Wedding Photographer and Raw

Started 5 months ago | Questions
Shadowsurfer
Shadowsurfer Contributing Member • Posts: 793
Because
5

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

... I wound't think that this is standard practice. I might shoot such a thing RAW and do editing (that's the way that I like to work) but I consider my edited versions of the photos to be the "product" that I've been hired to produce. I would probably have a contract that stipulate this and not even mention anything about RAW, but if a client really wants that stuff then I would renegotiate and change extra for that...

Why charge extra? It's no extra work or effort. Once the wedding is over what value are the RAW files to the photographer? If they want to keep them just make copies to give to the client. It just seems like a scam to me.

The Raw files can be a source of further income. Relatives and friends might contact the photographer for copies of the prints the clients bought.

Reprints can be a good source of income.

Also never let anybody you do not trust, work on your Raw files. It could be a major cause of lost reputation, if substandard PP copies of your Raw files start to circulate.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Vision
2

Shadowsurfer wrote:

When I did professional theatrical photography I delivered a product in the form of prints, that I decided or my client decided, were what was wanted. No way would I let the negatives out of my hands to let others print. The "performance" of the printing process is sometimes more important than the data on the negative.

With Raw it is no different. The Raw files are a base from which I work. I do not want anybody alse messing with the post processing of my Raw files, outputting images that are not consonant with my taste and vision.

I believe most wedding photographers consign a finished album of pictures, and/or a set of PP images on CD. This is the service you are paying for, not the idle act of tripping the shutter.

One of a kind negatives are different from RAW files of which exact copies can be made. You are looking at it from the point of view of the photographer who is driven by profit. I look at it from the point of view of the client/buyer who is trying to get the most for their money. It's always a tug of war but the old adage is "The customer is always right". Good customer relations are very important in business. The photographer could have the client sign an agreement that they are not allowed to copy, distribute or profit in any way off those RAW files.

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Tom

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Because

Shadowsurfer wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

... I wound't think that this is standard practice. I might shoot such a thing RAW and do editing (that's the way that I like to work) but I consider my edited versions of the photos to be the "product" that I've been hired to produce. I would probably have a contract that stipulate this and not even mention anything about RAW, but if a client really wants that stuff then I would renegotiate and change extra for that...

Why charge extra? It's no extra work or effort. Once the wedding is over what value are the RAW files to the photographer? If they want to keep them just make copies to give to the client. It just seems like a scam to me.

The Raw files can be a source of further income. Relatives and friends might contact the photographer for copies of the prints the clients bought.

Reprints can be a good source of income.

Also never let anybody you do not trust, work on your Raw files. It could be a major cause of lost reputation, if substandard PP copies of your Raw files start to circulate.

Both of those reasons but particularly the second one. I only want to let go of images that I'm 100% responsible for. I don't like the idea of someone that I don't know finishing the job. They may interpret the images in ways that I don't agree with. If I'm being asked to give up that level of control over my work, I'm going to expect to be paid extra for it.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Because
1

Shadowsurfer wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

... I wound't think that this is standard practice. I might shoot such a thing RAW and do editing (that's the way that I like to work) but I consider my edited versions of the photos to be the "product" that I've been hired to produce. I would probably have a contract that stipulate this and not even mention anything about RAW, but if a client really wants that stuff then I would renegotiate and change extra for that...

Why charge extra? It's no extra work or effort. Once the wedding is over what value are the RAW files to the photographer? If they want to keep them just make copies to give to the client. It just seems like a scam to me.

The Raw files can be a source of further income. Relatives and friends might contact the photographer for copies of the prints the clients bought.

In that case have them sign an agreement that they will not copy, distribute or profit off those RAW files in any way. The JPEGs are often given to the client with which the client could make prints.

Reprints can be a good source of income.

Reprints can be made off the JPEGs which are usually given to the client. We are talking about RAWs. Heck, decent copies can be made off good 8x10 prints.

Also never let anybody you do not trust, work on your Raw files. It could be a major cause of lost reputation, if substandard PP copies of your Raw files start to circulate.

See my previous sentences which address those issues. One of the most important things in any business is good customer relations. If the client feels the photographer is being unfair or ripping them off they will make sure they tell everybody they know not to hire them.

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Tom

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
3

tbcass wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

rainydiary wrote:

Hi all

Is it normal wedding photographer haven't give Raw files to their clients ?

Thank

If I were to do it, the fee would be enormous.

Why? As wedding costs go up people are more and more looking for lower fees from a wedding photographer. In this day and age, I think people care a lot less about professional photographs. If I was shopping for a wedding photographer I would insist that the RAW files be included at no extra cost or look elsewhere. It's a buyer's market.

I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of wedding photographers don't agree to give up their RAW images. If this is indeed the case, then your choices for photographers  might be very limited. If it's between an experienced photographer who does really stunning work, who doesn't let go of his/her RAWs and a inexperienced photographer who does mediocre to poor work, which one will you choose?

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Because
1

Aaron801 wrote:

Shadowsurfer wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

... I wound't think that this is standard practice. I might shoot such a thing RAW and do editing (that's the way that I like to work) but I consider my edited versions of the photos to be the "product" that I've been hired to produce. I would probably have a contract that stipulate this and not even mention anything about RAW, but if a client really wants that stuff then I would renegotiate and change extra for that...

Why charge extra? It's no extra work or effort. Once the wedding is over what value are the RAW files to the photographer? If they want to keep them just make copies to give to the client. It just seems like a scam to me.

The Raw files can be a source of further income. Relatives and friends might contact the photographer for copies of the prints the clients bought.

Reprints can be a good source of income.

Also never let anybody you do not trust, work on your Raw files. It could be a major cause of lost reputation, if substandard PP copies of your Raw files start to circulate.

Both of those reasons but particularly the second one. I only want to let go of images that I'm 100% responsible for. I don't like the idea of someone that I don't know finishing the job. They may interpret the images in ways that I don't agree with. If I'm being asked to give up that level of control over my work, I'm going to expect to be paid extra for it.

Isn't good customer relations important to you? If you make the client mad and they tell everyone they know you ripped them off it would be very bad for business.

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Tom

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Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 11,751
Re: It's business

Keeping the raw files follows the keeping of the negatives as a practice.  However, who gets, keeps, raws, negatives, controls prints is something that should be established when the services are contracted.  Not all "pros" kept the negs or made it a serious part of their business.  The customer/consumer with an interest in a particular product should work that out up front.

The photographer would like to control the potential for future print sales.  And/or they have inflated print prices to begin with so it's tempting to avoid the legitimate path to more prints.

Some photographers have an image and style they'd like to protect.  Perhaps more think that way than need to, but it's an issue.  I think the appropriately high priced and high talented shooters have a more refined and justified interest there.

I think the print market is falling apart from low demand and it's next to impossible to preclude copying of delivered prints.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
2

Aaron801 wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

rainydiary wrote:

Hi all

Is it normal wedding photographer haven't give Raw files to their clients ?

Thank

If I were to do it, the fee would be enormous.

Why? As wedding costs go up people are more and more looking for lower fees from a wedding photographer. In this day and age, I think people care a lot less about professional photographs. If I was shopping for a wedding photographer I would insist that the RAW files be included at no extra cost or look elsewhere. It's a buyer's market.

I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of wedding photographers don't agree to give up their RAW images. If this is indeed the case, then your choices for photographers might be very limited. If it's between an experienced photographer who does really stunning work, who doesn't let go of his/her RAWs and a inexperienced photographer who does mediocre to poor work, which one will you choose?

Neither one. Personally, I think wedding photographs are a waste of money. I was married twice and had friends do the photography in lieu of a wedding gift. In the past all my friends had me do the same thing so often that I had to start refusing because it was too much like work when everybody else was having fun. Wedding photographs are a waste of money. All the married couples I know have their wedding photos stashed away and never look at them.

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Tom

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Vision
3

tbcass wrote:

Shadowsurfer wrote:

When I did professional theatrical photography I delivered a product in the form of prints, that I decided or my client decided, were what was wanted. No way would I let the negatives out of my hands to let others print. The "performance" of the printing process is sometimes more important than the data on the negative.

With Raw it is no different. The Raw files are a base from which I work. I do not want anybody alse messing with the post processing of my Raw files, outputting images that are not consonant with my taste and vision.

I believe most wedding photographers consign a finished album of pictures, and/or a set of PP images on CD. This is the service you are paying for, not the idle act of tripping the shutter.

One of a kind negatives are different from RAW files of which exact copies can be made. You are looking at it from the point of view of the photographer who is driven by profit. I look at it from the point of view of the client/buyer who is trying to get the most for their money. It's always a tug of war but the old adage is "The customer is always right". Good customer relations are very important in business. The photographer could have the client sign an agreement that they are not allowed to copy, distribute or profit in any way off those RAW files.

Yes, negatives are different than RAW files in the sense that they can't be copied, but not in the sense that they are both the original, source copy,

As for the "customer is always right," I would say that there are certainly cases that stress this particular adage. If it is indeed an industry that photographers don't give up their negatives or their RAWs then when the customer expects copies of them, they are expecting something they clearly have to right to expect. I think that you aren't really giving much credit to the way that photographers (and other associated folks like designers, illustrators, etc) tend to structure their contracts and why they do so.

I don't really do professional photography work, but I do graphic design work for hire. I'm not in the habit of giving out my original layouts to clients. If I were to do that then someone could hand them off to someone else and make a handbill from my poster, a brochure from my sales packet, etc. I provide a finished product and if the customer needs any more associated materials, then they're going to have to hire me to create those...

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JRP64
JRP64 Senior Member • Posts: 1,089
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
1

rainydiary wrote:

Hi all

Is it normal wedding photographer haven't give Raw files to their clients ?

Thank

About 10 years ago I had a college instructor said "Don't ever give raw files to your clients and I suspect most of you will deal with clients that have no idea what a raw file is". He then went on to say that some clients will come back to you and say they need something touched up. He went on to say make a big deal on how time consuming the "touch up" is going to be and haggle over the cost of the update. He said you will be surprised on how many people don't realize how easy the modification is. Every time I see something like this I look back at that and chuckle a little bit. The problem nowadays is there are companies on social media with ads showing how easy it is with their so-called magic software. That gets makes me angry, but that is a different topic.

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Because
2

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

Shadowsurfer wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

... I wound't think that this is standard practice. I might shoot such a thing RAW and do editing (that's the way that I like to work) but I consider my edited versions of the photos to be the "product" that I've been hired to produce. I would probably have a contract that stipulate this and not even mention anything about RAW, but if a client really wants that stuff then I would renegotiate and change extra for that...

Why charge extra? It's no extra work or effort. Once the wedding is over what value are the RAW files to the photographer? If they want to keep them just make copies to give to the client. It just seems like a scam to me.

The Raw files can be a source of further income. Relatives and friends might contact the photographer for copies of the prints the clients bought.

Reprints can be a good source of income.

Also never let anybody you do not trust, work on your Raw files. It could be a major cause of lost reputation, if substandard PP copies of your Raw files start to circulate.

Both of those reasons but particularly the second one. I only want to let go of images that I'm 100% responsible for. I don't like the idea of someone that I don't know finishing the job. They may interpret the images in ways that I don't agree with. If I'm being asked to give up that level of control over my work, I'm going to expect to be paid extra for it.

Isn't good customer relations important to you? If you make the client mad and they tell everyone they know you ripped them off it would be very bad for business.

With this attitude then you must feel that it's reasonable to expect free extras with anything you buy... because after all, the customer is always right, no? There are certainly things that are reasonable to expect, like doing good quality work, turning it in on the deadline agreed upon, behaving respectfully while your photographing an event, carefully following all of the instructions that the client has laid out, etc... but providing extra materials that aren't stipulated int he contract, for no extra money isn't something that it seems fair for a customer to expect.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Vision
1

Aaron801 wrote:

Yes, negatives are different than RAW files in the sense that they can't be copied, but not in the sense that they are both the original, source copy,

As for the "customer is always right," I would say that there are certainly cases that stress this particular adage. If it is indeed an industry that photographers don't give up their negatives or their RAWs then when the customer expects copies of them, they are expecting something they clearly have to right to expect. I think that you aren't really giving much credit to the way that photographers (and other associated folks like designers, illustrators, etc) tend to structure their contracts and why they do so.

I don't really do professional photography work, but I do graphic design work for hire. I'm not in the habit of giving out my original layouts to clients. If I were to do that then someone could hand them off to someone else and make a handbill from my poster, a brochure from my sales packet, etc. I provide a finished product and if the customer needs any more associated materials, then they're going to have to hire me to create those...

I don't think the layouts for graphic design work are anything like the RAW files. It's an apples and oranges comparison. For photography, a comparison would be the lighting and equipment used and the artistic composition.

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Tom

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Because
2

Aaron801 wrote:

With this attitude then you must feel that it's reasonable to expect free extras with anything you buy... because after all, the customer is always right, no? There are certainly things that are reasonable to expect, like doing good quality work, turning it in on the deadline agreed upon, behaving respectfully while your photographing an event, carefully following all of the instructions that the client has laid out, etc... but providing extra materials that aren't stipulated int he contract, for no extra money isn't something that it seems fair for a customer to expect.

If you go way back to what I said previously I said I would want the RAW files included in the original contract or I would not hire the photographer. You are right about one thing. I am a hard bargainer and expect the most I can get for the money I spend. I do the same when buying a car. I get what I want or I walk. You'd be surprised at what good deals I can get.

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Tom

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Vision
1

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

Yes, negatives are different than RAW files in the sense that they can't be copied, but not in the sense that they are both the original, source copy,

As for the "customer is always right," I would say that there are certainly cases that stress this particular adage. If it is indeed an industry that photographers don't give up their negatives or their RAWs then when the customer expects copies of them, they are expecting something they clearly have to right to expect. I think that you aren't really giving much credit to the way that photographers (and other associated folks like designers, illustrators, etc) tend to structure their contracts and why they do so.

I don't really do professional photography work, but I do graphic design work for hire. I'm not in the habit of giving out my original layouts to clients. If I were to do that then someone could hand them off to someone else and make a handbill from my poster, a brochure from my sales packet, etc. I provide a finished product and if the customer needs any more associated materials, then they're going to have to hire me to create those...

I don't think the layouts for graphic design work are anything like the RAW files. It's an apples and oranges comparison. For photography, a comparison would be the lighting and equipment used and the artistic composition.

Well.... I have plenty of experience with both graphic design and photography and I think of them as more alike than different in terms to RAW vs InDesign files. With the photography that I do, the post production part of it is a HUGE part of the process. I'm not doing anything really extreme with the images with like collaging or blending out areas of the image. Just the work that I do with contrast color and most importantly cropping, change the image a lot and I don't consider the image out of the camera to be anywhere near the finished product. I'm obviously not in anything like a small minority of folks who think this way about our photography as no less than Ansel Adams has a whole book devoted only to the stage of making the print (which is an equivalent process to post processing on a computer) and said that he considered the negative (the RAW) to be "the score," and the print (the JPEG) to be "the performance."

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
1

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

tbcass wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

rainydiary wrote:

Hi all

Is it normal wedding photographer haven't give Raw files to their clients ?

Thank

If I were to do it, the fee would be enormous.

Why? As wedding costs go up people are more and more looking for lower fees from a wedding photographer. In this day and age, I think people care a lot less about professional photographs. If I was shopping for a wedding photographer I would insist that the RAW files be included at no extra cost or look elsewhere. It's a buyer's market.

I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of wedding photographers don't agree to give up their RAW images. If this is indeed the case, then your choices for photographers might be very limited. If it's between an experienced photographer who does really stunning work, who doesn't let go of his/her RAWs and a inexperienced photographer who does mediocre to poor work, which one will you choose?

Neither one. Personally, I think wedding photographs are a waste of money. I was married twice and had friends do the photography in lieu of a wedding gift. In the past all my friends had me do the same thing so often that I had to start refusing because it was too much like work when everybody else was having fun. Wedding photographs are a waste of money. All the married couples I know have their wedding photos stashed away and never look at them.

I don't know that I would pay for a pro photographer if I were to get married as I'd rater spend that money towards a great honeymoon, or something like that. Still, I have to admit that I've seen some truly stunning wedding photography and I could see that if I had the money to devote to such and thing that having some truly iconic shots of that special day may indeed be worth spending money on. Folks with really tight budgets are the ones that get their amateur friends to shoot wedding photos, but the ones who can afford it are more often than not willing to pay for a much higher level of quality that a skilled pro can produce.

There's really nothing like an accreditation for pro photographers, so that really anyone with a camera can play the game. I've seen plenty of folks decide to play "professional photographer" put out their shingle and then do embarrassingly poor work that's surely no better than the least of us on these forums could do without much practice. If someone does really great work, you'll know that from their portfolio. These are the type of folks who tend to be in demand and stay in blueness, while the aforementioned folks with their under-developed skills are the ones who give up after a year or so... I've seen in happen plenty of times.

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techie takes pics Senior Member • Posts: 1,477
Re: I'm not a wedding photographer but...
11

tbcass wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

... I wound't think that this is standard practice. I might shoot such a thing RAW and do editing (that's the way that I like to work) but I consider my edited versions of the photos to be the "product" that I've been hired to produce. I would probably have a contract that stipulate this and not even mention anything about RAW, but if a client really wants that stuff then I would renegotiate and change extra for that...

Why charge extra? It's no extra work or effort. Once the wedding is over what value are the RAW files to the photographer? If they want to keep them just make copies to give to the client. It just seems like a scam to me.

If you got married and ordered a cake, did you ask for the left-over dough and ingredients? It doesn't cost the baker anything.   Did you get them?

If the baker asked you what you wanted them for, did you tell him 'I'll slap together a cake of my own, serve it to my friends and give you all the credit'   ? 
Did you get the ingredients?

I bet you did not, and I bet the baker did not care for your half-baked efforts which would carry his name.

Raws are an unfinished product. They don't look good. Many of my own are tilted and need cropping.  Most people do not know how to handle or edit raws.

By giving away this unfinished product a photographer gets hurt twice:

1. He will find poorly edited or unedited photos online under his name. Those could shine! But they don't. And his name is there as 'photographer'.

2. He has a certain style, much of which is applied in post-editing. You hired him for that style. Those unfinished raws don't have that.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 51,848
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
2

I want to add one more thing. Wedding photographers where I live get $2000-$4000 and, while their work is technically good, it's the same old stock poses I've been seeing for over 50 years. For that much money, I would expect something more, something original and artistic. What they do takes little in real talent. If they are going to give the same unoriginal work then the least they should do is give up the RAW files to the customer.

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Tom

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 21,350
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw

Aaron801 wrote:

There's really nothing like an accreditation for pro photographers, so that really anyone with a camera can play the game.

There is something like an accreditation for pro photographers, but the requirements for certification are far from rigorous, and I'm not sure who takes it seriously:

https://www.ppa.com/benefits/certification/cpp

Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
1

tbcass wrote:

I want to add one more thing. Wedding photographers where I live get $2000-$4000 and, while their work is technically good, it's the same old stock poses I've been seeing for over 50 years. For that much money, I would expect something more, something original and artistic. What they do takes little in real talent. If they are going to give the same unoriginal work then the least they should do is give up the RAW files to the customer.

I don't know what average prices are, and I'm sure that this varies greatly according to the area, but I have seen wedding photography work that's a lot more thoughtful than what you're talking about. I've seen plenty of work that to my eyes is incredibly good, that few people are capable of, though however great the work it still might not be worth the sort of investment that this kind of work tends to cost. The best wedding photography that I've seen goes beyond well lit, perfectly color balanced shots that have sufficiently blurry non-distracting backgrounds to work that is able to make folks look really glamorous and isn't simply a collection of posed looking photos, but is has a documentary element that shows the event from many different perspectives... shows all different kinds of aspects.

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 21,350
Re: Wedding Photographer and Raw
2

rainydiary wrote:

Is it normal wedding photographer haven't give Raw files to their clients ?

I don't think it's 'normal' for non-photographers to have any use for RAW* files. Many don't even know they exist.

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