I use an old roll from a window blind (neutral beige colour), and cut off a 600mm wide strip, leaving about a 2000mm strip (the original was quite wide). I use whichever of these is appropriate as the backdrop, depending on the size of the project, draped over a piece of ply held upright with a handscrew. I use a basic digital camera, sometimes macro mode, preferably with sunlight coming through the shed skylights. Tripod and delayed shutter to minimise camera shake. The only thing that bugs me about the basic camera I have is its lack of manual exposure control, but the convenience of digital overrides this. I feed the camera straight into iPhoto, which is great for cropping, basic 'enhancement', and saving at whatever size is needed. I use SmallImage to compress further for posting to the forum.
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them . . . well, I have others.