Instagram photography

How to (easily) create a 90s aesthetic filter for your photos

Hey monamours!

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about this kind of effect that refers to photos from the 90s, those analog and terrible quality that we (me and who else ??) took the roll of film to reveal, and hoped for one of those 23 (or 32) photos have been left off. Imagine fighting! hahahaha 😅💖😅💖

Like everything in this life that has to do with aesthetics, the nostalgia of this look is back, and many people, myself included, love giving this face to the photos.

Why use a 90s style filter in photos?

Do you know what I think? We get a little tired of consuming so much perfect stuff, that saturates. And the photos in this style bring a feeling of something more real. For me, when I see a photo with those flaws – lack of focus, noise, it evokes reality so much, that this connection with the emotion of the moment speaks louder. It seems that the image has more soul.

And as we have a very strong tendency to romanticize everything from past times, the photo that imitates the aesthetics of the 90s has this feeling of purity. As if what happened in the past was so much more simple, true, easy … and COOL! Sweet illusion hehe

But everyone has their reasons for liking the squirrel, and they are all valid!

How I do 90s effect on my photos

I know that there are a million apps that make 90s style photos, some paid, some free. And the truth is, I don’t have time to follow all the apps that come up and test everything. I intend to stay on the inside but at the moment, I’m out of time YES hhahaa! But I already have my three darlings that make me very happy in that feeling. They are Polarr, Huji and, of course, my eternal love Meitu 💜😍

Polarr has a paid version that allows you to travel in the filter possibilities, with many options with this 90s analog photo footprint. But the free version also allows you to do this. I do like this:

90s effect on Polarr app


On my darling beloved Meitu, there’s two ways I usually do 90s effect:

90s photo filter on Meitu app





But there are several Meitu filters with a 90s feel. Go ahead and test, because they are many, some of them alone already make a lot of difference. You can vary a lot, including having a feed only of photos in this style, and changing the filter always 🌺

There are some that blur the super cool photo. In that case you don’t need to add grain, because the idea is to stay like that. Like that:

The “movie” filters on Meitu look like this sort of. So I suggest decreasing the contrast and adding a heavy vignette to accomplish this look.

There’s even an option with a date in the corner! Look at this beautiful example below:

I used the filter VM4 (movie) which is what makes it blurry and puts the date, and then I used the VF4 to make the effect of the burnt stripe

Huji is super famous for doing these things. The charm of the date appearing in the corner made the app rock. The downside is that it only serves for photos taken by the app itself. You can’t use Huji to edit photos saved on the camera roll.

90s filter with Huji app

A bonus to give an even more vintage look to everything is to put polaroid frames. I made a whole post here on the subject.

And another tool that suuuuper reinforces this old photo look is grain, or noise or whatever you call it! There’s also a post about it here on the blog, in fact the third most read blog post of all time. If you’re curious to know which are the first ones, I’ll tell you! This one about selfies, and this one about photo editing apps 😉 [update feb. 2020: this post with Instagram Bios tip took over and is the champion right now!]

Prefer to edit your photos in Photoshop? Take here a png and a date psd to appear in the corner, for you to download and use at will: Download the photoshop pack with the file open and the font. 🧚🏽‍♀️✨

And here is the png, if you want to use that date (my beautiful birthday haha). It looks weird seeing it like this, but putting it over the photo it fits and it works.

Looks like this:

That’s all my babies. I miss the nineties 😫😫

See you tomo!




By Lu Amaral

Aesthete: One having or affecting sensitivity to the beautiful especially in art - That's me! 💕 Graphic, digital and web design are my livelihood and my favorite hobby. That's how lucky I am.

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