really make sure to do is renumber the final files using LR. A contiguous number sequence has gone a long way in preventing questions even from those that didn't ask about the raw files. (Bride: hey, what happened to picture # such-and-so?)

I still cull out the "total miss" pictures or anything with the "droopy" or "drunken" eyes. This last point is important and I've seen it happen. You get "one of those" pictures and the bride posts them on Facebook. The droopy eye victim sees (or says!), "that's an awful picture." Then it becomes, "who's the photographer?" Even if you strip out your name from the EXIF data, you've got a word-of-mouth going around for a very uncomplimentary picture.

(Always) get rid of the baddies and renumber the set regardless of what else you do. Selling raw files? Yeah, not that big of a deal.


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elrey2375
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Dec 18, 2016 19:10 |  #26

Nope. You did the right thing.


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umphotography
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Dec 20, 2016 08:30 |  #27

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #18216470 (external link)
I don't get the freaking out either. For me far too many think of themselves as special artists when in reality they are just run of the mill data collectors.

Collect the data, manipulate the data, deliver the data. No middle step means less work. What's more is that selling raws (less work) can often be at a premium price too. Less work... more money.


Photographers FREAK OUT because they buy into the BS mentality from the educational circuit about the topic. They swallow the koolaid and they swallow the 160z super size drinks. If a super star says you should not do this then it has to be one of the photographer commandments...it has to be the way to do things because hey look at them, they are on stage and making millions teaching us how to do it :p:-P:-P:-(

You are in business to make $$$$......Nothing else matters......Business and marketing results in $$$$$

If your in business to be a starving artist you wont be in business very long


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LucasCK
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Dec 20, 2016 16:32 |  #28

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #18216470 (external link)
I don't get the freaking out either. For me far too many think of themselves as special artists when in reality they are just run of the mill data collectors.

Collect the data, manipulate the data, deliver the data. No middle step means less work. What's more is that selling raws (less work) can often be at a premium price too. Less work... more money.

If you think of yourself and your work as "run of the mill data collection" then I feel sorry for your client's. Wedding photography requires much more than capturing data, editing data and deliver the data as you put it. How about knowing how lighting works, or posing, being able to use your camera without thinking, working with people etc. Wedding photography is a high pressure job that requires years of experience and thousands of dollars worth of equipment in order to do correctly.


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umphotography
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Dec 20, 2016 16:59 |  #29

LucasCK wrote in post #18219030 (external link)
If you think of yourself and your work as "run of the mill data collection" then I feel sorry for your client's. Wedding photography requires much more than capturing data, editing data and deliver the data as you put it. How about knowing how lighting works, or posing, being able to use your camera without thinking, working with people etc. Wedding photography is a high pressure job that requires years of experience and thousands of dollars worth of equipment in order to do correctly.


I have been following pete for years. He has his act together and Knows what he is doing. Look at his work. Speaks for itself. He was making a general statement which really accurately reflects what we really do. He is one of the better ones at this trade.


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LucasCK
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Dec 20, 2016 17:04 as a reply to  @ umphotography's post |  #30

Yes I realise he knows what he is doing, but to call our profession "run of the mill data collectors" I believe downgrades our skills and talents. I was merely making a point that we are not just random people with decent cameras, but dedicated and experienced professionals and lets face it, wedding photography is a high pressure job that is both physically and mentally draining.


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Wedding client asked to have all raw images -advice?
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