The value of RAW files


Why everyone says you should not give your RAW files?
What are Virginia’s reasons not to do it and
how you can get out of the uncomfortable situation when a client asks for them?

Free RAW files for practice.
Retouching academy 

Photographer: Virginia Y
Styling: Patrischa Humm
Make up: Marina Mladenova
Hair: Andrey Andreev
Model: Amanda @ Milk Managment 
Location: Lucerne studio

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Hello, Photography lovers!

Welcome to another Friday episode of The Fashion Photography Podcast.

As you know, we’re here every Wednesday within that are amazing creative from the industry and every other Friday, I’m giving you some tips and little tricks from my experience as fashion and advertising photographer.
And also, I’m answering your questions!

So if you have a question, don’t hesitate to take a look at photography, where you’ll be able to find all the ways to contact us.
And by us, I mean me – Virginia, the host of this podcast, and of course – George, who is the producer to show today we’re going to to talk about roll files, and why in my personal opinion, I wouldn’t give my row files without a proper reason. Before the actual start, let me remind you of our friends from Lucy’s magazine, they’re waiting for your fashion and beauty editorial. So in this show, we talk very often about style. And let’s face it, your style is a complete package. It’s your ideas, your casting your light, the way you pose, your models, your editing, it’s all of it. Your style is you and your photography. And if an image is missing some of those, can you really call it a photograph. If I go to a makeup artist, and I say I need a nice makeup for an event.

Imagine along with me:
The makeup artists put on the base. And I suddenly decide – I want to finish my makeup on my own!
who’s going to be the author? And what would I say later at the event, someone asks me who did the makeup.

The same thing happens when you give your own files, and the client decides to do with them whatever they want.

And let me be honest with you, I’ve given row files before, I’ve given him to clients who have paid additional fee for them, and also to advertising agencies and also to researchers, because this was written and part of the deal. But it was explained in my contract in details what they can do with them, and that they need my approval for usage after the Edit.

I personally have no problem show my profiles, because you’ve heard me saying many times a year, I like to get what I need in the camera.
And I encourage you to do the same. But the reason why I don’t give up my profiles is that

they’re basically my copyright.

And of course -your profiles are your copyright.

Why would I say that?
Okay, time for a roll play again!
If you have a client, and let’s say, at the moment, this client is fairly small one, you give away all of your files, or even just some of them.
You have a contract for usage and it says two years for certain media and geographic area. The client grows, and three years later, they use one of your images.
And it goes not just viral, but very profitable… for them.

I bet you want to start legal action. And once you try, all they’re going to do is to just show to the court that they have the rule file, and they claim the image is their art piece.
The RAW file is your proof of copyright,and it’s usually possession of the right holder.

So there will be a step ahead.
Of course, there are ways to prove that you’re the owner of the image, and you are the one who took it.
But it’s long and expensive and very unnecessary process.

Look at a painting you can sell or loan a copy of your painting.
But the original one is the most valuable and expensive one. So if you decide to sell it, it should be for really significant amount of money.

That’s why it’s such a big deal to have the original artwork.
And because it’s quite expensive – not many people have this privilege, your profile is your original, your negative and your proof.

However, clients are still asking for it.
In many cases – not because they need in or Dan their stand the value of it.
But because they’ve heard about it.

A good way to get out of uncomfortable situation and also part of my practice is to just say
“Sure, I can send over TIFF files. Is that ok for you?”

As I just said – people usually want RAW files just because they’ve heard so.
And that’s why the TIFF files are for sounds exciting for them to they don’t really know what to do with your RAW files, they probably don’t know what to do with the TIFF files.

But they fill satisfied. And if they ask – just tell them the truth:
Tiff Files are better quality than the JPEG files, especially when we talk about print.


I’ve also been in situations when people ask for RAW files, because they want to practice their research.
And a few years ago, I would just say “It’s not part of my practice” with a very serious tone.
And if they insist I’ll just continue with “I’m sorry, as I mentioned, it’s just not what I do”.
OR –  I would just offer them to pay a fee for them…. And then usually the discussion is over.

However, two or three years ago, along with Retouching Academy and several other photographers, we decided to help the retouchers out there that wants to learn and practice more.
So I gave several RAW files from a model test. And ever since I usually just point people to this resource if they asked me for files to practice on.

Some people do give away their RAW files. And that’s their right in the decision. I don’t judge but also I would not recommend it.

If you’re a starting photographer, and you want to please your clients just delivering the best images possible.
Make sure you grow every day gain knowledge and skills and also protect yourself and your business.
Because the fashion photography business is a great adventure. And as in every fairy tale – there are lots of obstacles.
And of course, I hope that your pond is going to be smooth. But in case there are some bumps, you better be prepared!

Many times we start with a client and we grow together. And if you given them all of your RAWs a year ago, how are you going to explain that this is no longer your practice?
What have changed? How are you going to tell them from now on, it’s not going to be the same? What’s the reason?

Break a habit can be very challenging. So why not avoid bad habits in the first place?

If you have the mentality that you’re going to be successful photographer start acting like one today.
The good news is – the more you grow, the more professional teams and clients you’re going to meet. So soon, nobody’s going to ask you about your RAW files,
because all they’re going to care about is the magic then you create!

And you can also share this magic and ask all of your questions, and of course, give support to our artists in our Facebook group.

As I said, this is just my opinion, my reasons why I don’t give away my RAW files. But I would love to know your opinion!
so I’ll be waiting for you in the group and I would love to discuss this partner.

Thank you guys so much for being with me today and don’t forget to come back again on Wednesday, when we’ll continue with the second part of our interview with Sebastian.

If you haven’t heard it yet – HERE IT IS!

Thank you guys again and have an amazing weekend!


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