As you can see in the photos below I use three lights which is the standard for tabletop photography. On top my table i'm using a flexible desk lamp. The other two lights are on adjustable light stands with light sockets attached. I made a one time investment and purchased the Impact Studio Lighting System. I do not use the reflectors as shown on the website because I don't feel they are necessary for small area photography, however they are good to have just in case you are making videos.
In the photo above, I have the lights off, you can clearly see that there is not enough lighting to make the photos bright enough for the web even using a flash. Below I have them on, there's such a big difference of luminosity and brightness. With this much light, there's no need to use the flash. With adjustable tripods, i'm able to position the lights directly onto the subject to shoot from various angles.
Once you've taken enough photos, having a good photo editing program is a must. My favorite editing software is Adobe Photoshop for photos and Adobe Premiere for editing videos. After all the editing and cropping is done, using a program such as Picmonkey to make the photos into collages makes them stand out and gives them a nice flair.
Below is my new tabletop photography backdrop setup. I had to upgrade from my vanity to a real white camera background and I didn't like the ones that I tried making myself using white stock paper. This one isn't available on Amazon any longer but you can find similar ones here, here and here. The umbrellas are the smaller 15" ones that are very compact and easy to store. I believe I found them on B&H photo quite awhile back.
You don't have to invest hundreds of dollars in a good quality camera if you are just starting out. I used a Sony Cybershot 10 megapixels camera for long while before I invested in a DSLR. This camera served as the camera for my blog as well as for making videos. Actually this was my very first camera when I started making videos.... it has served me well.
My primary camera now is a Canon EOS T3i. It has been the camera that I have been using since I bought it in 2013. Although I love this camera, I really want to upgrade to the Canon EOS T6i. There's so many new features that the T3i doesn't have that I could really use such as auto-focus when recording videos.
Below are a few Tips for Taking Great Indoor Photography
1) Use three lights, one on each side and one light overhead... all the great photographers use this layout.
2) Use good quality light bulbs. I recommend using daylight LED 60w Daylight LED lightbulbs by Cree. Make sure you get the ones that say "daylight" so that you can have a really nice white background. If you're shooting in a larger area and require more lighting, then you can use the larger floodlights (shown in photo) also by the brand Cree.
3) If you need more room lighting, buy more light stands with light sockets, you have to buy these separately unless you want to purchase a kit, then I recommend Impact Studio Lighting System. These will brighten up your entire room and make your videos and photos even more awesome. I recommend the floodlights by the brand Cree as mentioned above.
4) Invest in good camera tripod that is very sturdy. Paying a little more for quality will last you a long time. I've collected six camera tripods of all sizes over the years. I mainly use the others with floodlights when recording videos or for group photos.... somehow I've been chosen as the family photographer.
5) If photography is your hobby and you have extra space in your home, why not set up a permanent in home studio. You can shoot photos and videos in the same area without having to move your expensive equipment. My makeup table also doubles as my filming area for videos, I use a background screen behind me to keep the lights contained unless i'm facing away from my table then I use two spotlights.
6) A photography folding table comes in handy when you want to shoot outdoors in natural sunlight. These cute little folding tables are just small and portable to pack up and take with you on the road if you want to get some photography work done while you're away.