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Your Wedding Photographer Refuses to Deliver RAW Files

Sep 11, 2023

The world of photography is vast, and within it, certain practices and trends have emerged that are questioned by some clients. One of these practices is the delivery of RAW files by wedding photographers and social event photographers in general. In this post, I will explain why photographers do not provide RAW files to our clients and how this is related to intellectual property in photography.

What is a RAW File for a Photographer?

First, you must understand that RAW files are unprocessed files containing information about the image as captured by the camera. Often, these files can be difficult to understand or visualize for someone not familiar with photography because they are essentially unfinished work.

RAW files are generated by professional cameras, such as the ones commonly used at events. These files are large due to their wealth of information and their resolution, suitable for printing images as large as billboards or building facades.

To handle the hundreds of RAW files generated at an event like a wedding, powerful equipment, software, and sufficient knowledge for subsequent processing are required. This includes color correction, retouching, and exporting to a more user-friendly format like JPEG, resulting in the final image the photographer intends to show the client.

The Importance of Intellectual Property in Photography

Intellectual property is a crucial topic in any creative industry, and photography is no exception. Photographers should be aware of intellectual property laws in their country and understand their rights and responsibilities as copyright owners. This knowledge helps protect their work and make informed decisions about handling client requests for RAW files.

In Spain, the Intellectual Property Law establishes that the author of a work holds exclusive exploitation rights, including reproduction, distribution, and public communication. This applies to photographs, which means the photographer owns the copyright to their photographs and has the exclusive right to decide how they are used and distributed.

In both cases, this means the photographer has the right to decide whether or not to provide RAW files to clients. If clients request RAW files, the photographer can choose to refuse and explain the reasons, such as the need to protect their work and reputation.

Why You Shouldn’t Request RAW Files from Your Photographer

Providing RAW files to clients is like handing them an unfinished project. It means giving clients the task of editing the images outside of the photographer’s established style and standards. It gives them a portion of unfinished work that does not represent the final quality that can be offered.

If RAW files are not edited properly, they can harm our reputation and business. Moreover, it could set a precedent for future clients, jeopardizing our brand and harming the professional wedding photography industry.

The Value of a Professional Photographer’s Experience and Skills

It’s important for couples to understand that, as professional photographers, you’re not just paying for a product but also for a service that includes experience, knowledge, and skills.

When you hire our services, you’re trusting in our work and ability to capture and process your special moments, as seen in the examples of other couples on this website.

Consider the photographer’s reputation and professionalism, as it’s a guarantee of quality service. This is a safe bet for such a special event as a wedding, which doesn’t allow for second chances.

Informing Clients About File Types Before Starting Work

As a professional photographer, it’s important to inform clients about the type of files that will be delivered before starting work. This information helps clients understand the workflow and set realistic expectations for the final result they will receive.

This may include the file format (JPEG, TIFF, etc.), resolution, and image size. Clients need to understand that the final file delivered is the result of a creative and artistic process involving technical skills and image editing.

By informing clients about the file type, you can prevent misunderstandings or frustrations later on. This can also help establish trust and communication with the client from the beginning of the project. Ultimately, the goal of delivering a high-quality final file is to satisfy the client and create a lasting, positive relationship.

As a Client, How Can You Obtain RAW Files?

Clients can obtain RAW files if they have previously agreed with the photographer. The value of these files is usually higher, as each professional considers, because clients may also acquire copyright rights to them.

In any case, it’s the photographer who has the final say, and clients should be clear about this before starting the work if they wish to obtain RAW files. By establishing a clear and written agreement, the photographer can protect their copyright and set the terms for the delivery and use of RAW files.

Conclusions on Delivering RAW Files to Clients

In conclusion, delivering RAW files is a sensitive issue that photographers must approach responsibly and professionally. It’s important to protect intellectual property and copyright while meeting the needs and desires of clients. By establishing a clear, written agreement, a clear and trustworthy relationship can be established with the client.

As a professional photographer, Javier Asenjo Fotógrafo understands the importance of maintaining the quality and integrity of his work. By not delivering RAW files, it can be ensured that the images provided to clients are of the highest quality, while also complying with legal and intellectual property standards.

By choosing me as your wedding photographer, you can be sure you’re working with a professional who cares about both their art and their clients.

Asking a Chef for Their Signature Recipe

Finally, consider this analogy to understand why RAW files are not typically provided to clients without prior agreement. Would you ask a chef for the secret recipe of their most famous dish? Just as a chef has their own ingredients and cooking techniques that make them unique, a photographer has their own editing style and technical adjustments that make their images unique and distinctive.

Requesting RAW files without prior agreement or appropriate compensation can be disrespectful and a violation of the photographer’s intellectual property rights. Therefore, it’s important to understand the significance of RAW files for the photographer and respect their decision on whether or not to provide them.

I hope this post has answered your questions about delivering RAW files in professional photography. If you have any questions or are interested in our photography services, please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave your comments below. We are here to assist you with the highest standards of quality and professionalism we’ve been providing since 2004.

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Emilio Juan Cañizares
Emilio Juan Cañizares
Recomendable 100% Accesible Profesional y con mucho gusto a la hora de hacer su trabajo Nos encantó el resultado final Y capturó cada uno de los momentos sin darnos ni cuenta
The best!!
carolina munoz
carolina munoz
Javi es una joya, capta toda la esencia en cada una de sus fotos. Te hace sentir totalmente cómoda y con su naturalidad consigue que tengas un bello recuerdo para toda la vida. Ya le había visto trabajar en otras bodas y me lo había recomendado mucha gente, sin dudarlo ha sido la mejor elección que podíamos hacer. Mil gracias Javi! Te deseo lo mejor
Ángela Sánchez
Ángela Sánchez
Nosotros sólo contratamos las fotos del día de la boda, por lo que no conocimos a Javier personalmente hasta ese día. Sin embargo, todo fluyó como si lo conociéramos. A la vuelta de la Luna de Miel ya teníamos las fotos. Queríamos fotos naturales, de los invitados pasándolo bien, y justo eso es lo que tenemos. Lo recomendamos ;)
Mayra Mevic Garrafa Nuñez
Mayra Mevic Garrafa Nuñez
Excelente! La sesión de fotos premamá se convirtió en una experiencia para recordar.
Jessica Gastaud
Jessica Gastaud
Javier is an incredible photographer. His portfolio stood out when we were looking for a wedding photographer and he did not disappoint. He guided us to get the best photos (we had no idea how to pose) and managed to also capture all the authentic moments of us and our guests. We're so pleased we chose him and thanks to him our very special day will be forever immortalised. I would recommend him to anyone and everyone. Thank you again Javier and good luck in all future endeavours!
Boryana Viktorova Zhivkova
Boryana Viktorova Zhivkova
El 1 de octubre del 2022 me casé y fue mágico e inolvidable gracias al gran profesional de la fotografía Javier Asenjo, capaz de contar historias llenas de amor al captar imagenes tan naturales y que transmiten pura emoción del día más feliz de mi vida, que se quedan como el mejor regalo para el recuerdo. Cuando estaba en el proceso de selección para el fotográfo de mi boda, iba a ciegas sin saber que tengo que tener en cuenta para elegir el idoneo para este dia tan especial. Después de haber visitado a unos pocos, recuerdo el dia que quedamos mi marido y yo con Javier Asenjo y enseguida se me vienen muy buenas vibraciones a la mente. Él fue muy atento a nosotros y a lo que estabamos buscando y todo el tiempo mientras compartía su forma de trabajar nos estaba transmitiendo la pasión y vocación que siente por su trabajo. La conexión que sentí fue tal que hasta lo visualizaba en el día de mi boda y supe que era mi fotografo elegido sin duda. Javier es también muy cercano, nos inspiró mucha confianza y paz para que seamos nosotros mismos y nos olvidaramos de las camaras, disfrutando en pareja del amor que estabamos celebrando juntos tanto en la sesion de preboda como en el día de la boda. Disfrutamos mucho de estos momentos, porque nos sentimos tranquilos que estuvimos en buenas manos y solo nos dejamos llevar por las emociones vividas entre nosotros dos, nuestras familias y amigos. Fue super especial. Cuando vimos el trabajo final del album de fotos y el montaje del video/película de la boda, fue una explosión de emociones y satisfacción por la calidad del trabajo realizado que cada vez que los veo se me pone la piel de gallina. Admiro muchisimo a Javier y le agradezco tanto por los mometos compartidos, por los consejos y por sacar lo mejor de nosotros. Chicos y chicas, daros la oportunidad de conocerlo y hará que vuestro día sea mágico e inolvidable al igual que lo fue para mí. ¡Qué vivan l@s novi@s! Mil gracias
jessica fynes
jessica fynes
Javier is extremely professional and kind. He captured our special day magically. Thank you so much
Nerea Cerdan
Nerea Cerdan
Mis fotos de boda con Javier has sido espectaculares! Muy recomendable!
Billie Jo
Billie Jo
Javier is amazing. We are so delighted he was available to photograph our recent wedding in Spain. We wanted relaxed and natural photos and that is exactly what we got!! Javier is extremely professional but also friendly and funny and made us all feel very comfortable and at ease. We absolutely love our photos and will treasure them forever.