While there are many wonderful trends in photography today, it is hard to beat the classic look of the past. From the fashions to the overall tone of pictures from different eras, there is a reason that they remain so relevant in current styles. It is just a matter of finding that special something that makes them special and applying them to your modern work.
To do that, it can help to have a little inspiration. These 10 Flickr groups have a ton of it, all in different genres such as classic photos, vintage toys and old era fashions.
There are some details that really make a project, and a big element for many looks is the typography used. That is why so many designers become obsessed with the topic of font, when many nonindustry people don’t understand why they constantly talk about something that seems irrelevant. Those of you in the know about its importance might enjoy this group. It has thousands of photos and designs of authentic vintage typography to look through. Many are images of old products or items like posters.
This group is all about re-creating that classic feel while utilizing the tools that today’s technology has given us. Beautiful photographs have been uploaded to this pool in droves. Whether they are black-and-white shots meant to emulate the tone of the ’20s or bright and happy pics that look like they are from a ’70s toothpaste ad, you can find something you will love here. You can also post your own.
There is something extraspecial about old photographs. They have a touch to them that makes you stare, as though holding a bit more personality than photos today – moments trapped in time from which you can’t look away. If you feel the same, you will love this group. It accepts only real, original photos set before 1945. There is some truly beautiful work, with some posted by relatives and others collectors who have come across and bought the pieces. Some are obviously breaking the rules about not being genuine photos from this period, but they are easy to spot and ignore.
When thinking of vintage images, one of the first pictures to pop into many minds is vaudeville or the old burlesque shows that still exist in a similar form today. Both of these are celebrated in this group, which collects photos genuinely from that era. From pictures of contortionists bending themselves into odd shapes to some famous classic film actresses getting their start as nudes on the strip circuit, you can find it here.
Anything done in a retro style goes here. It is a Spanish-speaking group, though a number of the members also speak English. There are few authentic vintage images here, but the examples of using the same style for modern photos reach into the tens of thousands. If you want a good group to help you get the inspiration you need to get started, this is the place to find it.
Many people collect vintage patterns, whether they end up using them or not. This group collects images of those old little packets that used to provide whatever you needed to create your own outfit. It doesn’t really specify preferred eras, just stating that they should be pre-1990. So it is safer to call these both vintage and retro patterns.
In this group you will find more than 18,000 photographs from the pre-1960 era. Authentic, beautifully maintained and interesting, it is taking a real look at history through the eyes of others living it at the time. What gets me about this group is that so many of the images have at least a small description to provide it context.
If you are more interested in modern photos of vintage clothes, here is the group that has them. It doesn’t allow vintage photos or reproductions or costumes based on vintage fashion. Instead, they are photos of genuine outfits, taken by you. No magazine scans or ads are accepted.
More high fashion minded, this group takes photos of vintage clothes in fashion shows, modern photos of clothes being worn and more. It is more open in what it accepts than the last group.
Aimed mainly at photos of children’s books, this group allows images of playing cards, toys and other children’s items from the past. It asks you not to post anything that is for sale, as it goes against the spirit of the group.
Stepping back into the past can be an inspiring thing. These groups give you ample opportunity to get ideas for your own vintage-oriented work – or just a chance to look at things that embodied a classic style.
What are some of your favorite vintage Flickr groups? Let us know in the comments!