How to take Tumblr-style photos

O Tumblr , for those who don’t know, is a blogging-style social network that allows users to publish text, images, video, links, quotes, audio and dialogs.

The most common thing on the platform is the sharing of photos, which can be “reblogged”easily and have ended up with a very standard aesthetic.

The photo “Tumblr style” usually features an inspiring scene, with a more desaturated color, some kind of special filter and focus effects.

Check out some examples of Tumblr-style photos:

How to take Tumblr-style photos

You can use a professional camera or even your cell phone. Today’s smartphones come with cameras that are just as good as professional cameras.

The important thing is that you take some time to be inspired by the photos you see on Tumblr. Spend some time analyzing the thousands of photos on the platform and getting inspired by them. You’ll identify some of the styles of photos you like best and it’s based on these that you’ll start making your own.

Don’t be afraid to “steal ideas”. Save some photo references on your cell phone and reproduce them –in your own style, of course, and with what you have on hand.

What is more standard in the concept of the Tumblr is to inspire people and make them want to share the photo. For this reason, you can use photos, for example, from the back, in profile or of some detail, highlighting the scene rather than your face.

This allows people to imagine themselves in the scene, without your face getting in the way.

I take a lot of photos in this style myself, especially on my travels:

Another thing you’ll notice is that some types of Tumblr-style photos end up requiring certain elements that you’ll have to have on hand or try to add to the scene.

My girlfriend (@DeisiRemus), for example, always takes a hat, plastic flowers, artificial candles, etc. on our trips. In addition, we always look for more local elements to add to the photo.

In this photo she posted, for example, we used the artificial candles and flowers we took to the hotel:


It’s these extra elements that surprise people with a photo. Then there’s the filter used, the position of the camera, focus and so on.

Apps to make your photos Tumblr-style

The best way to finish off your photo with a Tumblr-style effect is to use smartphone apps. There are several, both paid and free. The best free ones are VSCO, Camera360, Snapseed and Lightroom.

If you know your way around Photoshop, you can also edit photos on your computer. But to be more agile and maintain a “standard”of filters and colors, the best option are smartphone apps. I really like using VSCO and Lightroom.

An example of editing using VSCO to make the photo Tumblr-style:

The Tumblr Style scheme is to make the photo more desaturated, with some color more present and making the whites less white and the dark tones less dark. In this example of editing I did in VSCO, I made the white and contrasted tones more “blue”.

Another feature that brings a touch of “naturalness”and “nostalgia”is the grainy effect. Generally, tumblr-style photos are grainy. VSCO has this effect option (with intensity adjustment).

In the case of B&W (black and white) photos, the ideal is to take away some of the contrast, making the darker parts of the photo less intense (more towards dark gray). And always use a bit of a grainy effect on them.

Get inspired by Tumblr-style photos

There’s nothing better than being inspired by photos of the style so you can create your own in the future. Check out some Tumblr photos and get inspired:

So, are you ready to be a Tumblr Boy ?

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