Market Trends

New Vintage: A Closer Look at a Defining Photo Trend of 2016

By Lars - 3 min read

See examples of a defining visual trend of 2016.

What makes a picture beautiful? The answer usually depends on what kind of photography is popular at the moment. Each year sees the invention of new techniques, styles, and aesthetics – and together they affect our taste and perception.

At EyeEm, we keep close tabs on what community members share with each other. This allows us to spot new trends as they bubble to the surface. We have summarized the most popular new aesthetics in our current Visual Trends report that you can download for free.

This is an in-depth look at the “New Vintage” trend, including lots of sample images to inspire your campaigns – or to license directly.

Rear view of people walking by abandoned railroad tracks

By Margot Gabel

In photography, we’re seeing an appetite for tangible, real optics – look no further than the resurgence of the instant camera or retro design reminiscent of the 1990s.


By Sunny Liu

Close-up of dandelion against calm blue sea

By Miccaaa

Low angle view of woman on field against cloudy sky

By harao

Swan pedal boat on lake

By Ryutaro Inami

The aesthetics are driven by the golden age of film photography: Grittier images with a texture that communicates their age. Many of these are processed digital photos, edited to emulate the look of film. They fit right with the resurgence of film photography, and the popularity of scanned prints from a bygone era.

People walking together

By Steffi


By Ryutaro Inami

These photos reflect a desire to simplify photography: Reclaim it from the technologically-driven world of megapixels and sensors and return it to the artistic realm. That may seem nostalgic, but that is exactly the point: Through their looks, these photos remind us of the importance of human connection and mindfulness.

Low section of woman lying at beach

By Caroline Brouckaert

Midsection of woman standing against buildings

By Tclok_

Full frame shot of sea at sunset

By Miccaaa

Cropped image of person holding glass in front of tree

By Sunny Liu

Header image by @Tclok.