How to take better bad camera phone pictures

I love bad camera phone pictures! All day, every day, and all night my followers send me pictures. It is awesome to have such loyal followers. I truly appreciate that people take the time to share what they see, as it benefits everyone.

Great camera phone picture taken by Omaha Police Lt. Ramos

Great camera phone picture taken by Omaha Police Lt. Ramos

However, you can do better! I see:

  • Blurry fire trucks racing down the street
  • Sideways pictures of the front of a Walmart with a police car somewhere in it
  • A tiny blip in the blue sky of @OPDABLE1 with a huge tree in front
  • A washed out night picture that is just a bunch of red and blue flashing lights

I retweet many of the photos I see. If you want your picture/video to be retweeted and seen by thousands of people, major news organizations, and maybe even your mom, check out these handy tips.

Relax! It’s really not that hard!


Step One: Don’t take a picture while driving / moving

Not only is driving, rocking out to Warrant, Snapchatting your Bae, and taking a picture of that horrible car accident extremely unsafe… but it won’t be a good picture.

Remember, thousands of people may see what you are seeing very quickly, so stop what you are doing and take a minute to be an amateur journalist.

Park your car in a safe/legal location, and take a picture/video of what you see.

Remember, it is legal to take pictures and videos of the police and/or what you see in public.  

Remember the Ws of journalism:

  • Who did that?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • Why did that happen?

Step Two: Turn your phone sideways

Please? Pretty please? If I ask you nicely, will you please turn your phone horizontally?

Your eyes are not on top of each other, they are next to each other. TV screens, computer screens, movie screens are not vertical, and once you take a vertical picture or video you can’t change it back.

Unless the subject of your picture is tall and skinny, just take a second and briefly rotate your hand.

Step Three: Point your phone at the thing and focus, man. Focus!


Literally, point your camera phone at the interesting thing. Make your screen include mostly what you are taking a picture of. Zoom in if you need to. Crop.

Thousands of people are not interested in looking at a picture that is 65% empty roadway and 35% car accident. They are not interested in seeing a picture that has a large part of your car dashboard included.

Allow like a second for your lens to focus on what you are taking a picture of. Then take multiple pictures. You can always delete them later.

In conclusion, just remember what you are seeing could be seen by thousands of people in a matter of minutes. So stop what you are doing, turn your phone sideways, point it at the thing, and focus.


Death, destruction, and funny stuff from the streets of Omaha. I'm not making this up.

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