Would you deliver raw files images to a client straight out of camera?

If you’re a member of any online photography forums or social media groups then you occasionally come across people asking whether or not they should hand over RAW files to clients who ask for them.

Straight out of camera images are not great are they? There — I said it because it’s true.

Who doesn’t edit their images today?

There was a time when we used to judge cameras and lenses by straight out of camera images. They were considered the only true measure of a camera or lens’s image quality. Purists scoffed at an image that wasn’t straight out of camera.

Today’s reality is a whole different animal. We can’t escape correcting our images in some form or another — no matter how subtle — with current editing platforms. Even the most minute of edits can no longer be considered straight out of camera.

My typical editing process starts with an import of the images, and I will almost always apply the standard lens profile correction to every image — out of the gate, I’ve already ruined the mystique of “straight out of camera.” Second, I use Lightroom Classic, and I will usually apply the “Auto” button to start the editing process of my images in the Develop panel. In my eyes, it’s almost always a great starting point!

When showing images to prove a lens or camera’s strength, I feel the need to post SOOC images … why?

I do a lot of lens and camera reviews, both here on Photofocus and on my YouTube channel. I’m always feeling the pressure to show images in the review that are straight out of camera to demonstrate the “true” image quality of a given lens or camera. I still see reviews where the reviewer needs to explain what edits they made, no matter how minor to get as close to straight out of camera as possible.

My question is why? I’ve recently come to the conclusion that SOOC images are essentially irrelevant for today’s photographer. I’ve even modified my reviews to show optical quality and the “quality of the results.” The rationale behind this is to show what’s possible with edited images too.

Today’s photographer is always making tweaks to their images, no matter how subtle to improve the overall look, exposure, color, etc. So much so that I’m not aware of a photographer today that would dare deliver wedding or portrait images that were taken straight out of camera (if you know any, please comment below).

Editing has become such a natural part of the process and photography has evolved so much — and continues to evolve — in the digital era, that edited images are just the norm. Seeing an unedited image almost feels weird.

I polled my audience just to see …

I received 129 votes in the first 24 hours and the results were surprising — a full 66% of the respondents said they edit every image or almost all images, while only 19% said they occasionally edit (16%) or never edit images (3%).

Do you edit every image or do you dare deliver straight out of camera? Comment down below!

Author Profile

Sarah Meere
Sarah Meere
Executive Editor

Sarah looks after corporate enquiries and relationships for UKFilmPremieres, CelebEvents, ShowbizGossip, Celeb Management brands for the MarkMeets Group. Sarah works for numerous media brands across the UK.

Email https://markmeets.com/contact-form/

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