Turn Your Photo into a Polaroid …or Taylor Swift’s 1989 Album Cover

Taylor Swift 1989 Inspired by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Earlier this week all of my social media feeds were flooded with Taylor Swift news. The gist of the news is that the country pop star’s latest album 1989 is going platinum and she pulled all her music off streaming platforms such as Spotify.

Since it’s quite apparent that Ms. Swift is trending I thought it would be fun to recreate her album cover. According to the Vulture Taylor’s album is an image shot on an Instant Polaroid Camera using Impossible Film. Without spare film lying around I opted to create the faded, low-fi feel through post processing in Photoshop.


To make the image I first needed to photograph myself against an empty wall, throw on an animal shirt of some kind, and try very hard to not care about anything in a cool way. I stood about 4 feet away from the wall and shot at f/2.8 to give myself a shallower depth of field. I also attached an SB-910 on top of my D800 and directed it up towards the ceiling.


Post Processing

The bulk of making recreating Taylor’s album cover is done during post processing. After taking the photo I imported it into Lightroom where I do the majority of my color correcting and toning. For this image I modified a VSCO‘s Fuji FP-100c preset. Once the base coloring was set I continued to tweak the image in Photoshop. You can watch the entire editing process in the video below. Note that it’s sped up between 500-2000%.

When you’re done editing your photo to look like a wannabe authentic Polaroid the final part of recreating the 1989 album cover is to drag and drop your image into a Polaroid frame and then write your initials and birth year on it.

If you need a Polaroid film frame you can download my .PNG frame by Right Click > Save As > Here.


Have fun!

Equipment Used:

Nikon D800
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G
SB-910 AF Speedlight
Induro Alloy 8M AT214 Tripod




If you liked this post check out my recent edit as Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”

Justin Beiber's What Do You Mean Photo Tutorial

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