Handbook: How to take better product photos for Marketplace

19 May 2022

@annfromsg profile image


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words – that’s certainly the case if you’re listing items on Marketplace. A good picture can make all the difference to whether or not you make a sale. It convinces and showcases your item to the buyer in the best possible way.

We’ve asked our in-house photographer, Melvin (@jamieoliveoil), to list five tips to keep in mind as you photograph your product. If you've got more to suggest, let us know in the comments below.


Keep lighting simple, says Melvin. Natural light is your best friend and helps bring out your items’ colors rather than shooting under artificial lighting. We suggest shooting your product at different times of the day to compare the intensity and color of natural light before picking the final photo. Pro tip: if you're in doubt, go with window lighting as you can use it with any object in most situations.

pic Photo: Nathan Fertig


What's the best equipment to use? A phone camera is handy, and so is a tripod if you're well-versed in shooting professionally. If you’re new to using a tripod, be sure to stabilize it to ensure your photographs turn out sharp and clear. Otherwise, all you need in this day and age is just your phone camera.

pic Photo: Taan Hyun

Framing & Composition

Unless you're photographing multiple objects in one frame, we suggest shooting a single product as it helps focus on one subject. Melvin says it's important to choose your background wisely for framing and composition as it helps elevate the product in the long run.

pic Photo: Cottonbro

If you're unsure about photo composition, he suggests shooting using the rule of thirds. It's a photo composition technique that places your subject at one of the four intersecting points on the grid to create a dynamic image.

Pro tip: It's helpful to experiment with various angles before the final selection. You can try shooting a flat lay (pointing your camera from above), a 45-degree angle (most commonly taken for food), and a frontal shot.


Melvin says adding props or other objects adds interest to the product – but be careful as overdoing it can be a distraction. For example, adding textures like sand, leaves, or other elements can be a nice touch. At the same time, photographing your product with the right background makes a difference too. Pro tip: choose a solid color backdrop like white when you're in doubt. It helps to bring out the color of your product.

The last and final step, arguably the most important one, will be removing any potential distractions and testing your camera or phone set up before shooting. Here are some pointers:

Be mindful of your surroundings if you're doing an outdoor shoot.

Take a quick look at your background or any additional objects (if they'll be used as props) to see if they're clean and tidy.

Charge your camera batteries and phone to avoid any mishaps.

. . .

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@fulfilling profile image
fulfilling6 MONTHS AGO
Thanks Ann!