Guess what’s making a comeback on the blog today? Truthy Tuesday AND the Photography FAQ feature! :) I decided to combine the two because of the topic.
Lately I’ve been asked by fellow photographers (both during mentor sessions and via email) what they should do when clients ask to see all of the unedited images from their session. My short answer is no. Why? I figured the explanation would be a great educating moment for newer fellow photographers and potential clients alike… So let’s get into it!
Since both potential clients and fellow photogs may be reading, I will address them separately :)
This is a fairly common problem that I hear about from other photographers (and that I did have to deal with early on). But if the question ever comes up for a client to see all of the raw/unedited images from their session, my answer is always no.
Why? Because I want to showcase my best work. Often times when folks ask for things like that it’s because they truly don’t understand all that’s involved in what we do (or because they’re trying to get over lol) but I’ll approach it from the aspect that they don’t know so it’s my job to educate them.
If you find yourself in this situation, share with your client that it’s important that you provide them with the best final images and as such, providing all of the files is out of the question. It’s kind of almost like a chef or a painter- the raw files would be like giving the meal ingredients before they are cooked and artfully plated or giving the canvas, paint, and brushes before the art has been painted and framed- raw files are an incomplete work of art.
And if you’d like to take it even further- you can share that not all of the photos are great- some are test shots, the lighting may have been off, an unflattering pose, eyes closed, etc… So when you eliminate the unflattering and mediocre shots, the great photos stand on their own, so they don’t need to worry that they’re missing anything :) But this also places a heightened responsibility on you to be sure that you are providing a final set of dynamic images.
To eliminate having to deal with this in the future, try writing somewhere on your site that clients will receive final photos as selected by the photographer so that they’re aware of that even before booking. Truthfully this only makes sense because when potential clients look at your work, and contact you to book, they are in essence telling you that they like your eye because they fell in love with the images YOU selected to showcase. So it comes down to simply trusting that and trusting your judgement that they will love the final product.
I’m sure you read all that up there, right? Hopefully it wasn’t too harsh to read! It’s very important to realize that although everyone has access to cameras and photography equipment these days, everyone is not a photographer. So when you hire a photographer, you have to be sure that you trust their judgement and artistic vision.
Think of it this way- would you go to a restaurant, wait till you’re served a dish, then say “Thanks, but no thanks chef, can you give me the raw chicken, vegetables, and uncooked rice? I’d like to fix this myself/have a look at the ingredients to be sure they’re being prepared properly”? Absolutely not! You might as well have just fixed a meal at home! If you did ask that though, I’m certain your request would not be honored lol.
It’s precisely the same thing when you ask to see all of the raw/unedited files from your session. In essence you’re saying “I don’t trust your judgement". So my advice is not to not ask for them, but to be sure that the photographer you choose to hire is one that you trust. That will make this process much more pleasant and enjoyable for all involved :)
That’s all for today! Clearly I’m making up for lost time with this super long post lol. Sorry about that! Hopefully it was an easy read though :)
Stay tuned for more newness this week! Leave a comment and let me know what you thought about today’s post!