Actually, it is very individual, each photographer is his or her own boss and he or she can have his or her own opinion on this popular question. I will share the most widespread reasons for that and definitely state my own opinion in the end of the article.
1. So let’s begin with RAWs. RAW is a format of an initial (raw) state of a photo that requires special knowledge of PC in order to convert it into JPEG, a readable and well familiar to everybody format. Of course, you may limit yourself just with PC in order to convert RAW into JPEG but in this case you should be ready that in the end you will receive a result that will be worse than in that case when you make a standard photo with the help of the automatic mode in JPEG format. In other words, requiring RAWs you ask for the data taken from the camera matrix in its pure form.
2. It often happens so that when a photographer shares initial photos he regrets having done that after coming across his works retouched by the client/model on the Internet. Of course, they promise that they wouldn’t publish or change them in the way that doesn’t correspond to the interests of a photographer but very often all these promises are just words. Quite often such photos evoke negative emotions towards themselves and their photographer as well.
Once a woman (a client) decided to share her Lightroom (photo editor) skills and published a photo taken by me representing her vision of it. The result was extremely horrible but she thought it was a masterpiece 😉 It’s not so easy to achieve beautiful, harmonious and natural colors! On the other hand, maybe it’s the beginning of her career but it was not quite clear why she decided to tag a photographer on her masterpiece)
3. Many photographers don’t share RAWs referring to copyright considerations. It is commonly accepted that copyright remains with the photographer by default if he does not transfer this right with the help of certain release. Yes, a model is buying the product – photos when paying for the shooting but he or she doesn’t buy the copyright. An initial photo is the evidence in case of arguments about the rights to publish it. Usually Photographers of Samui work not commercially but with the clients who come for a vacation in Thailand that is why it will be more difficult to get a refusal on Samui because here we talk about other types of shooting and these photos are rarely seen by journalists and printers who like using others’ works in their own interests.
4. The secret of focus. Getting an original photo you will be able to see a part or even the whole process of its retouching. In such a way many secrets will be revealed taking all the romance away from the photos, although it depends on the photo itself of course.
It’s also worth mentioning that the part of initial photos may evoke your inferiority complex. If to talk more in details, unlike film photography, modern high definition photography can make a model look older reinforcing all the details and making skin defects look more prominent. Moreover, digital photography makes wrinkles and skin pores look bigger, makes skin look dry and reflects everything that we don’t usually notice when we look in the mirror. Wide angle lenses may cause distortions which are removed in photo editors together with other defects which are ignored by photographers because they know how to hide them in a professional way. In other words, original photos don’t reflect the reality as it is. It is a raw material, as it was said before. While comparing the initial photo with the author’s photo many people think that photography is not art, but PHOTOSHOP is! 🙂
5. And, perhaps, the last reason among most popular ones due to which we say “Sorry, but no” will be described by me in the form of a dialogue which I once had ) It was the first and the last case of such kind.
– Hello! Thanks for RAWs but I can’t watch them
– Hi! Perhaps you don’t have the program that helps to “read” them
– I have a new laptop and windows7, it’s the first time when such thing happens!..
– Windows can’t read RAW format without necessary software, you may find more information on the Internet
– Oh can you tell me?
– There are many programs now, I use Lightroom
– And where can I download it? How can I install it? Should I pay for it? How to use it? Where is the button to “make everybody be flabbergasted”?
– And here I level up myself as a consultant, programmer, teacher and looser
I am sure that every reader will now agree that when the question of RAW photos arises, a photographer refuses due to more serious reasons than just greed 😉
As for me I don’t see any sense at all in giving them if I don’t work with a company or some other photographer 😉 That is the reason why I am not ready to waste my time on some extra actions. And of course I agree with everything mentioned above, although in general I feel more indifferent to all that except last example 😉