Most photographers refuse to give all unedited photos from a session to the client. Why? Because during a wedding, especially, there are a lot of shots that aren’t that stunning. Editing helps pull out the good images and make a good image from an okay image. Here’s an example:

BeforeafterJon

But unlike many photographers, I always give all unedited and edited photos to my clients. Why? It pretty much comes down to this: when I got married, I got back beautiful pictures, but there weren’t very many. There were so many moments I wish I could relive through the photographs. Even the anxiety, the craziness, the bad lighting, etc. I wish I could see the faces of our guests, even the bad pictures. I don’t care if they’re edited.

The analogy that photographers often make is: you don’t go into a restaurant and demand raw food. You order it to have it cooked and prepared the way the chef thinks is best. When you hire a photographer, you hire them to not only take the pictures, but also “cook” the best and present them in the best light.

But I’d adjust that analogy. Refusing to give unedited photos is like forcing a customer to get certain things from the menu, and not even showing them the rest of the options. That’s not fair, and it’s not necessarily what the customer will want. The chef may think he/she knows best, but in the end, everyone has their own taste. So let them choose.

I understand not wanting to give a bad representation of your brand. That’s totally your prerogative. I had the experience of being a client and wanting the raw files, so I understand the other perspective. As long as the first images I give are stunning, though, I don’t care if the rest are revealed.