Do Wedding Photographers Give Raw Files?


Providing Raw Files: What You Need to Know When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

This is a commonly asked question among wedding photography clients.

Welcome, newly engaged couples! Congratulations on your engagement! We know that planning a wedding can be quite overwhelming, but don't worry, we've got your back. Today, we're going to answer a question that many of you may have: do wedding photographers give raw files?

First things first, what are raw files?

Raw files are unprocessed digital files that contain all the information captured by the camera sensor, allowing for greater flexibility in editing. However, they require specialized software and knowledge to edit properly, which is why some photographers may be hesitant to provide them. Raw camera files need to be processed, like a digital version of a film photograph it cannot be printed or shared until it’s processed.


I want my clients to feel proud to display their photos in their home and pass them down as a legacy for generations to come.

To start, it's important to understand that as a professional wedding photographer, my ultimate goal is to create beautiful and timeless memories for my clients. I put my heart and soul into capturing every special moment of their big day. That's why I take extra care to ensure that each image is edited and retouched to perfection.

Now, when it comes to raw files, it's true that most wedding photographers do not give them out to their clients. This is because the raw files are essentially the unprocessed and unedited version of the photos. While they may have great potential, they are not yet a true reflection of the artistry and quality that our clients hire us for. That's why we spend many hours meticulously editing and retouching each image to create the final product that my clients receive.

I hope this helps answer your question! If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about my wedding photography services, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'd love to chat with you and see how I can help capture your special day.

Bride dancing at her Headlands Dark Sky Park reception in Mackinaw City, MI
Bridal details of the ring, bouquet and veil beading

The cost of RAW files varies depending on a few different factors.

The photographer, the quality of the image, and the intended use of the image can all play a role in the final price.

Selling RAW files can be a bit tricky since they aren't auto-edited or compressed and can take up a lot of hard drive space to store. Additionally, when a photographer sells the RAW, they lose the copyright and original work. When considering the cost of RAW files, it's important to factor in opportunity cost, sentimental value, print packages, and re-print value.

The cost can range from $150 per hour of coverage for a full day to $10 per image, with the full gallery purchase required. Ultimately, the investment can range from $1200-$10,000 for all of the raw files from an 8 hour wedding day.

artistic perspective on the brides veil blowing in the wind at the Delamar in Traverse City

Providing Raw Files: What You Need to Know When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

While most photographers do not include raw files in their packages, some may offer them for an additional fee.

It depends on the photographer and their policies. Some wedding photographers may offer raw files for sale or as part of their package, while others may not. It's always best to ask your photographer about their policies regarding raw files if it's something you're interested in.

To avoid any confusion, it's essential to address this topic with your photographer before signing a contract. It's worth noting that the decision to provide raw files is ultimately up to the photographer and their business policies.

So, there you have it, folks! We hope this answers your question and helps you make an informed decision when choosing a wedding photographer. Happy planning!