Why You Don’t Get All The Photos

Why You Don’t Get All The Photos

Why You Don’t Get All The Photos


Raw or Cooked?

Picture the scene…you are in a swanky restaurant, it’s a special occasion and you can order anything you fancy off the delicious-sounding menu. What will it be…Chateaubriand, lobster Thermidor, the nut roast? The waiter takes your order and you await with hungry anticipation, sipping on a beautifully paired glass of wine. Or perhaps champagne (it is a special occasion!). The waiters bring your food to the table under huge silver cloches and do the big reveal at the table. Everything looks made to perfection. Then you say to the waiter, ‘Take it back, I wanted to cook it myself’.

Wait, what? What the heck just happened there? Crazy, right? Well, that is exactly how photographers feel when you ask for the Raw Images.

clueless young male chef wearing glasses uniform and cap looking at camera

Let Me Explain

Most professional photographers shoot their images in RAW, the reason being it contains the most information possible of the image that can be bought out in post-processing. As a result, they can be up to 10 times bigger file sizes than a jPeg.

Because of this, you need professional software like Photoshop and Lightroom to open a RAW file. When you first open it you could well be disappointed as the image looks quite ‘flat’. You have to process the image, just like you used to have to develop the film negatives in the good old days  (yes my first cameras were film cameras, I am that old!).

Every photographer has their own style when processing their RAW files, just like chefs have their own signature recipes and spice blends. Give 5 photographers the same RAW image and you will get 5 different end results.

Once all the creative work has been done, the photographer needs to save the image in a way that meets the needs of the client. Is it for web use, or for print? How large is it going to be printed? What colourspace does the printer work in?

But The Photographer Took So Many More Images Than I Got?

I do get why people ask for the RAWs, especially from a wedding when you see your photographer taking literally hundreds of images but you feel like you only get a fraction of those delivered at the end. I mean, at an 8-hour wedding I might take around 2000 images but I will deliver around 600-800 finished images.

So what is going on? Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. I want you to get the best possible images. So I will take many pictures of the same group for group shots. Why? I don’t want to give you 20 images of exactly the same thing, but I do want to make sure that if anyone is blinking or pulling a face I can swap their head with a perfect one. In every scenario, I am making sure that you get the most flattering image from the set. Rest assured the images I am deleting are the frowns, the half-eye shuts, the mouth wide open and the blurred images. As your photographer, it is my job to curate the images and provide you with the very best and plenty of variety.

Full disclosure, because I have my cameras on the whole time, I sometimes catch them as I’m walking from location to location and nobody wants blurry pictures of tarmac, hotel carpets and my feet in their wedding albums, do they? Or maybe there is a market for that? I’m off to investigate!