RAW or DIGITAL Photos?

Posted by aruchaevsky on Dec 29, 2009

As couples shop for their wedding photography, there are many questions, which need to be answered to assist them in making the important choice of who will capture the special day.

Now, more than ever there is a tremendous amount of information available to couples regarding digital photography, and  among the many questions we receive is whether or not we offer images in RAW form or JPEG. Before asking that question it is important to understand what each ones offers before determining if that’s something that will make a difference for you.

To start, a RAW file is produced prior to a JPEG and in many cases is called the “digital negative”. Every professional camera today allows the photographer to set their camera to RAW or JPEG.

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A RAW file is named RAW because the file has not been processed yet. A RAW file allows the studio to further adjust the images, with regards to light, color and other settings which may create dramatic changes to the images before it is converted to a printable file type, such as a TIFF or JPEG file.

Although our studio does not require our photographers to shoot in RAW or JPEG, we see both formats, and in most cases prefer a JPEG image, shot at the highest resolution quality.

This is where you may find varied opinions from one studio to another. Our belief is that professional photographers, especially those photographing a wedding should have the proper exposure, white balance, aperture and the other setting necessary to capture a great image.

If that is done correctly, there should not be any adjustment to the settings once the image has been captured allowing you to capture the image in JPEG.


JPEG is an acronym for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, the committee which created the standard. Simply put, a JPEG images is an images which has been compressed to a printable format. A JPEG may still be altered with regards to lighting or darkening an image and since it is a compressed file, it will take up less space on your memory card, allowing for more images and less post production, which may reduce the total cost of your photography package.

At the end of the day the images you see on display and in the albums of the studio you are considering may be a better indicator of what kind of images you will get, than whether or not the studio offers images in RAW or JPEG.