Learn Basic Photo Editing

Our Favorite Photo Effects For A Vintage Look

By Melanie Doncas | Basic Photo Editing Photo Editor Tutorials

They say what goes around, comes around, and this couldn’t be truer for both fashion and photography. Even in the most recent years, we’ve seen the word “vintage” as something to aspire to, especially when it comes to capturing images with the look and feel of years gone by. From the colorless Daguerreotypes in the mid-1800s, to the vibrant Polaroids of the 1960s, these images portray a nostalgic and almost dream-like look, which even to this day, we can’t help but want to recreate. 

how to add vintage photo effects in BeFunky
how to make photos look vintage



While our highly-advanced DSLR’s and phones forego the chemical processes responsible for these styles, you can still reproduce these stunning photos and make it look like you've turned back the hands of time, all with the click of a button. How, you ask? It’s all thanks to BeFunky’s wide range of vintage and retro photo effects available in our Photo Editor - something we’re going to tell you everything about today!

Our Favorite Effects For Vintage Photo Aesthetic

It doesn’t matter what era of photography you’re trying to recreate, it’s likely that our BeFunky Photo Editor has an effect to help you achieve it. Below, we delve into three of our most favorite categories of filters for creating a vintage look, all of which can be found in the Effect tab in our Photo Editor.


The chromatic photo effect adds a tinted look to your edited photo, reminiscent of the hand-colored photochromes of the 1880s. During the early 20th century, the chromatic look grew in popularity with the invention Autochrome plates. This was colored photography’s earliest and most exciting stage, where the medium was becoming more common, particularly among the upper-class.

chromatic filters online in BeFunky

In BeFunky's Effect tab, you'll find tons of Chromatic effects to add to your photos and give them that nostalgic look in seconds.

Vintage Colors

During those early periods when photographers were experimenting with color, they weren’t able to get the hues in their photos just-right. As a result, they were either very saturated or contained a strong tint, making the image appear warmer or cooler than the scene captured.

polaroid photo effects in BeFunky

Perhaps the most notable photography invention which contained this coloring was the Polaroid, which was at its most popular during the 1960s. The possibility of instant photography had suddenly been realized and the Polaroid camera became the #1 must-have item on everyone’s list. The cool thing is, BeFunky's Vintage Colors effects can recreate the look and feel of a Polaroid photo in just a few clicks! 

Black and White

Black and white photographs were popular for decades before the invention of color photography, capturing everything from dukes and duchesses to the horrors of war. What people are often surprised to find is the range of black and white aesthetic available, from high-contrast and bright photos, to those with warmer or cooler grey tones (and everything else in-between). BeFunky's Black And White category in the Effect tab has all the tonal options you need for whatever vibe you're going for! 

black and white photo effects in BeFunky

Despite how far colored photography has come over the past few centuries, there’s just something about a monochromatic photo that still captures our attention.

How To Use Vintage Photo Effects In BeFunky

Are you ready to transform one of your photos into a vintage masterpiece? To get started, go to BeFunky’s Photo Editor and upload your chosen image. Then, click on the Effect tab (the star symbol) in the menu on the left.

photo effects for vintage photo editing

There are plenty of vintage aesthetic effects to choose from, including those we discussed in the section above. Today, we’re going to edit our photo with one of the amazing effects in the Chromatic category. Clicking on any of the categories in the Effect tab will reveal several different filters to choose from and add to your photo in a single click! For this specific photo, we’ve chosen Chromatic 4, as we love the nostalgic pop of color it adds to our photo.

chromatic filters for photo editing by BeFunky

When you click on an effect, you’ll notice three round buttons: Settings, Cancel, or Apply. You can use the blue slider to increase or decrease the amount of the effect, then click the green checkmark button to apply it. If you want more options for customizing the photo effect, click the Settings icon (looks like a mixing board).

customizable photo effects in BeFunky Photo Editor

In the Adjust tab of the Settings menu, you're able to use the Amount slider to adjust the amount of Chromatic filter you want added to your photo. Slide it left to decrease the amount, or right to increase the amount.

chromatic effects for photo editing by BeFunky

Clicking the blue checkmark button will apply the effect to your photo, but the Settings menu has even more options for customizing your Chromatic filter if you want to keep going! Next to the Adjust tab, the Paint tab gives you the ability to use your chosen photo filter in Paint Mode. After adjusting the Brush Size, Brush Hardness, and Brush Strength, you can click and drag with your mouse to remove the effect from areas of your photo, or click the Inverse icon (two overlapping squares) to add the effect to select parts of the image. 

vintage photo effects by BeFunky

Once you’re happy with your vintage photo effect, just click the blue checkmark button to apply your changes. 

how to save a photo in BeFunky

Ta-da! Wasn’t that easy? When you’re ready to save your photo, simply click on Save at the top of your screen. From here, you have the option of saving your image straight to your Computer, as well as Facebook, Dropbox, and more. If you want to come back to your photo at a later date (i.e. to add some extra effects to it), then we also recommend the Save as Project option (which lets you save it as a BeFunky Project file to your BeFunky account or Computer).

Before and After

By adding a Chromatic photo effect, you've got a vintage-style photo in just a few clicks!

how to create vintage photo effects in BeFunky

Don’t let the vintage photo aesthetic stay in the past. Be sure to try the effects in the Vintage Colors and Black and White categories to create other nostalgic looks with your photos. And if you want to create even more of a retro vibe, try experimenting with these Light Leaks to take it a step further! The possibilities are endless.

Photo Editing, Simplified.

Photo Editing. Simplified