Working for yourself you have to be a jack of all trades. I've been taking my own product photos for a while. For me there are only 2 key elements. A high resolution digital camera and lighting. I've had my best results photographing products outside in filtered light. What's filtered light you say? The best case scenario is an overcast day, no direct sunlight. The clouds filter the light perfectly. But if your days are sunny and bright, the next best option is either early morning or dust with an umbrella. Dust is known as 'magic hour' and there really is something in the air that creates the perfect lighting situation. Most look books I've seen lately are made in a forest at magic hour. Smart way to go. If you need to filter the light yourself, use a big umbrella, concrete or wood work great as a background. Set up your stuff on the ground, put your umbrella over it to create a shadow, and your stuff will look pretty good.