How to Make a Polaroid Style Photo in Photoshop

We all know that certain photography techniques die out when better and newer technology replaces them. That’s what’s going on with the film at the moment. There are fewer and fewer manufacturers producing film, and even fewer shops developing it. But sometimes we still want that nostalgic feel in our photos:

Aaron Nace shows how to recreate the Polaroid effect in Photoshop.

It’s a pretty straightforward process. Here’s the gist of it:

  1. Find a stock image of a Polaroid photo.
  2. Load up the stock image of the Polaroid and the photo you want to go inside the frame in Photoshop in the same document.
  3. Select the blank space (where the photo appears) on the Polaroid.
  4. Using that selection, create a layer mask on the picture you want to be in the Polaroid frame.
  5. Unlink the mask from the photo so you’re free to move and transform the photo.
  6. Add a slight sepia tone blended with the original tone.
  7. Add some damage (flare, scratches, smudges).
  8. Add in some text that is usually written on the bottom of the Polaroid
  9. Set it to soak some of the underlying texture up in order to look realistic.
  10. And you’re done!
make a picture look like a polaroid

A Modern Day Polaroid Photo

Of course, this is just a digital representation. You won’t have this in your hands (unless you print it, but it still won’t be the same). But you have to admit it that it is as close as it gets. You trade the magic of watching the picture pop out on the Polaroid for doing it yourself in Photoshop.

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2 responses to “How to Make a Polaroid Style Photo in Photoshop”

  1. Pialabet says:

    Nice tutorial, the video made it easier and you also put the steps in words. I usually try by the instructions, but when i dont understand, i look the youtube video.

    Thank You


  2. Joshua says:

    What’s funny is that the Polaroid frame you used is actually the back of the image, and you put the image on the back instead of the front, because you didn’t know. Do some research on the history of photography before you make a dumb mistake like that.

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