CD of original images


TPF Noob!
Dec 19, 2007
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Hi, I'm an amateur photographer who hired a professional for my wedding. The photographer offered a DVD with the original images to do as we wish (which included a copyright release letter). This cost an additional $600 on top of the photo package. Being a professional graphic designer (currently managing the pre-press department at a small printer), I figured I could put together a nice book using the originals. Now, I asked if the DVD included the original images, but did not push further to ask if they included the original/RAW photos (see Tiff). I figured it did, considering she knew what I was doing with them (I should have asked though!) --It ends up that the DVD has lower resolution jpegs that would seem barely passable for 4x6's at Walgreens.

My question: In my field, that if an image starts out RAW/Tiff then that would be called the "original"...not a jpeg, that saved down (see copy).

Am I being unreasonable in my expectations. Obviously, I should have asked directly about the our definitions of "original". What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are
go down there and get your 600 bucks back, or get a new DVD with RAW images, or the original JPEGS on it.

That's not acceptable.
most photographers give high res jpegs, not raw fact, i dont know anyone who gives raw/tiff/psd's or the like. I would expect for $600 that you should get the high res jpeg.
You certainly have a case. Unless they shot the wedding with a point and shoot digital camera, at the lowest settings, you should at least have 8x10 quality, if not higher. Some photogs don't shoot in RAW, so you might not get that, but at least a high res jpg.
Well, when I called him earlier today-he said that they never give out the RAW files. I said, "well the jpegs aren't original files are they?," "because they came from the ORIGINAL RAW (probably TIFF) files?". He said no again, and pointed out that they trash the originals after converting them to jpeg....... ( I understand that keeping the raw originals for every shoot would take some hard drive space, but at least put a time limit in the contract before the (original) pictures are trashed). BTW the wedding was a month ago.

They are a family run outfit that have been shooting for about 10-15 years. I got one of the daughter (photographers) on the phone the day I called in a inquired about the original images. She was the one that stated that I would get the original images to do as I please with.

I'm sure this DVD would work for the unknowing family that wants unregulated reprint rights --for 4x6's. I'll have to try them at 8x10s and see how they do. I'm used to dealing with image quality since I work in prepress everyday and don't see them working out too nice.

Thanks for the everyone's input.
Welcome to the forum.

I agree with the others. While you might not expect to the get the 'original' RAW files...I would expect to get files that had the native resolution of the cameras that they were using. So if they were using a Canon 30D, for example, I would expect files that are 3504 x 2336 pixels.

Maybe a simple test would be to ask them if you could order a 12x18 print. If they say yes, they probably have a large file somewhere.

Also, it seems very unprofessional that they would 'trash' the original files. Most wedding photographers that I know, will make backup copies of the originals as the first thing they do after a wedding.

Sounds like maybe they are trying to blow you off...or else they are making excuses for their poor workflow. I would keep pushing them, either to get better files or to get that $600 back.
That's a rip off. At least she should have given you all the full-size JPEGs. You should definitely approach them and ask a refund of your $600.
Based on the wording that you have posted, I would expect a disc with full size JPGs. Not Shrunk down. If that was their intention then it should have been worded differently. But please remember, I am basing this on what you have said.
My thoughts are
go down there and get your 600 bucks back, or get a new DVD with RAW images, or the original JPEGS on it.

That's not acceptable.

I agree here. For $600 I would expect to see the original files.
Take the biggest friend you have and go and see this non-professional and either get the dvd or your $600 back and explain to him that the internet is a big place to say bad things about bad photographers-:)

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