Photographing Relief-Carved Items

Jim Puentes opened COOLaserCraft in 2008, providing his clients with marking, cutting, and fabrication services. Contact Jim at jptreeman@sbcglobal.net.

Photographing an item for an online listing can be challenging. For relief-carved items, it’s sometimes difficult to get a good photo that emphasizes the dimensional qualities of the piece. Photo cubes are OK for most items; however, I find that a natural, indirect light source, like an open curtain, works the best. Position the item so that the light casts shadows from the raised areas of the carving. The light should come from only one side, whichever shows off the best qualities of the item. Short of being held in the potential buyer’s hand, a great photograph emphasizing the unique qualities of a relief-carved piece is the next best option for making a quick sale. 

—Jim Puentes, COOLaserCraft