Several people have asked me about my photography of my toys in the shop and I've been meaning to share my secrets with you because, really, it is no secret! I really do believe that good photography on Etsy is so very important. I often see great products that don't move and the photography is always to blame.
Backdrop: My backdrop consists of several same size cardboard rectangles with different colored fabric taped on with duct tape. Nothing fancy! I bought a fat quarter lot of the same fabric in a variety of colors. Try to stick with solids, small stripes or a very small print. Anything too busy will not work. Obviously, if you need a larger backdrop you'll need more fabric and larger pieces of cardboard or poster board.
Lighting: I take my photos outside on my steps as you can see in the photo below. The handy portable backdrops are big enough that all you see in the end photos are the product and the backdrop. I take my photos between 1:00pm and 3:00pm because I like the deep, left shadows I get at that time. Obviously, your special spot outside of your house might be different so play around with times of the day but avoid noon if you are working with 3D objects because you won't get any shadow and it will look washed out.
The steps are a perfect place to lean the backdrop and it allows me to take the photos at eye level, which gives them an interesting perspective.
The lovely thing about the portable cardboard/fabric backdrop method is that I can change colors in a mere moment and experiment with different color backgrounds. I like to pick a background that really contrasts so the toy "pops" out. Look at the three examples below and how it totally changes the mood and color of the same exact toy car:
Camera: I have a Nikon D40X and I adore it. It is a digital SLR but when taking my toy product shots it is way more camera than I need...but I still adore it and highly recommend it if you are looking to invest in a starter level digital SLR.
I hope that helps!