A few weeks ago my wife presented me with a Chocolate Romeo, which is a chocolate frog holding a big heart. Before munching this sweet sweet treat I took some photos of it. I shot the images with my Nikon D300s and the Nikkor 105 mm VR macro lens using an SB-700 flash. The flash was mounted on a tripod with a white umbrella. As a backdrop I used black heavy cotton cloth, draped over a drawer box which served as a pedestal. So it is a very basic, simple studio setup.
To eliminate the daylight I chose a very short shutter speed. The normal flash sync speed of your camera is 1/250s. This shutter speed might still give you some daylight in the image. Nikon and Canon cameras offer a special flash mode which allows one to shoot any shutter speed with flash, even 1/8000s. This mode is called “Auto FP” (Auto Focal Plane) mode. What is does is basically create a burst of flashes which serve as a quasi-continuous light. Canon calls it HSS (High Speed Sync, which is a more fitting name in my opinion than “Auto Focal Plane”). The SB-700 was triggered with the internal camera flash.
Note that cheap wireless flash triggers don’t support Auto FP/HSS or TTL. The low-cost Yongnuo flash triggers I use in the studio are such models (see this post). Usually more expensice flash triggers are capable of doing TTL or Auto FP, such as PocketWizard Remotes. But there is also a model from Yongnuo which supports these modes. Currently it is only available for Canon cameras, it is the Yongnuo YN-622C. A version for Nikon cameras is announced (the model name will be YN-622N, see here).
Bottom line of this post – to make appealing product photos one does not need a huge and complex studio setup necessarily.