I've always had difficulty taking photos for selling things. Mostly I run into the problem that I live in a small apartment, with dorm-room-type furniture, and no direct light. This means that I have to take photos either outside or in the middle of the day, when the light is best near the window. It also means that I don't have any nice distressed wood or gleaming white tabletops to set my pieces on. However, I seem to have come across a solution.
I found a length of white muslin in my fabric stash that I ironed to death, and laid out over our (rather ugly) coffee table. That gave me a great neutral background, especially for close-ups. The earrings were difficult to photograph flat, so I borrowed a white ceramic bowl to hang them on. This caused another problem, as the angle that I was shooting at for the earrings included things around my table. Although the short focus made it so that it was all blurry, the dark jumble of colors was confusing and distracting from the jewelry. So I set up a pile of books and other fabrics to drape the muslin over in order to create a backdrop that would block out the rest of my apartment.
I'm really quite pleased with the way they turned out - all soft and bright, and the white background really helps to keep focus on the colors of the pieces. I did have to tweak things a bit on the computer in order to make sure the colors were true to reality, but it wasn't much, and didn't take more than a couple minutes per photo.
Next I will be tackling the outdoor/model shoot...