Styles 101: What is Vintage Photography?

Many fans of photography aren’t aware of the intricacies of the craft, especially when it comes to the multitude of styles that professional photographers can offer. To help you better understand the types of photography available, this series of posts provides explanations and examples of every photography style listed in Photographer Central.

Vintage photography from Katherine O'Brien Photography

Vintage photography is classified this way because it mimics old photo processes and denotes a different time period. For example, sepia toned prints could remind someone of imagery from the Wild West, or it could evoke the romantic feel like a Pictorialist image from the late 1800’s.

Some photographers will debate over the true definition of vintage photography as it could also include a photo that was shot using a non-digital camera, any image that was taken over a generation ago, or a current photo that has been processed to look like an older photograph. For people interested in vintage photography, all of these definitions can be meaningful.

If you would like to see this style used in your upcoming photoshoot, it would be helpful to communicate that you prefer a vintage style of photography and show some examples to your photographer. Similar to retro photography, a photographer who is familiar with vintage style will be able to direct the shoot in a certain way that’ll allow them to apply specific post-processing effects to create a “vintage” look and feel. 

Vintage photography from Marie Paugh Photography

Vintage photography from Jolie Loren Photography

Vintage photography from Loni Newby Photography

Photo credits: Katherine O'Brien Photography, Marie Paugh Photography, Jolie Loren Photography, Loni Newby Photography


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