How to Make Photos Look Like Film: Tricks & Apps 2024

Summary: This post will introduce a simple tutorial on how to make photos look like film and recommend powerful film photo editor apps for you.

how to make photos look like film

Although digital pictures have made our albums more delicate with high-quality resolution and accurate color, there are also multiple people chasing vintage film picture effects. The question of How to make photos look like film is becoming easier today. With the smartphone updating, there are more shooting and editing possibilities to learn easy tricks to handle filmatic pictures.

In this article, we will introduce easy tricks on how to make photos look like film. Besides the basic adjustments of pictures, apps for film photo editors and useful iPhone tutorials easily help you edit photos to look like film.

How to Make Photos Look Like Film?

Check out these 4 points to get your photos into an amazing filmatic effect.

  • Use Film Presets or Film Filters
  • Adjust Color Temperature
  • Add Film Grain to Photo
  • Adjust Highlight and Shadow
Comparison of film filter effects in Japanese street photo

Use Film Presets or Film Filters

Add a film filter is an easy and effortless method to edit photos to look like film.

Film presets mimic the effect of the cinema film with retro grain and noise, making your photos look like film. Adobe Lightroom is well known for its professional film presets. Lightroom has preloaded many film presets and you can easily add it to your pictures. However, it needs to pay for its features.

Add noise to photo with fotors film grain tool


Multiple film filters in vintage, retro, classical, and cinematic styles cover all your needs.

With Fotor film filters, make your photos in film quality instantly.

Make Filmatic Photos Now

Fotor has made it possible to make your pictures look like film in seconds. Multiple photo filters have covered all you need in old film effects. Filmatic filters have many styles for you to choose from. Whether filmatic filter, cinematic filter, vintage filter, or more filters suited for film effects, a library of filters and effects is available for you to create film quality photos with ease.

Landscape film filter effect comparison

Adjust Color Temperature

Color temperature is a crucial adjustment for film quality photos. Film photos are always in a warm mood with a yellow color. Adjusting the color tone to warm is a key to making pictures film with yellow color.

Plus, in addition to the warm tone color, the low saturation is one of the characteristics of the film picture. Adjusting the saturation properly can mimic the film photos that have vintage feelings. These two adjustments are usually utilized in film-like photos.

Add Film Grain to Photo

The advanced camera has made our pictures clearer than before with sharp details. But, it lost the feelings of the film. Film pictures are not chasing for extremely high resolution but a vibe of the moment.

And photos looking like film usually are in low clarity with noise and grain. If you want to mimic the film effect, adding noise and grain to images is a good way. however, adding film grain to photos cannot be limitless, this method will lose image quality somehow. So, add it properly.

Adjust Highlight and Shadow

Film photos usually have a large contrast between brightness and darkness. Unlike normal pictures with HDR, film photos have a lower white balance. Highlight and shadow can adjust your image's brightness and darkness.

Inaccurate highlights and shadows give it a feeling of past time. If you want to mimic this feeling, don’t adjust to the normal photo standard. Try to give photos more highlights and shadows to create a big contrast with inaccurate exposure.

Apps That Make Photos Look Like Film 2024

Fotor | Best Film Filter App

Available for iOS and Android

Fotor app filters

Fotor is a wonderful film filter app with an amazing amount of film filters for you to use. You can easily try on multiple filmatic filters with vintage, cinematic, retro, and more effects. One click makes your photos transform into classical film quality sense.

fotor app to add grain to photos

Moreover, you can customize the film quality with more tools. Blurring images, vignette photos, fading images, and adding film grain and noise all make your photos more like a film quality in seconds.


Available for iOS and Android

VSCO app

VSCO is a filter app that makes your pictures look like film with over 200+ filters. You can easily use VSCO film filters to edit your film quality photos with contrast, exposure, saturation, grain, fade, and more tools. By the way, you can customize and recreate the vintage film filter to mimic the texture and feelings of film effects.

Huji Cam

Available for iOS and Android

Huji Cam app

Huji Cam makes it possible to take photos with a retro film feeling. Open the Huji Cam to experience wonderful film photography. It has preset the film filter in the app when you launch the app, you can take film like photos with one tap. This is a super easy way for many people to get film quality photos. No need for post-editing.

RNI Films

Available for iOS

RNI films app

RNI Films is a film photography app for iOS. It is not a film camera app but a film filter app. Its professional film profiles and film filters are favored by massive photographers. You can use real film filters to edit your photos with negative, slide, instant, black & white, and vintage effects.

Dazz Cam

Available for iOS and Android

Dazz Cam app

Dazz Cam is a vintage camera to mimic vintage photos with film like feelings. This camera gets inspiration from 80s film photos. It will give you film like photos by restoring the film color, texture, grain, and noise. You don’t need to edit after shooting, just open the camera and get film quality photos instantly.


How to make iPhone photos look like film?

Apple has launched a new feature in the iPhone camera - Photographic Styles. This feature allows you to add presets you like to shoot photos. It gives users more freedom to shoot in their own style.

There are 4 default presets you can choose to use on your iPhone.

  • Rich contrast (-50 Tone, 0 Warmth): This style has made the pictures with higher contrast and the color is more vivid.
  • Vibrant (+50 Tone, 0 Warmth): With the bright and vivid color style, making the pictures look amazing.
  • Warm (0 Tone, +50 Warmth): This style is quite like filmatic pictures, making your photos look like film totally.
  • Cool (0 Tone, -50 Warmth): This cool tone style gives a cold feeling to pictures.

By the way, you can customize the tone and warmth to mimic the film like as possible.

Here are steps to guide you on how to customize easily.

  1. First, open Camera and swipe up to the features bar.
  2. Choose the Fourth icon and choose the Photographic Styles you like.
  3. Move the slider the customize the settings in your own style.

Tips: you can reset the photographic styles if you don’t like the effect you adjust.

iPhone camera Photographic Styles

How to make videos look like film?

Apple cinematic mode is all ready for you to use. This mode has combined with portrait algorithm, making the iPhone camera shoot like a film with depth of field effect. You can open your camera to switch to cinematic mode to experience.

Tips: You need to update the latest version of iOS which supports only iPhone 13 and later devices.


We’ve made complete tutorials on how to make photos look like film for you. With these tips and tricks, you can easily handle adjustments and add film filters to your pictures. Try more filmatic and cinematic filters to let your photos stand out.