A real tintype on the left; a digital tintype on the right.

Post courtesy of Photojojo’s Lisbeth Ortega For more tips & app suggestions, follow @photojojo on Instagram and subscribe to their newsletter at Photojojo.

Tintypes are making a comeback from the 1800s. If you’re new to the term, tintypes are photos shot onto metal plates that have been coated in a light-sensitive emulsion.

While they’re awesome to look at and guaranteed to give your portrait a gritty, old time edge, they’re a little tough to make at home. Until now! Here’s a quickie way to recreate that tintype look on your mobile device:

  • Shoot your photo. Crop close in to your subject, and shoot the photo. Ask them to not smile to up the intensity of the portrait.

  • Add tilt-shift. Keep only the person’s face, especially their eyes, in focus and everything else out of focus. We used Instagram’s built-in tilt-shift.

  • Make it black & white, darken, and add contrast. You can use Instagram’s Inkwell filter to make the image black and white. Then add Lux for contrast.

  • Add a tinge of warmth. Add the Sierra filter on top of your now black and white photo (learn how to double-filter photos in tip #7 here).

  • Add a scratched effect. Picfx (iPhone) has lots of scratch effects. We used their “Olden Texture” filter. For Android, try Retro Camera or Little Photo.

  • Add a border. Tintypes normally have a thin, rough black border. Try Snapseed and Picfx (iPhone) or Vignette (Android).

Interested in making your own tintype? Be sure to tag your image #tintype and we just might feature your photo on the blog!