One Simple Trick To Make Your Photos Look Vintage

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The one thing I love most about taking pictures for this blog is actually what happens after all the posing and preening for the camera–after a shoot, I can hardly wait to get home and start editing my pictures!  I’ve been working hard to develop my own editing style, and right now, I’d like to think of it as “Colorful Vintage.”  I love playing up bright, primary colors in my photos, but I also love to take all the darks and blacks and flatten them out to mimic the way they’d appear in film.  Today, I want to show you how I get that matte look in all of my pictures using Lightroom.  It’s super simple and only takes a second!

First, I want to show you what I’m talking about.  The picture on the left hasn’t had the effect applied, and the one on the right has.

See how my dress is kind of glossy on the left and faded on the right?  That’s what I mean!

All it takes is a little tweaking of the tone curve in Lightroom.  This guy lives in the Develop pane.

tone curve

Now, here’s the trick.  Are you ready?

Click right in the middle of the box in the bottom-left to leave an anchor point.  Then drag the anchor point in the corner up.  Let go and voila!  Instant mattefication!  (If only my makeup worked like that.  Hm.)

This is something I do in each and every outfit picture that graces Mox and Socks.  Sometimes I’ll even deepen the blacks and shadows to make that effect stand out even more.

Do you use Lightroom?  What’s one of your favorite editing tricks?

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4 thoughts on “One Simple Trick To Make Your Photos Look Vintage

  1. Oh my goodness, I feel like you’re boldly going where I have yet to contemplate going, and it’s amazing! I’ve never used Lightroom, but I’m tempted to try to figure it out, because your photos always look so lovely and welcoming (if that makes sense at all). Then again, I take all my photos with my phone, so the editing might be a waste of effort since I’m not camera-savvy.

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    1. There’s a free Lightroom app for smartphones–I use it a lot for the pictures I take with my phone. While it doesn’t have a tone curve function, it does have a lot of other good stuff!

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