RAW file. Do I need it for my wedding?

RAW file… You probably heard about it, and you probably understand what it means.

However, we don’t want to assume everyone has the same knowledge about RAW file. So, let’s talk about it for a bit (we’ll try to be not too technical).

A RAW file is the ORIGINAL product that the camera produces, which contains all original information. Through a process of editing (sharpness, color, exposure, and many other things), it becomes JPG, which loses the original information (some or many). The editing process can be done by the photographer or by the camera itself. The JPG is what you receive as the final product that the photographer promises to deliver.

Here are some other examples of how different RAW and JPG look: example 1, example 2, example 3.


Why does the photographer take RAW file and Why do you want it?

Simple: the endless ability to edit. Although you can edit JPG as well, keep in mind that JPG is not the ORIGINAL as we talked earlier. With RAW, you can do all kinds of stuff because it has all original information. With JPG, there are fewer things you can do because it doesn’t have as much information as RAW. So does RAW seem better than JPG? Yes and No.

If you look at RAW as a face without makeup, and JPG as a face with makeup.

YES if you care about how to edit because you have an endless ability to edit with RAW. It is easier to do makeup on a fresh face than to makeup on a face that already has makeup.

NO if you care about how the final product looks. You just want to know how beautiful you look after the makeup and you don’t care about what tools or color are put on you.

That’s all you need to know about RAW File.


Do you really need RAW file?

However, regardless how much you know about this matter, it’s not likely that your photographers will give you RAW files. They hate to tell you why because it is too technical, dry, complicated, boring, blah blah blah. If you google the reasons, you will probably see a common saying that you need to buy special software to open RAW files. We are not going to lie. That used to be true… couple years ago. Now, technologies are so good that anyone can open them easily. But still… YOU DON’T NEED IT. However…

1. You might say you want to edit the way you like. This is what we advise:

– Editing is hard and not fun. It takes months to learn how to edit the way you want. Even if you can edit already, you know editing is time-consuming. Would you want to spend weeks (or months) sitting in front of a computer just to edit? Or would you rather spend that time going somewhere, doing something fun together?

2. You might say you have a friend who knows how to edit really well, and he promises he will edit everything for you. This is what we advise:

– Why do you want your friend to edit? Don’t you like your photographer editing style? If you don’t, then why did you hire that photographer?

3. You might say you want it just in case in the future, you want to re-edit. This is what we advise:

– Look at No. 1 again. Even if you think you have some spare time in the future, things will come and your life will always get busy with one thing or another.


After everything we advised, you still want the RAW File and that’s how you want it. Unfortunately, all photographers (the ones that I know) will not give RAW files to you because:

– They don’t want their work to be misrepresented.

– They value their service and that service ends with their final product.

Try to walk in their shoes. If you are a chef, designer, programmer, or anyone who creates products, please honestly answer this” “Would you want your product to be altered or to look different from how you want it to be?”

We tried to see things from your perspective, and we knew how much we wanted the RAW file of our wedding, just like you. But we trusted our photographers and never asked them to give us RAW files to edit by ourselves because we have many other wonderful things to do. RAW file is just a small matter in a big picture of your wedding. Don’t let it consume your mind or deceive your decision.

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