Why We Guard Our RAWs

Last week we talked about giving a USB or a CD.  This week, we thought we’d answer another question we have been getting.  Can we have access to the RAW images.  And just like last week, the answer is no.  Man, we should do one of these FAQ posts were the answer is yes.. I’m starting to feel like a downer.. BUT just like last week, we have a good reason why.  I promise.
Every wedding, engagement, and pretty much every time we are behind a camera, we are shooting in RAW. RAW files are the largest file type a camera can create, and not only gives us more to work with, but also lets us be more meticulous when it comes to editing. After Laura culls and discards the images we don’t give to our clients, like the test shots, and the blink’s (don’t worry, we’ll talk about this next week), I spend some late nights going through and editing those beautifully simple starting points, into the warm, natural, and joyful images we show on our website and blog.  I spend this time to create your photos into what our couples expect from Michael & Laura Photography.
When a client first books with us, we know that they have seen our imagery on our blog & website, & know what to expect when booking us as their wedding photographers. They know they’ll get beautiful images from their wedding in our warm, natural, and joyful style.  Our RAW images, unedited and uncropped, doesn’t display our style of photography, or your wedding day as we saw it… really it doesn’t display us, or you.
That might sound weird, but stick with me… When a couple is looking for a photographer for their wedding, they look for a photographer whose work they see, and wish that they were the couple in those photographs. They find a photographer whose imagery they think is perfect for their wedding day, and matches both their photographic, and personal style. There are photographers with every style you could think of, whereas back in the day, there wasn’t such a variety.
Asking for RAW images goes back to the days of film, when photographers would create a contact sheet and share that with their clients, who would then choose the photos they wanted printed… Man, I love the darkroom! Anyways, now with the availability and share-ability of digital photography, more and more photographers are giving more to their clients, including us, as Shoot & Share photographers. We want our clients to want to be MLBrides and MLGrooms, because they love our style.  And we wanted future clients to know exactly what their wedding imagery will look like.. and then deliver on that.  If someone took one of our RAW images and edited it on their own, then put it out on social media, a future client may think that is what they will get from us.  And we want to be as authentic as possible in what is shown as our work.
And last, but not least, there is not much the average person can do with a RAW file.  The benefits of a RAW files really only come out in editing, I am able to edit all the pieces of the original image with the RAW format.  Unless you have the right software, you won’t be able to even view, much less print, a RAW file.  Some people get confused that the RAW file means it’s a larger size and best for printing.  But after we edit, we send out clients the largest image size we can give them, so they are able to print big beautiful canvases.. or whatever they’d like!
Any more questions?  Email us at Michael And Laura Photography @ gmail . com

we're Michael & Laura


hey friends,

a husband and wife photography team based in Richmond, Virginia (though we LOVE to travel!). We hope you enjoy browsing some of our most recent work, reading our tips and tricks for brides, and taking a little peek into our life.  

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