A few times a year I am asked by my clients if they can see or have every single photo I took during their session. "It doesn't even have to be edited! I'll just take it RAW!" My answer to this is always the same.
Why not? Well, read on!
First off, you actually need special software to view a RAW file. They aren't something you can just open on your phone or casually view on your computer. Not to mention that they are HUGE files. Like.... FREAKING ENORMOUS. Depending on the kind of image I'm capturing, a singe file can take up anywhere between 50-200 mega bites! I can easily shoot up to 250gb during an 8 hour wedding (roughly the same amount of storage on your average laptop). They are just way too large to be easily shared or viewed.
There is also a common misconception that because I shoot on an amazing camera that all my pictures are just automatically amazing and perfect.
Yes, my camera IS amazing.... but guess what? The pictures I take don't just automatically look amazing because of the camera. It certainly helps but those images need a little Jenn Spain MAGIC for them to truly be appreciated. The truth is, lots of unedited pictures look like total butthole until they're edited.
Well, maybe not butthole exactly but certainly not amazing! Unedited photos can seem unremarkable to the untrained eye but with a little of the aforementioned magic, the image blossoms into something spectacular.
I often tell my clients to think of the unedited photo as an ingredient. You all know how I feel about cake, right? Say you hire the most reputable baker in town to bake you a delicious cake with chocolate ganache. You would be pretty disappointed if the baker plopped a sack of flour in front of you. I mean, the front window is filled with gorgeous cakes and the baker's instagram is just flooded with cake after beautiful cake. How come yours just looks like flour? The edited photo is the cake. The unedited photo is the flour. Don't ask to see the ingredient... wait for the cake, dammit. (It's worth it, I PROMISE.)
Ingredient vs. Cake
Also, NOT EVERY IMAGE IS WORTH SEEING. If an image is blurry, or if someone is blinking or it's basically the same as another image but not quite as good, there is no point in keeping it! Unflattering pictures also get the boot because this never should have happened to Beyonce. I deliver only the VERY BEST images to my clients. Sure, you may "think" you want every single image from your wedding but as someone who actually has seen every single picture from your wedding- trust me when I say you don't. I very carefully cull and select only the very best photos for you. Not just because I want you to have only the best pictures (which I do!) but also because I have my pride! This is work that my name is attached too and its important to me that it is reflective of the quality my clients have come to expect.
Still not convinced? Here are a few more.
What a difference, right?!!
From meh to brilliant!
Cropping and color correction help make Cass and Caleb really pop in this photo.
You feel me? I don't show you your unedited pictures because they aren't ready! They (like the cake) are being baked to absolute perfection.