There are a couple things you can do. First, you will want to use a light box.
|Light box for small object photography.|
Next, you will want to turn off or take off your flash. The light filtered through the box will be sufficient. Next, you will want to set your camera to two very important settings. AV, for aperture priority, and Macro, for close up photography. Finally, drop the ISO as low as you can (80 - 100).
Place your object inside the light box and take a few trial photos. Make sure they don't look blurry in your LCD when you press the playback button. Try zooming in in the review screen to ensure the quality of the photos.
|Cub Scout Award|
f/4, ISO 80, exp 1/5 sec, +0.7 bias
Center Weight Average Metering
Though I often dream of having amazing, professional quality photos. I realize that having a photograph of your object is good enough for the vast majority of family historians. It's better to have this photograph than nothing at all. Cut yourself some slack. We should be patient genealogists after all.
Once you have a photograph that meets your needs, I offer one more recommendations. Crop the photo. No one really wants to focus on the background.
|Cropped Cut Scout Award|
In looking back at this photograph, I would love to have adjusted the lights on the left side of the light box to provide more light to that side, rather than shadow. It's okay to examine our work to see how we can improve. Now, all that's left with this photograph is to record the experiences of Cub Scouting and put the photo and text together in the family files.
Good luck with your photography. Feel free to let me know the successes you have with your photography in the comments below.