How To Make Your Photos Look Old?

Vintage and retro aesthetics seem to be making a rebound these days. An old vintage look enhances a photo’s composition and adds a romantic and nostalgic charm to it. That is why old photo effects are the trend that keeps trending. Celebrities, social media influencers, everyone is editing their photos as a call back to yesteryear. In this post, we are looking at tools that can make your photos look old.

how to make your photos look old

Characteristics of the Vintage Look

Old or vintage photos have some common characteristics that need to pay attention to while making your photos look old. Let’s now discuss some commonly shared traits of an old vintage look:

Low Color Saturation

Old photograph prints tend to have faint colors and are washed out by the time effect. Since the cameras during that period were not as powerful as they are now, the photo prints showed a washed-out effect. So to recreate an older vintage style reduces its saturation. Make sure to avoid colors completely, converting your photo to black and white.

Low Contrast

Vintage photo’s edges are often faded, adding a vintage photo charm. The photo looks like it is losing its contrast and structure. So to make your photo look old, decrease the contrast and increase the brightness slightly to create a faded look.


Photo vignetting reduces a photo’s brightness or saturation toward the periphery, compared to the center of the image, while adding a dramatic effect to the photo. To create a vignette look to a photo, darken the photo’s edges while keeping the subject brighter. Almost all photo editing apps have a Vignette tool that makes this super easy!

Yellow, Green, Or Blue Tint

Old photo paper changes its properties and deteriorates over time. As a result, photos get a modest tint of color that was not originally there. A yellow tint often appears in black and white photos, making them look virtually brown. You can also recreate this effect by adjusting the colors of a photo to more yellow and red.

You can add cool color tones of blues and greens for a Victorian vintage look. For something more retro, you can try some reds and yellows. Most photo editing apps have filters to add easy, subtle hints of colors to the photos.

Noise And Scratches

Due to bad cameras and lens quality, old photos have noise. You can conveniently add noise to any photo using the noise slider available in the photo editing apps. Adding a few scratches and tears can roughen up your photo, giving it an old look. This effect copies effects from cameras popular in previous decades and offers a vintage feel to any photo.

Best Apps To Make Your Photos Look Old?

Various photo editors offer a wide range of special effects to add an aesthetic appeal to an ordinary photo. While preserving the natural feel of a photo, a vintage look adds a temporal dimension to it. It transforms any new digital photo into an old photograph.

Here are the three best apps for Android that you can use to add a vintage effect to your photographs for the perfect retro feel.

Huji Cam

Huji Cam is one of the most loved apps in the vintage filter arena. This top-rated app mimics a film camera from the 1990s and offers a customized timestamp to add a retro look. Huji Cam comes with a tiny phone lens and uses a whole range of filters and light leaks. Huji Cam offers to edit pre-existing pictures with a $1 purchase made at the app.

1998 Cam

As the name suggests, this camera app is a great photo editing app that offers the 1998 disposable film camera effects, just like Huji Cam. This app provides a huge range of handy effects like overlays, glitch effects, grain, light leaks, and scratch. Unlike Huji, 1998 Cam offers editing of pre-existing pictures in the free version of the app. It is available for free download on both android and IOS.


RetroCam is one of those vintage photo apps you will want to download. It is available for both Android and IOS and is extremely popular for its retro filters. RetroCam offers a wide range of editing options and an easily customizable glitch effect option, providing it an edge over other apps.  This easy-to-use and edit pictures app is perfect for anyone who wants to try editing photographs. However, this app lacks the time stamp option that gives a more realistic look to the retro pictures.

How To Make Photos Look Retro?

To make your photos look retro, apply a retro filter, add some grain to it, and edit the settings of your photos.

What Are the Different Vintage Effects in Photoshop?

  1. Monochrome – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a whole series of high-quality black-and-white filters.
  2. Sepia – Sepia is the soft, reddish-brown tint visible in the vintage photos.
  3. Tintype – To apply a tintype aesthetic to your photoplay with the shadows and contrast in your photo.
  4. Polaroid – To create a Polaroid-style digital photo, apply overlays or place your image into premade Polaroid templates.
  5. Glitch and grunge – You can recreate glitch effects in your photos by selecting pieces of the image and moving them deliberately.

How To Make Photos Look Like They Are From Another Age?

  1. You can achieve the old vintage look by reducing the contrast or saturation of your photos.
  2. Add a little blur to your photos to look less perfect and give them a vintage vibe.
  3. In your shots, you can add a vintage feel to the photos by incorporating certain objects, like rotary phones, compasses, or old cameras.
  4. Omit all color from your photographs to give a timeless feel.

No matter the old golden time has passed or the modern cameras are in trend, there is always something exceptional about a rustic-looking old vintage photo that can never be beaten!


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