How to Add Grain to Your Photos

The retro grainy look is back in, I'm sure you've been seeing it all over instagram! If you don't have time to get your hands on some old school film, the next best thing is faking it πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

The video covers adding grain in Photoshop (or Lightroom), but if you wanna add grain from your phone, scroll below.

This is a QUICK tutorial!! I show you how to add grain to any photo, and it's super easy... literally one step. You got this.Β 



I like to add grain using the Camera Raw Filter, you get more control and options for your grain!

Just make sure the layer with your photo is selected, then go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. Then click on the "fx" tool. You'll see a Grain section with a few different options. Play around with these sliders until you get the look you want!

When you're done, press OK and then save your grainy photo!

how to add grain in photoshop



You can add grain in Snapseed if you go to Tools > Grainy Film.Β There are a bunch of different filters to choose from, you can add one of those too if you want to add a filter or style to your image. But if you want only grain, make the Style StrengthΒ 0 and then swipe left / right to adjust the level of grain. The higher number equals stronger grain!


Grain is easy to add in VSCO too! Go to tools and look for the GrainΒ tool. Then just move the slider to the level of grain that you want. Easy!

These three images are pretty similar, but you can see the difference that the aperture makes to the background. The photo on the left with the larger aperture (lower number) has a much shallower depth of field and the background is really blurred compared to the others!

Keep in mind that your lens will determine the max aperture! When I was first starting out in photography, I didn't realize this and was so confused about why my camera wouldn't go lower than an f-stop of 4. haha

The camera below can go to f/1.8, a pretty wide aperture!Β Take a look at the front of your lens and it will have a number on there which is the max aperture. Usually lenses with larger apertures (lower numbers) are more expensive!


Want even more editing tips?!Β I created a guide that has all my editing tips! I breakdown each tool and give examples so that you can work with your photos to get the look you want!

I've been working on this guide for the past 8 months so I'm so excited to finally share it with you!! It's so helpful for any beginning photographer that wants to learn on their phone :)