The techniques used for still-life are just the same as those shown for portraits. Lighting to show shape and form is from the side. In this set-up a 70x70 softbox has been placed at one side to give the effect of light through a window. A reflector on the right bounces the light back to fill the shadow side.
The easiest way to photograph products with a shadowless background is to use a Mini-Cove or light tent. Using a 70x70cm softbox fitted to a boom stand such as the Elinchrom Polystand is a very simple and easy way to photograph small items.