Camera phones have been a huge game changer in making it more convenient to take photos and in how we post-process them as well. If you use Instagram or a similar mobile phone app to alter your photos – yes my friend – you are post-processing. Did you know you were so fancy? Post-processing is just photography lingo for making edits to an original image like brightening or sharpening which are more basic, or completely altering the tone or converting the photo to black and white for example.
One of my favorite post processing styles is the vintage or retro look. I often like to add a little something extra to the photos I post on Facebook and in my photo book and photo card projects.
So what do you do if you have photos that weren’t taken with your camera phone, but you want to get the look of the cool vintage filters you have on Instagram or photo app of your choice? No need to have fancy software, there are plenty of free online photo editing tools that are super easy to use. One of my favorites is PicMonkey. In fact I use it all the time to make the collages that appear at the top of my blog posts. I find it’s much quicker for me to use PicMonkey, than to get a similar effect in Photoshop.
As an example I saw this cute vintage card on Mixbook. (I’ll write more below on how you can get this card or any 10 cards on Mixbook’s site for FREE! Or just click on the link to go straight to making your cards.)
This card stood out to me. I like the homey warm tones and the old fashioned style of the photo. Plus this model kid is super cute isn’t he? I wanted to get the same look. Below is the photo I’m starting with. Please ignore the small drool stains on his shirt – I would normally recommend editing them out, but since this isn’t a tutorial on editing out drool stains, let’s pretend we don’t see them okay? 🙂
Here’s the photo opened up in PicMonkey. There’s a magic wand icon on the left toolbar. I clicked on that and chose the “Dusk” filter to mute the colors a bit. I just dragged the slider until I got to the look I wanted which happened to be at 43% fade. Click on “Apply” to save the change.
Then I opened up the “Orton” filter which just boosted the contrast a bit and warmed it up a tad. What’s nice is that you can adjust the amount of the effect with the “Fade” setting. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just move the sliders to see what they do and adjust it to your liking. It’s just like the “season to taste” note you find in recipes. There’s so many options and no single way to do it. Do what looks good to you. Click “Cancel” to undo.
I clicked “Apply” and saved the image at the highest setting. I then opened up the card template in Mixbook and uploaded the photo. Quick and easy!
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my original, my simulated vintage photo and the cute unknown model kid version. I think my original looks nice too, but I like the slightly aged look of the middle one. Photo Book Baby even has a simulated vintage Mickey tee with pretend worn out details, so I think it fits!
How to Get Your 10 FREE Cards from Mixbook
You can get 10 free cards just like this one, or choose from any of Mixbook’s 800+ cards. They’ve got flat and folded cards in a variety of shapes and sizes so I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking. You can even choose from 3 different paper types including their top of the line Premium paper which is the thickest cardstock Mixbook offers. Making a card is pretty fast and easy. They even have a quick editor that allows you to type in your name and the editor plops it in the right spot for you. Done.
2) Note the promo code;
3) Make your cards and select 10 as the quantity;
4) Redeem no later than 10/31/2013 (11:59pm PT);
The most economical shipping to the U.S. for 10 cards is under $4.00, so it comes out to less than $0.40 per card! Mixbook ships internationally, so check out Mixbook’s shipping page for more info.
If you have lots of friends and family and need more cards, Mixbook currently has a 40% off sale on all their cards, so take advantage of it! You can check out all of Mixbook’s current deals here and all photo book deals here.
Oh and if you’re looking for more card making tips be sure to check out my Christmas photo card guide!
Happy Photo Card Making!
*Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a referral fee. Regardless, my opinions are my own and I always give my honest opinion, good or bad.