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The Best Photos for Canvas Prints - Most Inspiring Photography for Your Wall Art

By Atiqi36

What image to print in my canvas? That is the question every homeowner or decorator will eventually ask themselves when tasked with decorating the walls of their living spaces. The right images can make or break your wall art designs, so it’s important to know just how to identify and where to go to find the best photos for canvas prints.

From image resolution all the way to canvas frame and to what kind of photos to choose, here’s all you need to know to create the most inspiring canvas prints using photographs to really light up your home. 

Canvas-worthy Photos - Look for What Matters

Baby on mom shoulder
Baby on Mom shoulder
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Woman in field
Woman in field

First things first, for you to have the most beautiful framed canvas prints complementing your space’s decor, you need to find the perfect images for them. Not all beautiful photos make for great canvas prints art, so you should definitely give this some thought. So, what are the parameters to find print-worthy images for your canvas art? Very simple:

Well-Defined Subject

Baby Feet
Baby Feet
Girl with rabbit
Girl with rabbit
Yellow frog
Yellow Frog

Overpopulated or vaguely defined photos are not interesting enough to hang on your walls. For a canvas print, you want the subject of the image to be clear and to draw the attention of viewers in an interesting and appealing way. One strong subject in an otherwise tranquil background is ideal, but you can play with this idea to find the balance that suits your vision.

Sharp Focus

Hand in water
Hand in Water
Peacock
Peacock
small girl
Small Girl
Pregnant Woman
Pregnant Woman

Following the same thinking of having an eye-catching art piece, the main element(s) of the photo should be sleekly defined and focused, to make sure viewers see it first, see it clearly, and love it.

Vibrant Colors

Colour Splash
Colour Splash
Red Flower
Red Flower
Stones in River Bank
Stones in River Bank

While you can opt for black and white or washed tones, vibrant hues make for great, eye-catching wall decor pieces.

Large Format Composition

3 kids
Kids
Aerial road view
Aerial Road View
Mom with baby
mom with baby

Ideal photos for canvas have a concept that stands out when printed in medium to large format. This includes an intelligent use of colors and overall an interesting compositional design whose details are highlighted and not lost with print size.

Where are Photos for Canvas Prints - The Convenience of Stock Photos

newly wed couple

Let’s talk now about where to source pictures for your pieces, as there’s several options, but one is clearly more convenient than the others.

Use your Own Photos

baby with mom dad
Baby with Mom Dad
family group photo
family group photo
two boys
two boys

Be it because you want to personalise your rooms with family or self-portraits or you simply love to hang your own creative work on your walls, using your own images is a valid option. However, you must make sure you have the right gear and skills to produce the kind of images we just defined as canvas-worthy in high definition. If you don’t, this is not the best solution.

Hire a Photographer

-
adult bride church
adult bride church
beach bride clouds
beach bride clouds
wedding couple road
wedding couple road

This of course will result in personalised photos that are unique to you and have the professional quality needed for the work. But it can be costly, and the turnover times can be extensive.

Use Free Photos from the Web

adventure clouds daylight
adventure clouds daylight
colorful night
colorful night
colorful venice
colorful venice

Here’s an alternative many will be attracted to, because it’s hard to say no to free stuff. However, depending on how, where and why you’re creating a canvas print this might not be the wisest choice. Websites offering free photo downloads are often tricky, the images come with a murky free usage license and they aren’t properly policed. So you can end up facing legal trouble for copyright infringement, image misuses and other issues, particularly if you’re selling the final print to a client.

Buy Royalty-Free Stock Photos

flower vaas
flower vaas
girl swimming
girl swimming
tree logs
tree logs

Another option is to grab professional stock photographs that are ready to be downloaded, licensed and used in a canvas print. Stock photography is particularly useful for this purpose, as it covers endless subjects, ensures legal safety and is commonly very affordable.

Stock Photo Secrets Shop is one ideal stock photo agency to buy images for canvas prints, with a nurtured collection of over 5 million high-quality photos ready to download from just £1 and as little as a few pennies each.

Quick Note: Stock photography works for canvas prints as much for your personal use as for commercial purposes. But you must pay attention to the licensing terms. If the photo you license will be to use in a framed canvas print for yourself, or in just one wall art piece for one particular customer, a Standard Royalty-Free license (which these sites offer by default) will do. But if you’re intending to run a print-on-demand or serial reproduction business, you will need an Extended license to the photos you want to use, and you can normally get them, but at a higher price.

Inspiring Photographs in Custom Canvas Prints - Favorite Photos to use in Wall Art

horses grazing
horses grazing
man infront black red carriage
man infront of black red carriage
white mountains green field
white mountains green field

How we know what to look for in a photograph to print on a canvas, let’s ask what kind of photos should we go for. Best way to do that is to revise the latest photography trends. Here’s some of the most prominent themes:

Authentic Photography

action figures art boy
action figures art boy
adult beautiful bridal
adult beautiful bridal
bangkok cleaner cleaning
bangkok cleaner cleaning

The new norm in photography is to abandon the impossible picture-perfect look and embrace honest portraits of the life around us. Be it photos of people, food, natural elements, places, etc., prefer raw, unconventional and realistic beauty.

Ancient, Classic and Vintage Art Inspiration

abandoned ancient antique
abandoned ancient antique
adult antique art
adult antique art
ancient architecture building
ancient architecture building

This year photography is heavily inspired in classic art pieces like iconic paintings and sculptures, vintage creative forms like textured-like collages, and ancient patterns and motives like arabesque, mandalas and similar.

Nature in Human Perspective

agriculture barn beautiful
agriculture barn beautiful
friends having fun
friends having fun
woman picking plant on field
woman picking plant on field

Nature photography is now about the human POV and the disproportional aspect of nature and humans. Landscapes conveying a sense of quietness and isolation, where humans appear diminished or blended into the wild.

Candy Pastels

baked goods bread bright
baked goods bread bright
bunny candy celebration
bunny candy celebration
glitter glass
glitter glass

The pastel palette is lately focused in vibrant pinks, yellows and light blues, influenced by hues seen in candy and baked goods.

Neon Tones

amusement park blur bright
amusement park blur bright
architecture buildings business
architecture buildings business
asia bicycle bikes
asia bicycle bikes

Vibrant colors tend to the bright neon tones, used in bold visual effects

Space and Futurism

alone anime art
alone anime art
astronaut astronomy cosmos
astronaut astronomy cosmos
astronomy black wallpaper constellation
astronomy black wallpaper constellation

A theme not so easy to adapt to wall art, but this year space themes are very popular. Dystopian wastelands, intergalactic landscapes and astronomy-like sceneries are interesting options to explore.

These are trends that would work great in wall art canvas projects. For more info on current visual concepts, you can read this full report on Photography Trends by Stock Photo Secrets.

Canvas Size - The Real Start Point for a Good Photo Canvas

While a canvas print only becomes a reality once you choose an image to use on it, the actual process begins with the canvas size. There’s a very simple reason for this: in order to determine what size and resolution of image to use, you first need to know how large you will need the print to be: a 1200 x 760 image won’t look the same on a 20" x 30" canvas than on a 24" x 36" one, for example. So once you know how much space you want to cover on your wall, you’re on track.

High-Resolution Photos - A Must in Canvas Art

adventure alberta alpine
adventure alberta alpine

When it comes to image quality, your common sense is right: the highest quality is the best. Photos on canvas look amazing when they are sharp and nitid. For that, you need high-resolution photos with a high pixel count. This is what will grant there’s enough sharpness in details in the final print.

As we in the previous section, the desired resolution will depend on the size of your framed canvas. As a general notion, the highest resolution you use, the better. But here’s a little trick to store in your mind: look at your canvas size, and add two zeros at the end of each dimension number to get a good image resolution. For example, if you’ll use a 24” x 36” frame, a good resolution would be of 2400 x 3600 px.

Final Printing Resolution - Get That Sharp Photo Look

Now, a canvas doesn’t have any pixels and neither does the printer. So the digital resolution of the image is one thing, and the final resolution of the custom canvas once the image is on it is another.

When it comes to printing and print size, you work with a parameter known as DPI --Dots per Inch--, which refers to the number of dots in different colours the printer will add in every inch of the material. The higher the DPI, the more detailed and sharp the print will be.

Depending on the size, composition and focus subject of the photo chosen, the DPI can vary with different results.

As a general rule, you should select your images to 200-300dpi. Do note that the roughness of the canvas (and thus the inability to show too much detail) and the size of the frame can modify the optimal DPI settings.

camera digicam digital camera
camera digicam digital camera

Gallery, Solid or Mirror Wrapped - The Last Touch of Style

Gallery Wrap
Gallery Wrap
Solid Wrap
Solid Wrap
Mirror Wrap
Mirror Wrap

Once your canvas is printed, all it’s left is framing. And here you have to make your last choice to give your new wall decor piece the very last touch of your taste and style.

Gallery-wrapped canvas style is when the printed image is tightly stretched and wrapped around the edges of the frame, making the design visible not only from the front, but also from the sides. It creates a floating effect that looks modern and clean.

The other option is solid color or mirror wrapping, where the canvas is still tightly stretched and secured on the back, but the printed photo covers only the frontal surface of the frame, with the edges being blank. It makes for a very elegant and classic finish.

So all you’ve to do is choose the style that suits your home’s concept better.

Get the Most Inspiring Photos to Decor your Living Spaces

Keeping these tips in mind it will be so much easier to ensure you not only choose the best photos for canvas prints, but also that you use them in the best way to get that perfect wall decor results.

So, who’s ready to hang beautiful, trendy and sharply looking photographs on your walls?


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