Can someone please explain to me the difference in shootong raw vs jpeg? Someone told me it is easier to remove shadows and such and makes editing easier if u shoot in raw. Is this true? I just started doing this and really do not understand the benefits and drawbacks. What exactly is raw and jpeg anyway? Can I still use portrait mode in raw?
Read this: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg
If you want more, Google "Raw vs Jpeg" and you will find many, many, many more links to explore.
To get a contrasting point of view, by all means read what Ken Rockwell has to say. Remember, Ken is a professional photographer ... he has learned how to "get it right" when making the shot. I'm not that good, shooting Raw lets me recover from a lot of mistakes I make when shooting.
Many of these articles talk about Photoshop CS. Don't worry, Elements handles Raw just fine.
PS - sure, you can use any of the shooting modes with Raw (I think).