Modern Vintage Photography

Even with all the advances in photography people still love a vintage looking picture. There’s something about a photo that looks like it was taken 30 or 40 years ago that gives it a little extra flair. So, just how do you go about creating vintage photography?

The easy way is to use a smartphone filter, but these looks are becoming cliché with so many people using the same filters for their photos. With photography growing in popularity people are developing more advanced way to capture that vintage look.

Here are five tips for creating the perfect vintage photo.

1. Vintage Lightroom Presets

If you use Adobe Lightroom to edit your photos this can be a great way to instantly turn your photos from modern to vintage. A Lightroom preset is a predetermined position of all the sliders in the program. So, it’s similar to a filter but much more advanced. The great thing about Lightroom presets is you can also make adjustments to the setting after you apply them in order to get the perfect look.

2. Use Faded Colors

If you want to be more hands-on and do your own photo editing, there’s an easy trick you can use to make your photos look vintage: Fade the colors in your photos.

A big reason why old photos look old is that pictures used to be printed on paper. Over time, the colours would start to fade, which gives them their vintage look. You can actually achieve this look digitally by reducing the contrast and/or the saturation. For an even greater effect, you can add some red tint

Some photo editing programs will also have a fade option built right in. This option brings out the details in foreground images to make them look flatter and create a vintage look.

3. Apply Textures

Another quality that gives older photos their vintage look is the damage that naturally occurs over time. This could be dirt, stains, water spots, age spots, and other imperfections that are bound to appear after many years.

Just like faded colors, new photo editing software allows you to recreate these effects. To do this, you can apply what’s known as texture layers. By applying these layers correctly you’ll give photos an aged look by digitally adding the appearance of wear and tear.

4. Black and White

One of the easiest ways to make a photo look vintage is to shoot in black and white. Although the technique has been heavily used throughout time, even since color photos were introduced, this type of photography never goes out of style.

There are plenty of black and white filters available, and most photo editing software has a monochrome setting to remove color. That being said, make sure to treat black and white photos like your color photos and edit them to get the most out of your images.

Adjusting contrast and exposure can make a huge difference in black and white photography. If you’re looking for something a little simpler, try some Lightroom presets.

5. Select Vintage Looking Subjects

It doesn’t matter how many editing techniques you use, a photo of a smartphone is never going to look vintage. In order to make your photos look older than they seem, choose subjects that have a classic vintage look to them.

Historic buildings make great settings, and to enhance your look consider dressing models in vintage clothes. Using antiques as props will also add an older feel to your photos. Avoid including contemporary products (computers, cell phones, new cars etc.) as this might break the illusion.


These are just a few tips to help you add a vintage look and feel to your photography. Experiment with your editing software and don’t be afraid to try new techniques new techniques. Remember, the best way to improve your photography skills is to practice.