Is it better to take off masking if doing a photo engrave?
In my opinon, yes.
I agree. My less goop to clean up.
Yes. If you have cuts to do outside of the engraving area you can use a score to cut through the masking, do one run with just the score enabled, then carefully peel off the masking inside the scored area, then repeat the run with everything but the score enabled. of course this adds a score to your piece as it penetrates below the mask , but for many designs that looks nice.