How to Make Photos Look Vintage and Retro

Various decades from the past seem to be making a resurgence in recent years. From rebooted TV shows and new fashion collections, there's plenty for everyone. Vintage and vintage aesthetics are still common on Instagram, with celebrities and social media influencers editing their photos to inspire memories from the past. It's also a fantastic look for your feeds!


Here are some tips for getting the vintage / lo-fi look for your own feed:



1. Use retro-style filters.


Giving your images the desired retro feel (whether taken with a GoPro, DSLR, or smartphone) doesn't require a lot of different applications or even technological know-how. In particular, studies have shown that using filters on Instagram increases the number of Likes on your posts!


We have 2 specific preset packs that can help with your vintage photo desires. One's our vintage preset and the other is our Arizona preset pack!



Our Vintage Preset Pack - 10 one click retro polaroid vintage filters



Arizona Preset Pack - Polaroid Warm Vibes Mobile Lightroom




2. Experiment with grain in Lightroom.


Adding grain to your images is a great way to lend them an antique or retro feel. Select ‘Grain' from the effects menu in Lightroom. To get the exact look you like, move the slider around.


When increasing the grain on your shot, make sure to use a delicate touch. A small amount may not be visible, whereas a large amount may degrade the quality of your edit.


3. Make manual adjustments and start from scratch.


You can still edit the settings of your images manually if none of the pre-made filters fit the aesthetics you're looking for. This will allow you to be more imaginative with your editing, and you'll end up with something truly special! Check out our guide here


To achieve a vintage or retro effect, you can change the following settings:


Saturation: this controls how vivid the colours in your picture are. Desaturating your picture will help bring out the colours of the filters you're using, as well as any other edits you're making to get the retro look.


Highlight: Increases or reduces the brightness of the photograph's bright spots.


Contrast: Reducing contrast will help you achieve that lo-fi look.


Warmth: Changing the warmth of your picture will make it feel warmer or colder. Warmer images go well with the retro aesthetic.


Vignette: The vignette effect darkens and lightens the picture corners for a more dramatic look.



Pro Tip: You don’t have to manually start over with all of these steps each and every time you have to adjust your image settings. There are ways or tips to speed up and streamline your process so it’s best to try them all and figure out which ones will suit your workflow the most.


Don't be afraid to experiment with the photo's settings. And if your images are new or have vastly different compositions, manually tweaking and editing them would help you achieve the same look every time.


Making images look vintage for Instagram posts is a lot of fun, and it's also quite easy! It's also a dynamic style that can be used on almost any kind of picture.


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