Travel Photography: Best Apps to Up Your Game

If you’re like me, you LOVE documenting your adventures with photos and videos. Whether its a local visit to a farmer’s market, or a week-long epic vacation, I want to have memories I can both share and look back at! That’s where the inspiration for this travel photography post came from!

If any part of your work involves content creation, like blogging, Instagram, YouTube, etc., it’s even more important to produce high-quality photos and content.

But what if you’re struggling to produce photos you love?

I’ve been a full-time blogger and/or social boutique owner for over two years now.A big part of my job is constantly taking photos. Whether for my shopping community, my blog, and social networks like Instagram and Facebook.

Needless to say I think I have tried and tested a ZILLION apps for photography and here are my FAVES that I think you’ll love! I’ve rated them as beginner, intermediate and advanced. This is just based on my personal perception of who would love them most based more on needs than complexity.

Before I dive into the list, I will share that all of the apps are functional on my iPhone XS max, as that is what I am currently using. I believe the majority of them are also available on Androids, but I can’t promise!

Check out some of the examples below! These were all done really quickly just to use as an example of ONE function from each app, so make sure to play around with them yourself and see what you can do!

Travel Photography Apps to Up Your Game:

A Color Story

Intermediate

travel photography tips with color story

Examples of filters and textures applied in color story. Summer of 99 filter, and potion texture.

Ok, so A Color Story is probably considered the gold-standard of easy-to-use apps for editing photos on the go. If you’re editing from you phone, for overall coloration adjustments and improvements, this app is really second only to Lightroom in terms of capabilities. Plus, it’s way easier to use for beginners.

The Color Story app features dozens of ‘filter packs’, some are free, some for purchase, that you can apply in varying intensities to your photos. You can also ‘stack’ filters and various effects to achieve the exact look you’re going for.

In 2018 they launched selective edit, which gives you even MORE control over editing, allowing you to use specific tools, like contrast and brightness, and apply them only to selected areas.

The app also includes a built-in grid function for planning out posts. Their grid is not my favorite, but its convenient since it’s all-in-one. For those who are not professional content creators, it certainly works and is easy to use.

Note: in addition to the free filters/effects and the paid ‘packs’ of filters, A Color Story now offers a subscription service, ACS+. For a subscription fee, you can have access to every tool, filter, effect, and update as long as you’re a member.

Word Swag

Beginner

travel photography using word swag

One of the ‘OG’s if you will of my photo editing arsenal. This app allows you to add text overlays to your photos, or stock images. Even better? They have built-in crop settings based on popular posts you may be creating. So, if you’re looking to post an epic photo on your IG stories, you can be sure to add a beautiful word overlay AND have it cropped to the right dimensions so you don’t loose anything.

The app itself is extremely easy to use and navigate. There are a TON of included  photos, backgrounds, colors, etc that you can use for other purposes as well. There are also pre-loaded ideas for quotes and phrases, so finding that perfect saying to accompany that photo of Paris/Tahoe/Dubai is eaiser than ever.

FaceTune

Beginner

travel photography using facetun

I’m personally not a big fan of over-the-top retouching on people’s faces or bodies, but I know that not everybody agrees. Furthermore, I know that sometimes a really great photo features a blemish on my face that I would simply like to downplay. In these cases, Facetune is quick, and easy. A little teeth whitening, skin smoothing, and even background removal.

If you really get into it, you could actually create some pretty advance artistic photos with this app, but I really like it more for quick-fixes.

I will advise this: Facetune is a great app that you really need to be careful with. I find the tools are generally really easy to use, and some are pretty advanced given their intuitive nature. However, its not a ‘pro-level’ editor, and can get a little too obvious if you’re not careful. Things like changing/distorting the size of facial elements isn’t something I am a fan of, and if you aren’t careful, the smoothing and whitening tools can look obvious and fake. Proceed with caution.

Preview App

Intermediate

travel photography using preview

Ok so first things first: the only reason I say this app is intermediate is because I don’t see many cases where a casual photographer or person using apps for personal use would need all the functionality of this app. So don’t let that confuse you: it’s SUPER easy to use.

Preview is an app essentially designed to help you plan your instagram grid, or layout. This is particularly important for bloggers, businesses, entrepreneurs, influencers, etc. However, I have some friends who are just passionate travelers and love travel photography who have LOVED this app! Why? It just makes everything you post look better.

For those who ARE using this for professional reasons, there are a plethora of tricks and tools up Preview’s sleeve. This include a hashtag finder, built-in filters to give your content a cohesive look and feel, drag and drop grid, and more. There are also analytics to show you which posts are performing best.

There are both free and paid versions, and some of these tools are included with paid memberships, so explore and decide what’s right for you.

FotoSpot

Beginner

Example of FotoSpots around LA

FotoSpot isn’t going to help you edit your photos, but rather help you FIND photos to take. This app uses location to show you places nearby that are photo-worthy. Some of the suggestions are a little weak, so make sure to check them out before going out of your way. However, this app actually helped me find the Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs, which turned out to be EPIC! It even made it onto my post about “What to do in Palm Springs“.

I actually can’t wait to try this app when I am out of the state to see how it mixes up my travel photography. I think I may find some cool spots I would have otherwise missed! As far as I can tell, it only has locations in the USA.

Quickshot

Intermediate

travel photography using quickshot

Example of adding a sky (and ambient filter over the rest of the photo).

Quickshot, an app from a developer called Enlight, is one of multiple photo and video editing apps from the same brand. This is one of my favorites for editing skies. I know that sounds super specific. But how many times have you taken a GREAT photo but the sky is either grey, lighting makes it look almost white, or you just couldn’t capture the sunset perfectly? This is the app for that.

This app falls into what I usually consider ‘fantasy editing’, or ‘artistic editing’. For me, that means its not necessarily trying to pretend or fool anybody into thinking something is real, but rather creating imaginative art from photos. Especially in the realm of travel photography, it can be really fun. One of my favorite ways to use this app is when I have taken photos at night, and I can add it some out of this world, over the top galaxy vibes.

Photofox

Advanced

This is an EXTREMELY simple example using Photofox. There was no liquid in the mug originally.

Photofox is another Enlight app, and this one is a little more advanced. Its not quite Photoshop, but it gives you some similar functionality on a smaller scale. It allows you to add multiple layers to an image, create composites, add artistic effects, etc. This is great for those who don’t know how to use Photoshop, but want some similar tools. It also has a lot of really useful built-in tutorials.

If you’re looking to literally ADD something into your photo, or combine multiple photos, this is my favorite app for that.

Lightroom CC

Advanced

Lightroom is an Adobe product, and considered the creme de la creme of mobile editing. The capabilities are far more limited than in the desktop version, but still impressive. One of the most popular uses for Lightroom mobile is applying presets.

What’s a preset?

Have you ever noticed how Instagram influencers, bloggers, and celebrities have a super cohesive ‘look’ or ‘filter’ on all of their photos? That’s probably a preset. Mobile Lightroom presets can be downloaded and then applied to photos in the app. This allows for pretty darn professional looking editing to be done from your phone or tablet.

If this sounds good, but you aren’t quite ready to dive into the world of Adobe (it can be a little overwhelming), and you are looking to get a similar effect in terms of cohesiveness, I would suggest the Preview app I mentioned up above.

Bonus Apps for Videos:

InShot

Intermediate

Ok, so this one is more for video than ‘travel photography’. However, it totally deserves a mention.

InShot is surprisingly easy to use and actually has a TON of functionality. From resizing to rotating videos, voice over recording to editing and adding text. Its all here and its pretty easy to use. If you’re just stepping into video and want to produce cool travel compilations, start here!

If you’re looking for an example, the video tutorial above with voice over? This is what I used.

And that’s a wrap!

I hope you guys found these recommendations and examples useful! If you have any advice, tips or tricks for travel photography, make sure to share them in the comments! I love hearing you what you guys think/use/do!

You can also share this pin to your Pinterest boards so you can save these travel photography tips for later!

travel photography apps

click to save in pinterest

Callie Richards

I'm Callie, a Southern California based body-positive fashion and travel blogger who helps women discover style and travel that FITS their bodies and their lifestyles so they can live their best, most authentic lives! I test and then share the products and experiences that respect diversity and inclusiveness so that you can shop and travel with confidence without all the research!

2 Discussion to this post

  1. This is such a great post! I actually learned a lot and I wasn’t expecting to going in because I use several different apps for photo editing already. I do have a few questions if you don’t mind my asking…

    FaceTune – I use FaceTune for teeth whitening and light editing like you’ve said here, but I’ve never used it for background removal. What feature do you use for that?
    The Preview App – Can you post to Instagram directly from the app? And do you know how it compares to Planoly?
    Quickshot – I couldn’t find any Enlight apps in the Android playstore. 🙁 I have also never seen the “Sky Control” thing done before. It’s super cool! Do you know of any other app that does that or do you know if Enlight might put their apps on Android in the future?

    • Callie says:

      Hey Charlene! I am so glad you found some of these useful! So as for the background remover, after you pick the photo you want to edit, along the bottom, scroll to the right and youll see ‘backdrop’, click that and use the ‘remove’ tool to select what you’d like to remove, and then ‘backdrop’ to select the new background color or print! I hope that helps! As for preview, you cannot post directly to instagram but rather you’export’ and it saves the image (in case its been edited in preview) and it copies the caption. i believe you can schedule it and it will set a reminder to post. I know there are now some approved third party auto-posters to IG (like tailwind) but generally I avoid them as the information ive heard is that they arent preferred (just tolerated) and that visibility etc is reduced. As for comparison to planoly, I only tried using that one for a little while, and while the story scheduler/pre-builder is cool, i think that preview is simply more user friendly, esp for beginners. I also like the built in filters (like the quality is actually really good) for those just starting out who arent ready to dive into lightroom presets. As for android availability on quickshot, I see their IG referencing ‘iphone’ photography, BUT, i did find this review article which states its available for android https://apptricker.in/enlight-quickshot-app-for-android-ios-download-review-troubleshooting/ if that helps!

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