What are ‘straight out of camera’ files?
Files straight out of the camera are similar to the negatives from film cameras – they are complete with all the detail, but don’t have any of the polish. The raw images need to be enhanced with exposure tweaks, removal of colour casts, and spot and skin work. A good photographer will fully edit these images, and re-size or crop them if necessary, before showing them on a blog or website, and before the client sees them. Image editing is like anything in life – there are different standards from poor to professional – but you can be sure that all my images are enhanced professionally before they are seen.
Why would I want the image files?
There are many reasons why you might want to have digital copies of the photographs of your wedding. They allow you to make prints yourselves, and to share images with friends and family either by email or through social networking and photo sharing sites. Some people just feel safer in the knowledge that they have a digital copy of all the images.
Remember though, that when a photographer provides a copy of the images the copyright still remains with them. As the client, you usually have a limited print release that allows you to produce prints for yourself and to share, but not to sell any of those images – either in print form or in electronic form.
Are there other restrictions of use?
All professional photographers retain control of the use of their images through the copyright laws that I mentioned above. Only the original purchaser has permission to print images and they cannot sell their print release onwards. This means that they cannot email the full size image to another person for them to print it. Also, as the client, you cannot alter the images you receive in any way. They have been processed by the photographer using his or her method, and in his or her particular style – this is probably one of the reasons you hired them in the first place. However, if you do want to make any changes, I am happy to discuss it and we can work something out.
If you’d like to send your images to a magazine – just let me know and I will liaise with them to ensure the correct size and resolution is provided. The photographer is the only person authorised to sell or distribute the photographs to publications, and I am always happy to do it on a client’s behalf.
Can I get cheap prints made at the supermarket?
Yes of course you can, but remember that you get what you pay for. Proper professional retouching and processing takes time. It is a service that is individual to each client and it is my area of expertise. Yes there is a difference between taking a digital unaltered file to the supermarket and getting a print for £1 or getting one from me for £5. The differences are that I use a professional print lab that uses higher grade paper and superior, more stable processes that ensure colours are accurate. Remember that you are also paying for my time to ensure that a printed image looks perfect in your home. All this requires training, equipment and specialist software which is why professional prints seem more expensive at first glance.
Does image editing make a difference?
Professional retouching is a subtle art and covers many different aspects of an image. Some pictures may need more work than others, but in general the following areas are covered:
- Exposure adjustments
- Colour Casts
- Colour Settings
- Spot and Blemish removal
- Special Effects
- Removing unwanted items
The first adjustments are to bring an image to an initial ‘proof’ stage, and this is what you usually see in an online gallery. I always provide completely finished editing for all my customers for albums and prints, and on their DVD of images.
To the right is an example of my image editing, and depending on the quality of the screen you are using, you may think the changes are subtle but they make all the difference.
If you have any further questions about editing, digital files, or anything else, just send me an email and I will be happy to help.
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