There is no short answer to this question. I know that many photographers offer complete discs of unedited images from their sessions and we are constantly asked this question by our clients as well. My answer is NO and this is why. Professional photography is much more than just owning a Canon Digital Rebel and snapping a picture. There is soooo much more that goes into creating beautiful images. Or at least into my images. A large part of my art is vision combined with lighting, style, location and personality. I personally make my props and elaborate sets. We put so much time and effort into the session development and creating unique props and setups. We feel that it is doing a dis-service to our clients by giving them a disc of unedited images because they don’t have the final touches put on them. Its kind of like baking a birthday cake from scratch, layering the cakes with various layers of flavor and fillings putting them on a beautiful display dish and serving without frosting and candles. Professional photography is no small investment and this is why. There is a ton of work that goes on after the image is captured in camera. I’ve attached a few before and after images to this post so that you can see what I mean. SOOC = Shot Out Of Camera
Here is a close up
Notice in this next image we were able to add waves to the background in the post production.
Here is a situation where I took well over 200 shots and could not get these 2 lil firecrackers to look at me and smile at the same time so we made a composite image out of 2 different images.
And finally here is an example of a wedding image
I hope this post helps you understand a little better what actually goes on when we say “editing”. We DO sell a disc of high res files but our disc includes 12 RETOUCHED images now instead of a whole unedited session.