By Courtney Scott, on August 29, 2016

Best photo apps for travel

As a travel blogger I take hundreds of photos a week and I’m always on the hunt for the best photo and video apps out there. While I still use Photoshop, Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro X, to edit photos and videos, the quality of the photo apps available on mobile devices has become so good, that I find myself relying solely on these apps to edit my photos right on my phone! Here are a few of my favorites that will help your photos go from amateur to pro.


You may have seen cinemagraphs popping up in your social feeds.  They are still images with one isolated section that moves like a video. To create cinemagraphs on the go, I recommend Flixel. It’s free to download and easy to use. The key to good cinemagraphs is to have a steady hand, so you may want to invest in a small tripod for your mobile device.  After your record your cinemagraph, you can select the section that you want to move. Export it and upload it to Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook.


Hands down one of the best photo apps for on-the-go editing is Snapseed by Google. It’s free to download from the app store and has some incredible features like “ambiance” which makes your images pop with just the right amount of saturation, exposure, and contrast. I also use “selective editing,” which allows you to select specific section of your photo and adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation. It’s one of the handiest tools I’ve ever come across in any photo app.

This photo from Madrid is an example of one in which I used selective editing to brighten the shadows that were cast on my face from the hat that I was wearing.


The VSCO app has some of the best filters that turn our average photos into highly stylized masterpieces. Some of my favorite filters are T1 for a matte, vintage look, and B1 for perfect black and white. Add your photos to the VSCO community, a great place to get inspired by other photographers using the app. VSCO is a free app!

Viewfinder Tip: Always make sure your horizon lines are straight. A crooked photo is a telltale sign of an amateur photographer. Snapseed has a handy auto-straightener tool that automatically senses the composition and straightens it for you.


Boomerang is Instagram’s new app that turns a burst of photos into a mini video that plays front and back. Whether you’re jumping from a cliff or taking silly selfies, the looping effect of Boomerang turns your ordinary Instagram moments into living captures. Once you have your Boomerang you can load it in to Instagram and add all of your favorite filters. Warning: This app is addicting. There’s no fee to download Boomerang. It’s free!


As the name suggests, Facetune was created to help enhance features on your face. It can do things that professional photo editors would spend hours perfecting in Lightroom or Photoshop. It can brighten the whiteness of your teeth with the swipe of a finger, reduce red eyes, and smooth out skin tones with ease. One of the features I use most, though, is the “details” tool. By just brushing your finger of a portion of your photo, it will make the level of detail on that specific section really pop. For example, I used the details effect on the palm trees and on my hair in this photo so they become crisper. It’s also a useful tool for when your photos are bit blurrier than you’d hoped. The current cost of Facetune is $3.99.

What’s your favorite photo app?