This is why I won’t give you my RAW files.

Hi beloved client,

I want to explain a little further why I won’t give you my raw files.

  1. They’re not universally compatible: Unlike my final images, Raw files are not universally compatible and require a special software to view and edit them. Furthermore, Raw format captures data with the intent of processing and editing to make a final image, and does not represent what is seen with the natural eye.
  2. It is an unfinished product: Editing is a large part of what makes me authentic. Is the aesthetic choices and how I edit an image that is ultimately why you picked me as your photographer. Asking your photographer for raw files is like asking a novelist to release a draft well before it’s ready. Which brings me to…
  3. They don’t represent me. My Raw files do no represent my final work. I can’t trust that you’ll edit my Raw files in a way that accurately represents who I am as a photographer. The relationship between a photographer and the RAW image is a personal one.
  4. They’re not part of my contract. Because of all the reasons above, providing you with Raw files is not part of my contract unless we have discussed it ahead of time and you have agreed to pay a high bill for them.

All of this is to say, the Raw files are for my eyes only. They’re the result of what I saw in the moment, and what you see in the final delivery is the gallery of images you hired me to make.