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As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Saving RAW Files

I saw a FB post from a wedding photographer who put up a couple of really cool shots of the bride and groom. In the discussion that followed, someone wanted to see the original. The photographer's response was "I delete the RAW files after I deliver the JPEGs". I was really taken by surprise, and asked "are you nuts?". He did seem to think there was any problem with deleting his RAW files. He asked "will you ever need them again?".

I would love to know what the people on this forum do, and how long you keep RAW files from an event/wedding/headshot session/etc.  I have been getting paid to photograph for almost 5 years (I know, small time), and I have every RAW file that was delivered as a JPEG - I delete the rejects and doubles.

So is this really unusual to delete RAW files after final-photo delivery? Am I being really naive about this? I have on occasion been asked for a photo or two from a prior-year event, which the client company would use to advertise the same upcoming event, so I keep stuff.

Would really like to hear some thoughts or opinions on this.



  • TrevTrev Moderator

    I keep mine and once I have had them on the HDD for around 12 months, I will burn to an external drive, then I delete all files relevant to that job from my computer itself.

    And yes, I have had occasion to need to go back to a RAW file for a re-edit for something special.

    Some have had occasion to ask for a canvas print, so I re-edit that file to suit canvas printing, subtle differences but ideal for canvas prints. I can make the shadows blacker and maybe alter colour slightly to give punch to a canvas print, and even resolution, depends on the canvas; so yeah, keep on doing what you do.

    Others may differ, but that's their own way of working, so would not knock those who differ, just convenient for me.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I keep my selected RAW files indefinitely. 
    I have several Drobos to that end. 
  • i keep my raw files into https://mega.nz/. when i need them i can easily download
  • I keep my Raws , Incase I want to re-process 
  • Hi EveryoneI question that's is kinda related . Do you separate , the different genras into there on folders  Wedding Commercial etc and do clients with multiple jobs get there own folder ?

    Just curious to see how everyone does it.

    Lou Recine
    Matrix Photography 
  • I have separate folders for Headshots, Events, Commercial, Food, etc.
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