A sculpture in the round is a type of sculpture usually designed to stand alone. The sculptor must design and sculpt it with the notion that a viewer could be standing at any angle to view it. A relief sculpture is when 3D imagery is attached to a background, therefore only visible from certain angles. Relief imagery is usually further characterized by the depth between the sculpture and background.
You are all ready to take a photograph and someone says, “Oh wait! We need to switch sides, this is my bad side!” Since most photography is 2D, they have the opportunity to craft the angle from which their body is viewed. When you are creating a sculpture in the round, you don’t get to have a bad side. In relief sculptures, artists design the piece to be viewed optimally from a few angles – more than in photography, but fewer than sculptures in the round.