Product photography has always been one of my favourite types of work to do. It was one of the first directions I went down with my photos & even now, I always enjoy it, whether it's just trying new techniques, for fun or getting clients exactly what they are after.
Practising & starting these studio lit type shots from scratch is relatively easy. You don't need a lot of space & gear wise it can be done with a minimum spec list.
Starting out I'd build a table out of whatever I could. As you can see from these old behind the scenes shots & go from there.
Subject matter wise I would just shoot anything I could get my hands on to practice i.e. photo gear, jewellery, clothes etc...
My setups even now have always been similar to where I began with it all. One light boomed high and facing down, eliminating as much of the shadows as possible & providing even light & often treating you to some interesting reflections as well.
Adding in some reflectors or a second light when needed, attempting all the time to get nearly exactly what I want straight from the camera.
Why do I love it though? I believe it's the attention to detail that I enjoy when it comes down to it, it's as methodical as you wish. The results always look so clean & the products so perfect that I really enjoy the serenity of it all, think this may be my OCD talking...
Its a great style of photo work to persue, one that has taught me a lot when it comes to controlling light and minimising or maximising reflections, as well as composition & setup of the items themselves. Skills which come in handy with pretty much every other type of photography I do.