Finding a family portrait everyone likes enough to transfer the image to canvas isn’t the easiest of photography feats. If you’ve ever been on a family photo shoot with the express aim of producing photographs that will then be given as a gift to another family member, chances are you’ve been asked to pose on a sheepskin rug dressed in your Sunday best.

However, we’ve stumbled across the work of a few forward thinking photographers who might inspire you to create some custom canvas prints that are a little out of the ordinary.

Movie set snaps

We were recently more than a little impressed by the efforts of one particular father who has stretched both his imagination and photography skills to the limits to take some superbly original snaps of his two little girls. If you haven’t yet come across the truly whacky and brilliant family photos taken by John Wilhelm of Switzerland, you really must take a look at this article. Forget the sheepskin rug and smartly ironed clothes, these fun family photos are the stuff of fantasy – complete with scenarios and settings straight out of a film set.

Your DIY version:

Kids love playing dress up and like it even more when they get to directly influence activities. Brainstorm scenes from favourite movies and films together and get stuck into the dressing up box. The cold weather makes it the perfect time to spend a few hours painting an impressive backdrop or mural to help your vision come to life.

Photo splicing

Also exploring a more unusual style of family portrait photography is French Canadian Ulric Collette who creates art by splicing together photographs of different members of the same family. Wouldn’t that make an interesting split canvas print? You can view some of his work in this piece from the BBC.

Your DIY version:

There’s nothing stopping you doing your own dicing and splicing of family photos with the help of software like Photoshop. For something a little less dramatic you may want to try a split canvas showing family members side by side or to arrange your custom canvas selection into your own family tree.

Generational trickery

If you’d like to take the fantastic ideas of Wilhelm and Collette and combine them into one, what you’d probably come up with would be something like these images from New York photographer Zachary Scott, which play tricks on the mind by showing babies and young children dressed up as pensioners. The results are clever, cute and slightly disturbing, all in equal measures. If you try to recreate this type of image in a shoot for the family photo album, you probably won’t want to dress the elderly relatives up as children.

Your DIY version:

This is another photo activity the whole family can get involved with. We think using each other’s clothes to dress up in could lead to some very interesting photos and it needn’t just be the little ones who have all the fun.

baby photo