Perfecting Antique Portrait Photography

11th Jul 2016

The vintage look is now in vogue!

Aside from themed wedding photographs, people are now looking for professionals who do vintage photography for portraits. There is just something about an antique portrait that fascinates and tickles the imagination. Antique portraits have that classic, timeless appeal that some clients would like to achieve for their own portraits. They may want to match the portraits their ancestors had or they may want the timeless appeal of vintage photographs

The good news is, with today’s tools and available technology, any professional photographer can perfect the art of creating an antique portrait.

Here are some tips:

  • -Age the photo. A digital photograph taken with a high-resolution camera will have crisp detail and bright colors. For a portrait to look vintage, you need to create an aging effect on it. The result should be a washed out, sepia or black and white look that makes you travel back in time. You can also add other elements such as spotting or creasing on some edges so that the photo takes on an attractively well-worn look.
  • -Use apps and digital tools. You can easily appear “vintage” with some tools that we have in our computers. You can almost instantly convert a portrait into black and white or into sepia. Aside from Photoshop, photographers can actually make use of a lot of programs and apps that help add filters, layers, blurs and tonal conversions to an otherwise modern photograph to make it look more dated.
  • -Shoot in a vintage background. When taking portraits, add a “storyline” into it by shooting outside of the studio. A scene at the diner or at the farm can serve as the backdrop of your portrait. This adds to the attraction of the photo as you invite the viewer to wonder about the story behind the portrait. When choosing a background, remember to do away with modern items which can detract from the photo’s overall vintage feel.
  • -Use props. Your grandparents’ attic, the flea market or eBay can be great sources of vintage content that can help you “date” your photo. For instance, you can use antique furniture or paraphernalia that tell about pop culture of a certain era – such as a background photo of James Dean or an old-model car. You can have the subject wear period costumes – such as the flapper dresses of the roaring 20’s or the gowns of the Victoria era.
  • -Mix the old and new. Rather than going vintage all the way, you can mix modern and vintage elements for a quirky version of the vintage photo. You can use the bright and saturated colors of a modern photo but combine this with old props and subjects in vintage attires and backgrounds.
  • -Use the right picture frame. To complete the antique look, use an antique oval picture frame. Oval picture frames were the most commonly used frames for portraits during the olden days. These frames usually come with glass or domed glass – since this is what they used in the 60s and 70s to minimize the contact between the glass and the photo.