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Photo Engraving Do's and Don'ts

How can I create a great photo engraving with the laser?

Photo engraving Dos and Don'ts.

Photographs are one of the most popular items for engraving purposes. Taking a captured memory and engraving it upon a different material such as wood or marble truly takes photographs to the next level. Here we’ll cover the do’s and don’ts that will make all your photo engraved projects picture perfect!

  • DO practice! There’s no single correct method of engraving photos. The more you engrave photos, the better you will become, so don’t get discouraged if at first your engraved photographs do not display the perfect results you’re looking for.

  • DO consider the material on which you’re engraving. A single photograph will engrave differently from one material to the next. Even if you use the same photograph, each material will produce a different engraved look.

  • DO select appropriate photos! When laser engraved, the photos that produce the best results feature a wide variety of shading that goes from light to dark.

  • DO scan your photos at a low resolution such as 200 or 300 DPI. If you are going to engrave your photos at 200 DPI, there really is no reason to scan it in at a higher resolution. Scanning photos in at a lower resolution also will ensure your photos are small enough to work with when manipulating in your chosen graphics software."

  • DO go with color when scanning in a photo. If you’re scanning a photo you should always scan it in color; even if the photo is black and white (most scanners give you this option.) The color process generates useful data that comes in handy when you go to manipulate the photo.

  • DON’T try to engrave photos containing large areas of a single color - they typically do not engrave well

  • DON’T engrave photos with expansive backgrounds containing only one or two small subjects.

  • DON’T use low-resolution Internet images. Be sure to obtain the highest resolution digital image you can from the Internet. Low resolution photos and graphics copied and pasted from the Internet are almost never suitable for engraving.

Whether you’re just beginning to engrave photographs or you’re already familiar with the process, these tips and tricks will help ensure you make the right choices to get the high-quality, professional results you’re seeking.

If further assistance is required, please contact Epilog Laser Technical Support by phone at 303-215-9171, or by email at