How to Make iPhone Photos Look Vintage

A step-by-step guide for vintage photography

You are scrolling on Instagram and see your favorite creator post the most epic-looking vintage photos. Sighing to yourself you think it’s impossible, but your vintage photo aspirations grow and you wonder what it would take. It is definitely doable, and all you need is your iPhone camera!

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create vintage photos on your iPhone.

1. Location, location, location…this is key to ensuring you catch the vintage photo aesthetic.

Below is a list of location examples:
  • Movie Theater
  • Theme Park
  • Concert
  • Record Store
  • Ice Cream Shop
  • Diner
  • Downtown

2. Wardrobe and Props

Fashion was and is a major staple in defining an era. Focusing on the wardrobe in your photos will amplify them.

Thrifting is a fun and inexpensive way to find key clothing items, as well as props. To identify the right clothing and props, analyze photos from specific decades.

Here are some examples and links for further guidance.

3. Camera Equipment

Adding an iPhone filter will also assist you in taking vintage photography.

SANDMARC’s Cloud Diffusion Filter - A Cloud Diffusion Filter creates a softening & glowing effect that is often used by cinematographers & photographers. This filter will create the perfect vintage look for every image you shoot.
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4. iPhone Camera Apps for Vintage Filters and Effects

Apps are a great way to expand your toolbox for shooting with the iPhone. Here are a few apps that we recommend:
Darkr App - Every photo taken with this app will be in black and white. The purpose of the app is to imitate an analog camera. To ‘develop’ your photo Darkr walks you through the process of using a darkroom. You will learn the basics when it comes to using a dark room, like what it means to dodge and burn a photo. Using Darkr will ensure an authentic vintage shoot from the first shot you take all the way to click done after your final edits.

Dazz Cam - Dazz Cam creates the effect of using different camera models. There are 25 camera models and twelve different video camera models to choose from. This is a great way to learn about vintage camera models, while also getting to test them out. Some examples are the S Classic which was created in 1936 and the D Half camera which came out in the 1960s.

1967: Retro Filters & Effects - Enjoy 10 filters with over 150 variations. This is a great app to use to add more vintage effects to your images, like light leaks. 1967 allows you to import photos from your photo library straight into the app for easy editing.

5. Inspiration is Key

Before you get started here is a list of photographers to give you a spark of inspiration for vintage photography. When viewing their work, pay attention to the hues, the location and what people are wearing.
Al Vandenberg - Al’s street photography was what made most people turn their heads. He did an amazing job at documenting everyday life through a camera lens in the 1970s.
Henry Talbot - Henry played a large role in fashion photography in the 1960s. His photos capture the fashion and beauty of the era with every shot. His work is great to look at for 60s photography.
Annie Leibovitz - Annie is known for photographing prominent celebrities in Rolling Stones magazine throughout the 70s and 80s. Her work is great to look at for 70s photography.
John H. White - John received the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1982. Clarence Williams described White’s photography as, “an earnest visual stream of consciousness that is tightly edited and that explores a city and its people through various moods that span what it means to be alive."
It will take many shots and edits until you get the vintage photo you are envisioning. Be patient with yourself and in no time you will be taking vintage photos on your iPhone like a pro.

Are you wanting to take your vintage photos to the next level? Then we recommend SANDMARC’s Prolight Bi-Color Edition and Tripod.

  • Tripod - Whether you are taking self-portraits or need a secure surface, SANDMARC’s tripod will reduce blur and provide optimal quality.