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For Photographers | Shooting RAW


Good morning, or afternoon, whatever time it might be that you are reading this! hehe!

I’ve been putting some thought into what I should blog about this week. I could easily blog a recent session, but I wanted to blog about something different. Today, I decided to blog about my experience of shooting in RAW. What is RAW, some beginners or non-photographers may ask? As Photography Concentrate said it best, in their “10 Reasons Why You Should Be Shooting RAW,” RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. When shooting in a format like JPEG image information is compressed and lost.

For the first year of building my business in 2011, I embarrassingly shot in LARGE format. From family photos, senior portraits, and even my first WEDDING was shot in LARGE format! WHAT!? Why didn’t I shoot in RAW, especially for my first wedding. Well, it was because of a few things.

First, I didn’t have much of an understanding of what it did and why it was so important.

Second, I didn’t have the right editing programs for it.

Third, I finally found out how huge the files were in RAW format, that I didn’t have enough space + ram on my computer at the time. I couldn’t upload a full shoot + it would take so long just to preview a photo.

Once I purchased a new laptop + a big enough external hard drive, I was set + determined to start shooting in RAW.

OH MY GOODNESS! I was able to do SO much more with my editing after I had everything set. Ever since, I haven’t changed my camera settings back to LARGE.

With shooting in RAW, I have found so many opportunities in ways to edit! You can change the coloring so much easier, if you shot with a higher ISO, there are ways to save it from looking super grainy by the way you can edit, and what I think is amazing is that if I shot a nice bright photo, I can turn it into a silhouette, or the other way around. Which is what happened with the photo at the top of the blog post. I purposely shot the couple with the settings to create a silhouette, but when it came to editing, I was able to act as if I shot it with out the settings of a silhouette. Isn’t that amazing?

Now, here at the end of this blog post, you will see a shot from my first wedding. You will see that the sun is behind them, just like the photograph of the couple above, but since I didn’t shoot in RAW, when I went to edit to make the photo brighter, it ruined the photo.

I really wish I had the correct equipment + studied more when I first started, because I can then go back to my first shoots and edit in the style I now prefer. Unfortunately, I can not because the files are JPEG. But guess what? It was a learning process and I couldn’t be any happier with my progress in my career from when I first started.

If you are a beginner photographer and have the right editing software + space on your computer, please start shooting in RAW, you will not regret it! 🙂

Hope this blog posts helps any new comers!

Shelby Danielle
{Follow me of Instagram for daily updates: @ShelbyDaniellePhotography}