The 5 Best Photography Apps To Use On Your Family Trip

The 5 Best Photography Apps To Use On Your Family Trip

We know. You’ve heard the phrase too many times to count, but it’s a cliché for a reason. A picture really is worth a thousand words. And we’d argue that family photos are worth even more. There’s nothing better than capturing the look of pure joy on your child’s face and getting the perfect family shot to send as a holiday card next year—or even a great candid to put on the fridge.

What are the best photography apps? We’ve rounded them up below so you can easily use them on your next family vacation. Whether you’re posting in real time, saving to print later, or want to have a little fun with editing, we’ve got you covered.

  1. Instagram

We’re starting with an obvious favorite—not because we think you don’t know it, but because of everything you might not realize you can do with it. Upload multiple photos or videos to your feed to create an online memory book, linking each with a funny hashtag your family and friends will love (like #williamsfamilygetswolfeared). But what makes Instagram so great are all of the other photo apps that integrate with it, for those days where you want a little more than just the average filters. Use an app like ADVA’s Touch Retouch to remove photobombers from the photo where you finally got all of the kids to look at the lens at the same time, or Canva to create cards and photo books of your favorite memories (we’re all about a good multi-task). Then, use Mixtiles to select some of the best shots to make into frames for Grandma and Grandpa. Your relatives will wonder how you do it all. We won’t tell them.

And remember, while it’s tempting to just show a highlight reel, the most endearing memories are the ones where your kids have ice cream smeared across their faces, are making funny faces, or are begging for one last ride down the water slide.


  • You can use one of their pre-loaded filters or built-in editing tools for additional control over your images. Your family and friends are likely already using the app, so it’s a great way to share your family fun with them.
  • You can save memories with hashtags. Create one for each of your children, or separate by trip, for a quick way to organize memories.


  • Just about everyone is on Instagram, so even if you have a private account, anyone following you can see your photos.

young boy holding stuffed animal wolf toy in Great Wolf Lodge gift shop

  1. Boomerang from Instagram

We’re cheating a little, but we love Boomerang so much that we don’t think you’ll mind. The app allows you to create a short video that loops back and forth. Tap the button and the app takes 10 photos in quick succession, then puts them together to make a video. And what’s great is you can share directly to Instagram or Facebook, or save to your camera roll for later.

Tip: Taking a photo of something or someone moving makes the best Boomerangs.


If you’re already posting to Instagram, a Boomerang video can spice up your feed.

When your kids see themselves jumping into the water in reverse, they will love it.


You have to download a separate app to use—it’s not directly in the Instagram app.

Mastering a great Boomerang takes a few tries. Practice before you go so you’re ready in the moment.

young boy flying through the air in a harness on the Great Wolf Lodge ropes course
young girl on a boogie board playing on surfing water slide at Great Wolf Lodge


  1. VSCO

VSCO offers some of the best amateur editing tools and filters available. You can upload pictures directly from your camera roll, make any adjustments, include a filter, and then save back to your camera roll to print or use later. With just a few adjustments, your cell phone photos will look like they were shot by a pro.


  • This is a great tool to use on photos you may end up printing later.


  • Some of the filters are sold in packs for a one-time fee.

The 5 Best Photography Apps To Use On Your Family Trip
grandmother, mother and young son in wolf ears taking a selfie

  1. Shutterfly

Yes, Shutterfly is a website to print photos onto everything from mugs to calendars. But, their photo app makes it simple to store, create, and print, too. There’s free photo storage and the ability to access your photos across any device. Plus, the app offers free unlimited prints so you can have a tangible reminder of your favorite family memories in real life.


  • Print as many photos as you’d like! With free unlimited prints, it’s okay if there are some that don’t make the cut.
  • Once photos are in your Shutterfly account, you can use them later for holiday cards, photobooks, or or gifts for Grandma and Grandpa.


  • The editing tools are sparse and only include cropping, so make your photo print-worthy in another app first.

two girls looking at family photos with their laptop and photos scattered on hardwood floor

  1. Lifecake

Lifecake is a photo journal designed specifically for parents. Add your children’s names and birthdays, and upload photos to each of their timelines accordingly. Plus, viewing your photos is by invite only.

So if sharing your family photos feels like a little too much for Instagram, where anyone who follows you has access (even if you’re private), Lifecake is a great option. And grandparents will love being able to go into the app and see their wolfpack splashing around.


  • It’s completely private—only those you invite can access your most prized family pics.
  • You can order prints or a photo book directly from the app (which makes a great gift!).


  • 1GB of storage is free. Unlimited storage is $64.99 per year.

a mom, grandmother, and two young daughters sitting on a couch looking at family photos in an album

So before you embark on your next family adventure, check out one (or all!) of these photo apps, and if your kids are old enough, encourage them to use the apps too. You’ll be documenting, sharing, printing, and forever enjoying your favorite family photos right from your phone (because we know it’s never more than an arm’s length away!).

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