Step 2: ...
Step 3: Profit!
Of course, it's not that easy, though it would be nice. In our Photo Techniques class, we're doing a "product mimic" assignment; we pick an ad and reproduce the lighting on the subject. The lighting used in many ads is often simpler than it first appears. For my own, I chose to mimic a shot that Victorinox uses on their website for Swiss Army Knives. Here is what they have up:
Bear in mind that Victorinox is a large multinational company which probably has more money in their annual advertising budget than I am likely to make in the next ten years. That being said, here is my rendition:
I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with. I did the shot with a single light, a silvered reflector, and a piece of white foam core for a supplemental reflector. Oh, and the backdrop is a sheet of paper with a simple gradient printed on with the ink-jet at school.
This isn't necessarily the most fascinating picture I've ever taken, but since I plan to do commercial photography as a big part of my repertoire, I wanted to show it here.