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Why I do not hand over ‘raw files’.

As a photographer and videographer, my decision not to provide ‘raw files’ to customers can be influenced by several factors. Here are some reasons why this is the case with myself:

* Creative control: Raw files are unprocessed and contain all the meta data captured by the camera sensor. They require extensive post-processing to reach the final desired look. By not sharing raw files, I maintain creative control over the editing process, ensuring that my artistic vision and style is preserved.

* Quality control: Raw files may include outtakes, test shots, or images that are technically flawed. Providing only the edited, final images ensures my clients receive a selection of high-quality, carefully curated content that represents my best work.

* Client expectations: Some clients may not have the technical skills or software required to work with raw files effectively. Providing edited JPEGs or videos simplifies the client’s experience and ensures they can use the content without difficulty.

* Protecting my reputation: Raw files can be manipulated in ways that may not align with my professional standards. By providing edited images and videos, I can maintain the integrity of my portfolio and protect my reputation as a photographer or videographer.

* Licensing and usage rights: Many photographers retain copyright and licensing rights to their raw files as do I by default in the UK. By not providing raw files, I can maintain control over how the images or videos are used, preventing unauthorized modifications or distribution.

* Time and effort: Editing raw files is a time-consuming process that requires specialised software and expertise. Providing clients with edited content allows me to streamline my workflow and focus on delivering a polished final product.

* Business model: My business model and pricing structure is based on a few factors including selling the final, edited images or videos as a package. Providing raw files separately will disrupt this model and affect my pricing strategy.

Basically – you’re paying me to create, edit and distribute to you a version of the events you hired me to capture.

Any external storage medium / hard drive  that you have provided to me is merely a device to hold assets pertaining to work I have been hired by you to capture.  I retain this for you should you require further edits / amendments on previous work.  This will be provided as a new ‘job’ with my hourly rate.  You are always welcome to have the storage medium returned to you but it will be in it’s original state – empty.

As a recap.  I do NOT hand over RAW files.  End of.

Any questions please get in touch.  Lee