Studio lighting. Umbrellas. Photo boxes. 1,000+ Digital SLR cameras with lenses. It's the same story every time I have asked someone how they get such great photos. But, on my budget and with my prices being often lower than the cost of materials, I can't really justify spending that much.
But, I found a solution.
What you need:
1 - digital point-and-shoot camera, preferable 10+ Megapixels
1 - bathroom with white walls and windows
1 - sheet of poster board or scrapbook paper
1 - commode
Friends, if you don't have those items... well, there's nothing I can do for you.
Here's what I've been doing. I put a sheet of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper upside-down on my toilet so that the bright white side is showing. Not the seat, but the cover over the back tank. If you don't have white walls, improvise. Put up a couple sheets of poster board. Any white-walled, closed in room with lots of natural light will focus like a giant lightbox. In other rooms in my house, where the walls are different colors and the floors are hardwood, the lighting has that ugly brownish-yellow hue that makes your pictures look so n00b.
Take your pictures when a lot of sunlight is pouring in through your windows. If I take pictures in my bedroom, the best time for me to take pictures is in the early morning; however, I am very rarely up in time for that. If I'm taking pictures in the afternoon or early evening, I use the bathroom. Hell, I even put the lid down on the toilet and have a seat while I'm taking pictures. The more white you put around your items, the more light bounces off of it and the more accurate your photos colors will be. Your eyes aren't seeing what your camera sees, so use the viewfinder to see how your pictures are looking.
The most important setting on your camera is the close-up mode. Usually, the setting on your camera (either accessed by the digital menu or by turning the settings wheel on the top of your camera) is a picture of a flower. If you want those striking, detailed close-up pictures for your small items, then you're going to need to use your micro mode.
This camera is about $159 and can be purchased at most major retailers (Wal-mart, Best Buy, Target, etc.) or online.
If you have any room with lots of natural light, then you might not have to use the back of the toilet. I wish you the best of luck with your photographs, and I hope this has been helpful for those of you out there with a limited budget. Let me know if you try any of these tips and they work for you.