In this day and age of web retailing, social media and branding, a tip top photo is really an absolute must and for most of us, that means either paying out lots of hard earned cash for a company to do it, or going on a steep learning curve to set up our own system.
At its most basic, product photography, doesn’t have to take up too much room, as all that’s required is a photo table, or photo tent that can be put up and taken down depending on usage, in a spare bedroom, garage, or even a garden shed, if you have heating in there. Generally, you will need additional lighting to give a really crisp, clean image that makes customers want to buy, but if you have one of the larger flashguns attached to your camera, you may well be fine with just that. Additional lights can be attached to tables, or are free standing and although the free standing ones have a large spread at the base (stops them falling over) they can be folded down when not in use and the actual heads kept in a box in the cupboard.
For larger photos, like portrait shots, then obviously, if you can find a larger room, that would be great. From about ten foot square would be good, as this would allow the whole subject to be photographed and ensures that if you have a standard lighting kit, the image doesn’t come out over-exposed, because of too much light. It also means you can play around with the backgrounds, with regards to shadows and additional lighting units. The back grounds are usually around a meter and a half if fully extended and from 1.3 meters wide at its narrowest, so not too huge.