Selling RAW Image Files

Digital Photography School recently published a short piece by photographer Elizabeth Halford. In it, Ms. Halford advocates that photographers who earn any part of their living licensing images never turn over to clients (or friends and family) unprocessed RAW image files. It’s a good argument too. After all, if you put your unfinished photographs into your clients’ hands, who knows how the finished product will turn out? That’s especially bothersome if you’re the one whose name will be attached to the finished photo. While Ms. Halford’s advice is certainly sound, the discussion that it provoked makes some interesting other points too. For instance, if you’re in the business of selling images to clients, wouldn’t you be well served by providing what your clients want? After all, isn’t the customer always right? Wherever you default on the issue, it’s extremely interesting and informative to consider both sides of the story. It shows how complex many professional photographic issues can be, and how they do apply to photographers at every level of the business. So if you’re a working pro or considering dipping your toe into the business waters, it’s a great opportunity to learn about one of the most common, and somewhat controversial, issues facing professional photographers today.

Leave a Comment