If you love the idea of taking vintage-looking photos, you should be familiar with what really constitutes a vintage image. Yes, slapping a filter on any photo can make it look vintage but that is just a lazy way to do it. To take a photo that really embodies the vintage theme, keep the following tips in mind.
The Subject is Key
You can’t really take a photo of a Lamborghini parked at a pier somewhere, put a vintage filter on top of it, and call it a vintage photo, can you? The subject in your photograph is very important when taking old-school, retro-looking photos. People make great subjects for these photos, and so do urban and street scenes. However, try to keep your scene as clean as possible. Too much of anything is not really good to have in a vintage photo.
Use Soft Lighting
Try to avoid harsh lighting whenever possible. A vintage photo is characterized by a soft-looking image with a color shift on it. This softness cannot always be achieved with harsh lighting. If you’re taking photos in a studio, creating a soft light shouldn’t be a problem. For outdoor photos, consider using reflectors and diffusers to soften the overall light too.
It’ all about the Mood
As stated before, a vintage photo is more about the overall mood and feel than anything else. A combination of the appropriate subject, lighting, and background elements is what makes a photo look vintage. Actual vintage photos were taken at a time when there were fewer cars, fewer people, and fewer signs on the roads. So try to emulate that look instead of taking normal street photos in the busy parts of New York and making them look vintage by putting an Instagram filter over them.