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

Hey monamours!

Today I’ll talk a little bit about the so popular 90s photo filter, that emulate the style of the pictures of that decade. Yes, they were on paper, and yes, they were not great. I remember vividly (who else???) going to the photo shop with my 24 or 32 pics movie roll to get them printed, praying that at least one would’ve come out okayish. The struggle! hahahaha 😅💖😅💖

⟡ New on the shop: ⟡

However, like everything in this life that has to do with aesthetics, the nostalgia of this look is back, and many people, myself included, are loving 90’s style photography again, no matter how grainy, low resolution or distorted.

Why use a 90s style filter in photos?

Here’s what I think. We get a little tired of consuming aesthetic perfection. It’s overwhelming. And retro style photos feel more real life.

For me, when I see a photo with those flaws – lack of focus, grain, not aligned or ordered, it evokes reality so much, that this connection with the emotion of the moment speaks louder. Feels like the image has more soul.

And as we have a high tendency to romanticize everything from the past, photos that imitate the 90s visuals have this feeling of purity. As if what happened in the past was so much more simple, true, easy… and COOL! Sweet illusion! hehe

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 unfortunately it’s hard to find the time to follow all the apps that come up and test everything. I want to keep updated but it’s a huge challenge.

That being said, here’s 3 options I use and recommend: Polarr, Huji and, of course, my fav of all time: 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 has good enough features in my opinion. You can add glitch, grain, blur, and more. I do it like this:

90s effect on Polarr app


On Meitu, there’s two main ways I do 90s effect:

90s photo filter on Meitu app





But there are several Meitu filters with a 90s feel. Go ahead and give them a try, and see which one works best for each pic 🌺

I’m very into the blur effect 90’s filter lately, and Meitu has a few options 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 adds the date. Then I used the VF4 to add the effect of the burnt stripe

Huji app is also big in the 90’s filter app scene.The super stylish date in the corner became the app’s trademark. The downside of Huji is that it only works 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 add polaroid frames. I made a whole post here about it!

You can also work with grain, or noise or whatever you call it on your aesthetic edits. There’s also a post about it here on the blog as well, in fact it’s our 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!]

Rather edit your pics with Photoshop? Here’s a .psd date file, for you to download and use at will: Download the photoshop pack with the open file 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 overlaying it on photo it fits and it works.

Looks like this:

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

See you tomo!



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