John Mayer Explains Why Photographers Shouldn’t Give Out Raw Files to Clients
Nick Percori from Fstoppers recently took some liberties from musician John Mayer’s comments about creatives during an interview with Mayer and Jerry Lorenzo talking about Nike Air Fear of God Collaboration, Kanye West & more in the Complex Cover interview.
Nick does admit in a cute way that Mayer’s comments were not verbatim about photographers raw digital files… from the article:
Okay, okay, maybe he did not exactly say that verbatim. But after watching this snippet from an interview from Complex with musician John Mayer and fashion designer Jerry Lorenzo, you’ll see immediately that his analogy aligns what we go through as photographers throughout the creative process.
One of the most awkward, skin-crawling, unavoidable conversations that you’ll eventually run into is a client adamant about receiving the raw files from you. Some photographers are lax about it, most photographers I know would hold onto dear life and refuse to give their raw materials out. And that’s where this whole issue arises: raws are a photographer’s raw material.
Some clients just simply don’t understand that, and no is not enough. They ask why. From this point, it is the photographer’s responsibility not to tell them why, but to educate them why politely.
I personally use analogies. It’s the easiest and most simplistic way to put someone in your shoes. And one of the most influential artists out there left a perfect analogy for you to use, on a silver platter Pun not intended.
His example may be slightly over-exaggerated, but it holds true. Raw images are considered raw materials to get the job done. And yes, there are always exceptions to any rule where clients will absolutely have to have raws or a buyout is arranged. But it is our job as a community to not only educate clients but new creatives on these issues. Yes, we may be competitive, but we can all win together.
Nice job Nick… and yes, I don’t give out my RAW files either. It really is like the messy kitchen. There is no need to a client to even have them in the first place. -Rick Bella for Bella Photography