Can I get all the RAW images?

Raw vs JPEG

I get this question asked quite a lot and half the time people don’t really mean or understand what RAW means. However, this post is not aimed at those who actually do know the difference.

“Can I get all the RAW images?”
What people really mean is if they can have all the pictures that I took during their event unedited and even the bad ones that the flash didn’t go off or somebody jumped in front of the camera when I took the shot including all the rest of the bad shots. TO most people that I deal with that’s what RAW images are.

Now, let’s talk about what RAW truly means…

I’m going to use the definition from Wikipedia, and according to them

A camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image scanner, or motion picture film scanner. Raw files are named so because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a bitmap graphics editor. Read more about RAW file format

So if I were to give my client the RAW format they won’t be able to do much with them unless they have Adobe LightRoom or Adobe Photoshop. Files produced from my Canon cameras end with .CR which will be unrecognized file format on most computers. Additionally the data would be so large that you would need a large external hard drive to fit all the pictures in. An average wedding would be well over 30GB in size.

Having said all this I’ve had people who knew what RAW file are and new exactly how to handle those files. People who know what RAW really means ask the question differently. They ask “Can I have all the images in RAW?” And my answer is always YES.