Last week we took a quick look at some basic tips to help you take the right kind of portrait for printing onto canvas. In this post, well be exploring some more advanced techniques and ideas for creating some exciting canvas prints that don't necessarily conform to the usual portrait style.

It may be that you're happy with something more ordinary, but these portrait tips will give you an insight into other things you can consider when taking your shots for canvas – ultimately giving you more options when it comes to selecting the images you’re going to have printed.

Portrait tips – something a bit different

  1. Angling for a great picture - many a good portrait comes from the classic 'face to camera' shot, but there are alternatives. Experiment with your subject looking out of frame, looking down or eyes skywards like they're searching for inspiration. Changing the set of the face, the direction they're facing and the angle of the eyes can all make for a refreshingly different take!

  2. Picture perspective - you can also play with angles in a broader sense, by choosing a totally different perspective for your photo. If it's a group picture, such as a family or wedding shot, why not gather them in the garden or grounds and shoot the image from an upstairs window or balcony? Have them clustered together and looking up at you for a lovely, focally intense photo. Also think about taking your pictures from below, or from the side - just play around and see what gives the best effect for the subject, the surroundings and the light.

  3. Express yourself - following on from tip number 1, you can also ask your portrait subject to play with facial expressions to create added interest. Try to make them laugh, or look pensive or thoughtful; a suggestion of a smile can be intriguing, or a wistful, faraway look can make you engage with the canvas and wonder what they're thinking.

  4. Candid camera - if you want to shoot really natural portraits, you can always try taking lots of photos while the subject is chatting with someone else, doing some kind of activity or something they enjoy. This makes the portrait less 'wooden' than a stiff, posed shot and can really bring your canvas print to life.

  5. Prop them up - as with the preceding tip, give them a prop to interact with; something that demonstrates their personality or hobby, or even a flower or other natural prop. Just be careful to keep the main attention on the person though!

There are lots of other things you can do too if you want to create a more quirky or dynamic image for your canvas. Action shots, such as jumping, running or kicking a ball can work really well, or you could hold the camera off-square so that the subject is framed in a less conventional way - beats the same old horizontal and vertical options! Just keep your attention on enjoying the photography session and having some fun – this will be reflected in the quality of the pictures you take and the way the subject interacts with you from the other side of the camera.