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Hello there! My name is Alecs and I am so excited that you found my blog! Now it's time to cuddle up with your favorite furry friend, mine is my cat Goof, and start reading! 


July 24, 2019

Should I Ask For RAW Files?

Wedding Tips – RAW Files

Lately, I have been seeing the topic of RAW files pop up around the internet, as well as during weddings and photo sessions. I think there is a lot of confusion around RAW files though. Not only do most people not know what RAW files actually are, they also don’t know why photographers don’t give them out.  Here are a few common questions I get about RAW files.

What is a RAW File?

There is sometimes confusion over what a RAW photos actually are. They are usually thought of as high-resolution photos, even though they are different! A RAW photo is actually a file straight out of the camera that can’t be viewed without photo editing software. That means you can’t view, print, or share these photos because computers and phones can’t read the file. These files are designed to be edited and saved as JPEG files. They are large files with a lot of extra data. When photographers edit the photos, and save them as a jpeg, they are compressing the data and getting a smaller file.

So I Don’t Want A RAW File?

There is nothing that can be done with a RAW file on the client’s end. They need to be edited with professional software to not only make them usable, but also to make they look perfect!  The final photos have had the lighting, color, and crop all adjusted to make the photo ready for the client.

RAW files can only be open with photo editing software

But Why Do You Take 400 Photos And Only Deliver 100?

Part of my job as a photographer is to sort through all the photos after a session. At a typically engagement session I will take around 400 photos. I then deliver roughly one fourth of that amount to the client. Don’t worry, I am not hiding any good photos from you!  For every pose, I take a few photos to make sure everyone’s eyes are open and the photo is in focus.

If I start with 400 photos, I will be down to 125 after getting rid of the duplicates!  After that, I go through and get rid of all the extra photos. That means, if I adjusted something, or if we moved a trashcan out of the way, I get rid of those first photos before we made the adjustments. After an hour of work, I am down to the 80-100 best photos from the session!  You won’t even miss the other photos, because they are ones you would delete anyways!

What Happens To The Photos You Don’t Deliver?

I delete all of the extra photos I don’t deliver to the client. RAW files are large and take up a lot of space. No one wants to use extra space on photos that are blurry and unusable!

If I Don’t Get The RAW Files, What Do I Get?

After editing, I save the photos as JPEG files.  A JPEG can be saved on your phone, uploaded to social media, and printed anywhere!  It’s the universal file type for all photos.

High-resolution jpegs are how your photos should be delivered

So Will I Only Get Small JPEG Files Then?

This is where the difference between RAW files and high-resolution photos!  After editing and saving the RAW files, I am left with high-resolution JPEG photos. These are what I deliver to my clients!  They are small enough to be saved on your phone and computer, but also large enough to print. I have had clients print 20×30 canvases with these files with no problems!

Why Is Everyone Talking About Raw Files?

There have been some unfortunate news stories lately about scam photographers that either don’t deliver any photos, or only deliver poor photos. These stories have scared people into asking what they can do to avoid this happening to them. Some articles suggest asking for the RAW files as a solution. However, the best way to avoid scam photographers is to ask questions before booking. I am always willing to share full galleries with potential clients, I blog all of my sessions, and I have plenty of past clients that will tell you I always deliver high quality photos within the given time frame.

What If I Run Into A Problem With My Photos?

My best suggestion is to be open and honest with your photographer instead of asking for the RAW files. If you don’t like how the photos were edited, or anything else, just talk to them and see what can be done. Most professional photographers don’t release their RAW files, but are willing to work with you on any issues you may have!


Do you have more questions? Or other fears about booking a photographer? Contact me today and we can talk about it!

Alecs Kay Photography – Wedding Tips

Need to cross a few more things off of your to-do list? Check out my other wedding tips!

Pinning Boutonnieres – Who, When, and Where To Pin

Top 7 Reasons To Do a First Look

Top Budgeting Mistakes I Made Planning My Wedding 

3 Must-Haves To Keep Your Bridal Party Happy

Things I Love and Use From My Registry

Preparing Your Bridal Party to Be Funny

16 Best Places to Take Engagement Photos

What Bridal Details Should You Have Ready?

Make Sure Your Pockets Are Empty

What You Should Know Before Contacting A Wedding Photographer

The Many Options For Wedding Dessert


Alecs Kay Photography is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer in Fargo, ND

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