How I Edit My Instagram Photos for a “Vintage Film” Effect

instagram feed ideas
instagram feed ideas
instagram feed ideas

Top: Brandy Melville | Jeans: Vintage | Sneakers: Adidas

I’ve been waiting to publish this since forever but it’s finally here: how I edit my Instagram photos for a “vintage film” effect. I’ve always been so inspired by polaroids, vintage film reels, and, well, vanellimelli’s instagram. But with a few simple key components, it’s not so hard to obtain the look on your own photos!

Apps that I’ll be using:

  • Facetune (free)
  • VSCO Cam (free)
  • Afterlight

No matter what filter and effect I’m trying to achieve with my photo, I always run it through Facetune to go over any imperfections. Nothing too crazy because you never want to seem unrealistic! If I have a bad blemish or any redness that day and it shows up on camera, Facetune is there to help. I can just smooth it out!



I’ll save that and import the “Facetuned” photo to VSCO. Here are my typical settings for VSCO:

VSCO Cam Settings

Filter: SE3 at +6.0

Exposure: -1.6

Contrast: +0.5

Sharpen: +1

Grain: +4

Fade: +2.5











In my experience trying to achieve the “vintage film” look, I’ve always found exposure, grain, and fade the three most important components in getting the look.

You should already have the vintage film effect by now, but if you’d like to take a step further which sometimes I like to do, head to Afterlight to take advantage of their cool features like dust specs and light leaks!



















Am I one step closer to having a feed like vanellimelli? Ha…I probably never will but a girl can dream. I hope you guys enjoyed this little peek of how I edit my photos and I’d love to know how you edit your Instagram photos, too!



















  1. Courtney Hardy
    Thursday, June 21

    I love the way you edit your photos. They look awesome.

  2. Cris
    Saturday, June 23

    Thanks for sharing this Loved it It looks great xoxo Cris

  3. Allie Mackin
    Sunday, July 1

    Excellent shoot, the photos are fantastic and love the tips good to know and what a great job you did. And love the outfit too.

    Allie of

  4. Lizzy
    Tuesday, July 3

    Fabulous pics, Nicole! And thank you for sharing how to get that vintage look! 🙂

  5. Alexandra
    Friday, July 6

    Your style is the best. Thanks for the idea, dear!

    Alexandra Udinov | The Little White Dress Trend

  6. Babita
    Friday, July 6

    Great share! 🙂 and I love the pictures, so beautiful! That pant looks super comfortable and fun! Love it!

    Xoxo Babita

  7. Julia
    Saturday, January 19

    Love seeing how other people edit their insta photos- I’ll definitely have more of a play around with grain and exposure.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode


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