When it comes to printing images for the purpose of creating wall art, many photographers turn to canvas in an all too familiar size and format: The 20×30-inch canvas. This the most common canvas size on the market and a standard for both professional photographers and everyday consumer printers like Walgreens or Costco. While it’s perfectly fine to print an image on a 20×30-inch canvas, just remember that it’s only one of many options for bringing your images to life.
Here are five alternatives to the standard canvas to make your photography stand out, whether you’re a professional looking to add print options to your product catalog or you’re an amateur looking for something different in your home or office.
Custom Canvas Prints
In addition to offering standard sizes, some professional printers offer custom canvases. If you’ve captured a photo that looks best when cropped with unique dimensions, you don’t have to sacrifice parts of your image in order to make it fit into a standard size. You can order custom canvases to frame the image the way you envisioned it.
There are also other ways to experiment with custom canvas prints as well.
We’re used to seeing rectangular or square canvases, but what about other shapes? Canvas Champ, for example, offers a hexagon shaped canvas that looks great on its own or printed in sets to create a distinctive pattern. Flex your creativity as an artist and design a one-of-a-kind wall art display.
The only thing better than putting one print on a wall is hanging a collection of prints, especially when the layout is designed as a cohesive collage. The number of prints you choose to include in a collage will range in number, of course, but you can tell an effective story with just a few photos. Include a variety of angles (wide, medium, and closeup) that feature your subjects engaging in a series of actions and turn your wall art into a storyboard of memories. For professional photographers, selling photo collages represents a great way to increase your revenue.
For your inspiration, here are a couple of spread options we offer our clients at Lin and Jirsa Photography:
2×2 or 3×3 Square Collages
Similarly to a collage, you can split a single image into multiple canvases. It’s a quick and easy way to add visual interest to your wall art. When splitting the image, try to keep your subjects framed neatly within the canvas so that they are not split across multiple canvases, especially if they’re smaller in the frame. Again, for pros, this is a great way to sell more prints to your clients.
Here are two examples of split designs that we offer our clients:
5-Image Split Panoramic
5-Image Split Square
One printing option that works well for both personal and professional purposes comes in the form of poster prints. Whether printed as a standard photo print or mounted on a foam board, poster prints can be customized at any size to call for just the right amount of attention. Professional photographers often use mounted poster prints to highlight package options or otherwise show off their images at photography trade shows, but these prints also work just as well hung on the wall at home. They look great in frames, too.
Large Canvas Prints
If you really want to capture someone’s attention with your photos, go big. Large canvas prints add an instant wow factor to your imagery as the photos hang larger than life on the walls. Moreover, you can use large prints to decorate large wall spaces that might otherwise be difficult to fill. This is a great option if you have an epic environmental photo that you want to highlight with a worthy print. If your subjects are smaller in the frame, large prints work well for showing the context of the scene while also making it easier to focus on your subjects.
Pro Tip: Mobile images work well for smaller prints, such as , while higher resolution photos that you capture with a DSLR or mirrorless camera can be printed on larger canvases.
Add a layer of interaction to your photography and turn your photo into a puzzle. Photo puzzles offer a fun way to experience your images and can be designed into child-friendly patterns with as few as six pieces, or else challenge more experienced puzzlers with 1,000+ pieces. One of the best parts is that you can create a puzzle from a single image or a collage, the latter of which makes it easier to put together larger, more complex puzzles.
Custom Wall Decals
If you’re interested in trying something altogether different, consider printing your photos as a custom wall decal. They’re easy to reposition so that you can place them in just the right spot, and they won’t leave a sticky residue. It’s a fun way to hang your pictures, whether at home or in the studio. Like the previous options we’ve mentioned here, you can customize wall decals for just about any size (even up to 20 feet across).
[Related Reading: A Photographer’s Guide to Photo Prints]
Bonus: Other Fun & Interactive Print Options
If you’re a professional photographer, be sure to only use print options that fit the style and character of your brand. For example, a luxury, high end studio would likely stick to wall art like large prints, splits, and collages. For everyday amateur photographers, however, there are a whole host of fun alternatives to canvases that you can create for your family and friends. Even for professional studios, if your studio is known for being fun and quirky, you might want to consider offering a few of these as well. Here are a few other fun and interactive options.
Photo Mugs, Ornaments & Coasters
We hope you enjoyed this article on five alternatives to standard canvases for photographers. Taking one’s imagery from the digital realm to professionally printed canvases is surprisingly easy and affordable. As we’ve illustrated above, there’s no shortage of options for printing your photos on canvas. Whether you’re an enthusiast or pro, there’s a solution for everyone, and your walls (and client’s walls) will thank you for it.