How to Use Hipstamatic to Add Retro Effects to Photos

Learn how to get the most out of the fun Hipstamatic camera app which turns boring digital images into nostalgic vintage classics.

The Hipstamatic app can be overwhelming for beginning smartphone photographers, but with some practice and time, you can become a Hipstamatic pro in no time.

This app allows you to create unique and unforgettable photographs using various filters, combinations of effects, and photo editing tools.

If you are considering using Hipstamatic on your iPhone, continue reading to learn more about the app, tips and tricks we have learned from using the app, and other frequently asked questions.

Using the Hipstamatic app will take your mobile photography to the next level.

Let our experience with the app help you learn more about the features, benefits, and tips on how to use the Hipstamatic app effectively.


What is Hipstamatic?

  • Easy handling
  • Social media integration
  • Purchase prints for delivery
  • Endless combinations
  • Unique looks without extra processing
  • Original image is saved unchanged
  • Fast edits
  • Simple interface
  • No advertising
  • May take time to navigate
  • Selected effects cannot be undone
  • Editing effects sometimes appear overdone
  • Hugh subscription prices required to access premium features

The Hipstamatic Classic is one of the oldest photo editing apps available in the App Store, where users can create images with retro and vintage finishes.

The selection of filters in Hipstamatic includes flash effects and analog film effects where you can turn an ordinary photograph into something visually appealing.

Before taking a photo in Hipstamatic, you must choose the filter you want to use by lens, film, and flash. Then the filters are automatically applied to your image when you click the shutter.

This app has various one-tap preset filters and several editing tools you can use to enhance and improve your photograph.

Key Features of Hipstamatic


Credit: Hipstamatic.com

1. ClassicMode and ProMode

ClassicMode is best for analog film effects, which can also take multiple exposures of the same image in one shot.

The ProMode enables you to control more image settings within the app.

2. Darkroom Editing Tools

The Hipstamatic app has over 20 professional adjustment tools and 12 unique presets.

3. Edit Directly without Importing

The in-app camera allows you to take photos with the Hipstamatic app and start editing without uploading or importing images from your camera roll.

4. Social Media Integration

Using the Hipstamatic app, you can share your newly edited images directly to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

You can also send Hipstamatic photos via email to friends and family.

5. Four Styles of Hipstamatic Prints

From the app, you can order four styles of Hipstamatic prints to be delivered to your door – aluminum prints, birch wood prints, print prints, and 30” gallery prints.

6. Unique Photography Styles

Hipstamatic is equipped with film presets and editing tools, allowing you to customize photographs and create unique photography styles.

7. Non-Destructive

Original files are not erased or lost when editing using the Hipstamatic app because you can save files as separate images different from the original photographic file.  

Getting Started with Hipstamatic

Downloading and Installing the Hipstamatic App

To start using the Hipstamatic app, you must first download the application from the App Store.

Once downloaded and installed on your phone, when you launch it, you will see a viewfinder and buttons where you can navigate through the various features, filters, and tools available.

Understanding the App’s Interface

Hipstamatic has five different app interfaces – the classic mode, the pro mode, the editing suite, the library, and the store.

The Hipstamatic Classic App provides you with vintage and classic features, frames, and filters.

The Pro Mode provides upgraded features and filters, providing you with more opportunities to change and enhance your photographs.

The Editing Suite provides all the tools you need to edit and perfect your photographs.

The Library is where you will find all the preset filters and your Hipstamatic photos.

The Store is where you can purchase additional features within the Hipstamatic app.

Importing Photos

When you open the Hipstamatic app, it automatically opens the camera to take new photos to edit in the app.

To take a photo, tap the shutter button, and within a few moments, your new image will develop and appear on the screen.

You can also import photos from your camera roll to be updated by tapping the photos icon in the lower left corner to open the in-app photo gallery.

 Navigating the Editing Tools

The Hipstamatic app has many editing tools available, and the best way to find them within the app is to tap on the Edit icon, three circles at the top of the screen.

Then tap the Adjustments icon, three sliders located just above the Settings icon.

Finally, you will see a slider at the bottom of the screen, which can adjust the lens intensity, and the +/- icon can help change the exposure.

Sharing on Social Media

Hipstamatic makes it easy to share your new images on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Additionally, photos are automatically saved to your phone’s camera roll.

7 Hipstamatic Tips and Tricks


Image: Hipstamatic.com

1. Use Lens and Film Combos

Practice using different lenses and film combinations to create a wide range of retro-style images.

The filters get applied to the photograph when you shoot it, but you can easily adjust and change the final result by adding different filters.

Before taking the photo in Hipstamatic, choose the lens, film, and flash settings you want to use.

The lens sets the colors and tones in the photo, while the film determines the frame or vignetted edge around the image. The flash gives you control over the different lighting effects.

2. Shoot in Classic Mode

The Hipstamatic Classic Camera is a fun application for taking photos with film camera features.

After you have taken a photograph, tap the square image thumbnail icon on the bottom left-hand side of the screen to preview the photos you have recently taken.

In Classic Mode, you can also adjust the shutter speed to change the image’s exposure and unique movement effects.

3. Practice with Different Camera Interfaces

Play around with and practice using the different Hipstamatic camera interfaces to create unique images.

To switch between the classic camera and pro camera modes, tap on the two opposing arrows icon to alternate between the two.

  4. Learn the Pro Features

The Hipstamatic app has many pro features to enhance and edit your photos.

The different pro features give you more manual control when shooting and editing photos, and you can quickly shift back to the classic camera mode if desired.

Learning the different pro features gives you more insight into what the app can do and how to use it when shooting photographs quickly.

5. Edit Photos within the Hipstamatic App

Though not considered a professional-grade photo editor, the Hipstamatic app has many user-friendly editing tools to make the photo precisely what you want it to look like.

After taking photos using this app, please take advantage of the tools available and edit your photos within the app before closing it out.

6. Take Fun Selfies

When in Classic Mode, you can easily switch to the front camera on your iPhone by clicking on the two opposing arrows to take you to Classic Mode.

Then, tap on the little Hipstamatic logo to the left of the arrows is your selfie button.

Using the preset filters, you can create classic-looking selfies using vintage filters for fabulous retro vibes.

7. Edit Multiple Photos Using the Same Effects

Though it is not always possible to edit 100 photos simultaneously, there is a shortcut you can use to make the editing process more accessible.

The best way to edit multiple photos is to edit the first one using desired filters and effects, then use the Copy Effect and Paste Effect to apply the same effect on other images in your phone’s camera roll.

This editing method may not be a super fast solution, but it is shorter than editing each photo individually.


Does Hipstamatic still exist?

Hipstamatic has been around for ages and is still available, with new updates regularly added.

The new updates include access to new lenses and films, helping keep the app fresh and valuable for those who have used it for a while.

Did Instagram buy Hipstamatic?

Currently, there are no reports of Instagram buying the Hipstamatic app.

Hipstamatic, LLC currently owns the app.

Can you use Hipstamatic on existing photos?

Though the most common use of the Hipstamatic app is using the in-app camera to take photos with various filters, it is possible to import and edit existing images.

Sometimes you have an existing photo you want to alter and change using the different apps, tools, and features of the Hipstamatic app.

To do so, use the Pro Mode of the app and tap on the small thumbnail in the lower left corner of the app’s screen.

From there, tap on the image you want to import into Hipstamatic and start using the different editing tools, filters, and enhancements available within the Pro Mode of the application.

Can you take a selfie with Hipstamatic?

You can take a selfie with this app, but it must be in the Classic Mode of Hipstamatic.

When you switch to Classic Mode in Hipstamatic, you will see two opposing arrows.

Your selfie button is the little Hipstamatic logo to the left of those arrows.

Final Words

Hipstamatic is a fun, unique app allowing you to create vintage looks on your photographic images using the in-app camera and the various filters available in the different interface modes.

Discover why so many iPhone users still use this fun app for photo-taking and editing by downloading it onto your phone and playing with the many different features and settings.

Let us know what you think of the Hipstamatic app and if you have questions about taking better photographs or improving your editing skills using the application.

We want to help you improve your photographic skills and are here to answer any questions.

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