Can Weddings Be Shot On JPG?

Can Weddings Be Shot On JPG?


Can Weddings Be Shot On JPG? Lisa explores the pros and cons of shooting in RAW

“I’ve been a hobbyist for a long while and after shooting many friends and family weddings…for free…I’m looking to start ‘turning pro’.

Trouble is, I shoot JPG, not RAW and I’m kinda embarrased to admit it, so much so that when I’ve been on workshops and the tutor says things like ‘I hope everyone is shooting RAW’, I just say that I am!

Shooting JPG seems to be so frowned upon! Half of me is happy to continue with JPGs as I’ve never encountered any issues. Once I’ve uploaded a shoot I always copy the entire file so I have ‘originals’ to go back to if needed….the other half of me wants to shoot RAW because it’s ‘the done thing’.

I know all the technical reasons for why it’s better but I have two worries, one is that I have a basic (cheap) PC and HD set up and I’m worried I will run out of storage trying to keep several sets of massive RAW files on the go at once.

The second issue is that I have very limited editing skills. I have LR and PS and know how to use some nice presets, can crop, dodge, burn and do a bit of cloning etc…but I have no idea about the whole ‘conversion’ thing, about cataloguing, or layers…and trying to learn from the million and one online tutors is just overwhelming.

I’ve also avoided learning because actually I don’t find any issues with shooting JPG aside from people’s reaction to it. I’m not sure what I’m looking for in an answer, part of me hopes you’ll say ‘stuff the naysayers, if you’re happy with JPGs then keep it up’…. but maybe you know of and could recommend a very simple (like, idiot-proof) guide to understanding how to start on this RAW journey. Thanks in advance.”

Shooting Raw is like insurance, a lot of the time it’s not necessary, until the time when it is very much necessary.

Dear Peggy Jay,

Firstly, kudos to you for contemplating the transition from a hobbyist to a professional photographer. It’s a significant step, and your dedication to improving is evident. Now, let’s address your concerns about shooting in RAW versus JPG.

Shooting in RAW vs. JPG: Finding the Balance

First of all, let’s just say that we all deliver JPGs to the clients so don’t let anyone make you feel bad if this is your workflow.

1. Storage and Editing Challenges:

Your concerns about storage and editing are valid. RAW files are larger and demand more storage space. Also, the additional editing capabilities come into play. I never have files on my computer, always on an external drive. This means they are not slowing down your computer.

2. Practical Considerations:

If your current setup works well for you, there’s no need to hastily switch. Storage constraints and limited editing skills can indeed be barriers, especially when you’re comfortable with your current process. Listen, it’s 100% fine to zig when everyone else zags in creative industries.


1. Start Small:

If you’re curious about shooting in RAW, consider a gradual transition. Begin by shooting a few images in RAW during a shoot where you’re not under pressure. This allows you to test the waters without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Learn in Phases:

Rather than diving into comprehensive tutorials, focus on learning specific aspects gradually. You can explore basic RAW editing functions, like exposure adjustments and colour correction, before delving into advanced features.

3. Online Resources:

While the abundance of online tutorials can be overwhelming, you can find simplified guides tailored for beginners. Look for resources that break down the process into digestible steps, allowing you to grasp one concept at a time. We have a full Lightroom Course over in The Barn.


Workflow recommendations for changing from shooting jpg to raw


1. Use Both Formats Initially:

During your transition phase, consider shooting both RAW and JPG for the same scenes. This way, you maintain your comfort with JPG while exploring the possibilities offered by RAW. It also provides a safety net for experimentation.

2. Invest in Learning Tools:

If you decide to delve deeper into RAW editing, invest time in understanding the software. Platforms like Lightroom offer intuitive interfaces and guided features, making the learning curve less steep.

3. Community Support:

Join photography forums or communities where you can seek advice from photographers at all stages who have gone through similar transitions. They can provide valuable insights and share their experiences.


Shooting Raw is like insurance, a lot of the time it’s not necessary, until the time when it is very much necessary. Like something goes wrong with your exposure – everyone makes errors when they are under pressure and a raw file allows for much more correction than a JPEG.

Remember, the technical aspects, while important, should enhance your creative process, not hinder it. If shooting in JPG aligns with your style and workflow, that’s perfectly valid. However, if curiosity leads you to explore RAW, do so at your own pace, without succumbing to external pressures.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Trust your instincts, enjoy the learning process, and embrace the aspects of photography that bring you joy.

I highly recommend joining The Barn and working your way through the bite-size classes on Lightroom which starts with setting up cataloges etc.

Finally, you might find this interview with Kevin Mullins interesting as he talks about why he photographs weddings on JPEG.



Drop me a note with any industry issue that you might have and I will do my best to offer up some advice.

After a couple of decades as a wedding photographer, the chances are high that I will have some experience that might be relevant or have some insight into what your best course of action could be

The process is 100% anonymous, so feel free to share whatever is on your mind currently and know that this is a safe place.