Do you need RAW files from your photographer?
If you are an art director or designer and are going to handle post processing and doing the retouching either yourself or with a professional retoucher then the answer could be yes. Otherwise, no.
Many photographers will refuse to give RAW files to anyone other than an agency or publication they can trust. Their reputations are on the line and unless you know what you're doing, you can make a big mess of a beautiful photo really quickly. Also the photographer may prefer to do the post processing themselves. And did I mention RAW files are really large compared to JPGs? You'll have to have hard drive space to store them and have a computer capable of even handling them.
In some cases the photographer may provide DNG files to an agency. DNG is Adobe's RAW format which allows a photographer to make adjustments and have them stay embedded in the file. In most cases though if you are not a designer, then JPGs are the way to go.
— Brian Bruzewski, Owner/Photographer, Doublebee Photo