RAW files to Clients?

 
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: RAW files to Clients? Reply with quote

I just started following a discussion on LinkedIn about this issue. A photographer posted a question about including or sending RAW files. I don't do this, and I think there are many good reasons not to include RAW files. However, it seems a few "photographers" there think there is a risk of losing clients by not giving the clients your RAW files ... I know, insane .....

Anyway, I am wondering about how PPForum members approach this issue. I know the LinkedIn discussions are new, but I am getting frustrated at the lack of professionalism there, and wish I had more ammunition to educate more. It's a shame Leslie, and others, are not over on some of those discussions.

Here is a link, if you are on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=66373&discussionID=10321555&split_page=1
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved this to General... I think it belongs here and got lost where you had it.

There are a couple situations where I give clients RAW files. On occasion the ad agency does it's retouching in-house and needs the RAW files for that. I just did an ad for Panasonic and that's what they needed, so that's what I gave them.

If you think about it... We used to give the client our original film to do scans. We were supposed to get it back, but it wasn't always easy to get it back. At least in this case we are only giving a copy to them. If you state in your paperwork the number of images to be used, then you're just as likely to have someone try to use more than you were back then when they could scan as many as they wanted without you knowing it.

If you're one of those that the client comes to you just as much for your post work as anything else, then they won't need any RAW files because you're the retoucher.
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Park
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Exceptions Reply with quote

I am one of the photographers that did not say I never give raw images. I cited two exceptions. One a major architectural magazine whose photoshop work is better than anything I can produce and who proved how good they were through multiple assignments. Two was the photo editor for a large state travel magazine who I have known for twenty years. He asked for them in order to prepare them best for their new printer and regularly gets raw files. In both cases I provided tiffs they could use either for the final usage or as guide prints.

In some ways I applaud the lock step reaction on the Linked In group about giving raw files out. I certainly would never send raw files to any client I did not have trust in. On the other hand it seems that very few of the responders had any publication experience dating back to film. As Brooks pointed out, most of us sent our precious chromes out to our clients for them to scan. There may have been out takes but there was only one original. We also watched as poor quality reproduction often resulted. I shot for the text book industry for a number of years and they often reproduced on less then the best paper and the results were nothing you would show in a portfolio. I learned quickly to divorce myself emotionally from the results as I had no control over them. But I also have some clients with extremely competent people in their graphics departments and a long history of professional quality work. These are not mom & pop businesses who have no idea what a nef, CR2, or dng is. Are you going to tell nationally awarded publications that you have no confidence in them?

Before I sent the first images to the architectural magazine I asked one of their main photographers about sending raw files and he said he didn't even include processed tiffs as it was unnecessary work. His work was featured in PDN. I could not bring myself to actually send the raw files without tiffs of the processing I liked but soon saw why he had so much confidence in their retouchers.

What I am trying to get over is there are exceptions to rules. Sometimes the best results are found by intelligently breaking rules rather than blindly following them.
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brooks Ayola wrote:
I moved this to General... I think it belongs here and got lost where you had it.......



Thanks!

Brooks Ayola wrote:
If you're one of those that the client comes to you just as much for your post work as anything else, then they won't need any RAW files because you're the retoucher.


That would be me. However, I can see that if a client wanted to work with a particular retoucher, perhaps something like CGI for an automotive shoot, then I would not have a problem. I have more of an issue with unskilled clients having RAW files, which was the original question at the LinkedIn discussion.
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Brooks Ayola
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Gordon What's the group that the discussion is in.. It won't let me in, or show me what the group is.
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photography Industry Professionals over at LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=66373&trk=anet_ug_grppro

Owner: Kelly Carson

Hopefully that link works. If I recall correctly, they asked me to join that one.
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Francisco Lubbert
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One major magazine has me send them the all the files in Raw format. When I get to know which shots are candidates to be published, I do all the adjustments and save them as DNG.

I did not do it on the last assignment, taken in bright sunlight, the printed double spread picture was blueish and bad looking. Coming from a CNN Times Warner magazine (Mexico), that was disappointing.
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dougphoto
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really have a problem with it what I will do is import to lightroom tweak a bit and export as DNG's that way I get a little control, I also export them as a small jpg slide show so they can run through them quickly and see the tweaks. I'd rather have the client do the heavy photoshoping.
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Rich Green
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've haven't yet been in a position to turn over RAW files, and I do understand the arguments of some photographers who want to process the images for their "vision", but my thoughts are these - as opposed to film, any file - RAW, TIFF, etc. - are copies. Second, with editorial, event, wedding, the client wants the photographer to do the processing. With advertising the final images are never "as is". With all the special effects, specific colors (e.g. McDonald's arches) and other assorted details, there will be situations where the ad agency needs the RAW files for consistency. (I realize this situation varies greatly). But, at the end of the day, isn't one of the most important aspects is how you are licensing the work?
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ShogunASSASIN
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:38 am    Post subject: retoucher? Reply with quote

Remember the old saying 80% business 20% photography.

The new saying is 80% retouch 20% photography.

If you can't handle photoshop I feel sorry.

You will not last much longer...

Art Directors are PS whizs... You better keep up. The client should NOT know more than you.
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