Please don't think I am an expert photographer by any means, but here is what I've learned in my one year journey on Etsy...all mistakes revealed!
When I first started selling on Etsy, my photographs stunk! Just to prove it to you, here is one. I took the photo inside in a homemade lightbox. Not that there's anything wrong with a homemade lightbox--I had the box, just not the light! I was using an incandescent lamp and my picture turned out dull with yellow undertones. I know you can fix things like this with fancy software, but I barely know how to use the program that came with my camera.
A kind soul suggested I try using outdoor light, so I gathered up a bundle of fabrics to use as backdrops and headed outside. I tried photographing in the sun, but the bright light tended to wash out my pictures. I waited for the sun to move and tried again in the shade. The lighting was a major improvement over my previous picture, but the wrinkles in the blanket are just plain distracting!!
My next attempt was taken outdoors again in indirect light, using a pillow for a rich, neutral background. That took care of the wrinkles, but then I had a new problem. My challenge here was trying to get a decent shot without the deck, garden, and dog running around in the background. I draped a piece of brown fleece over the chair to block the distractions. I was quite pleased with the results, given what I started with! However, my camera was having difficulty with the contrast between the dark brown backdrop and the pale foreground, giving my photo a greyish tint.
Another important discovery was the macro button on my camera. If you're taking close shots of your work and have this feature, use it!! It makes a huge difference in the clarity of your photos.
I used a piece of decorative paper for my background and tried different camera angles to avoid getting my patio table and the dog in the picture. I cropped out whatever I couldn't avoid.
After much experimentation, I discovered the perfect time of day for taking my pictures, which of course changes with the seasons, so it's a never-ending process!!
For further information and tutorials, check out Etsy's storque articles on this subject. Here is one Etsy published that is helpful. http://www.etsy.com/storque/section/howTos/article/shop-makeover-series-photographing-for-success/913/