A few people have asked me to show my photo setup, so here's the 5 cent tour...
I've got a 30" photo cube that I bought on eBay, and I use three 30 watt flourescent photo lights. These are 5000 degree Kelvin bulbs (another eBay purchase), which are supposed to be the right color range for still photography. The bulbs are in cheapie clamp-on fixtures, which are attached to either an old boom micophone stand or an old camera tripod, also with a boom. It all works pretty well together, but I wish I had spent the extra 10 bucks or so to get the clamp-on lights with bigger reflectors. That would give me better control over stray light.
Here's the basic set-up, with the cube on a card table in the living room. I adjust the lights as necessary, but this shows a typical setup...bounce the overhead off the white ceiling, put one side light fairly close, and the other one farther away.
I'm using a Flotone gradient background from B&H Photo...I think it cost more than the tent itself, but it has helped my pics a lot. It's flexible plastic, and somewhat prone to scratches (plus it likes to pick up black dog hair), but I like the results I get with it. I use Photoshop to remove any scratches or dog hair from the picture. Previously, I was using the solid white, gray or black fabric backdrops that came with the tent. Not shown in this picture is a 12" x 12" x 3" tall box underneath the backdrop, to raise the piece I'm photographing above the lip of the tent.
The backdrop is attached in the back with metal binder clips and rare earth magnets. This makes it ewasy to adjust up or down, so I can adjust how dark the background is.
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It's held in the front with a couple of LOML's potato chip bag clips. If I didn't clip it in place, it'd curl up like a windowshade.
And of course, you need a good photographic assistant. I'd be lost without mine. He's always one or two steps behind me, ready to trip me up if I step backwards.
That's the quick tour...lemme know if you have any questions.