The set up :)
I use a Nikon DX AF-S micro 40mm lens that makes a huge improvement*
I use natural lighting at different times of day so I do not get the yellow light (heat of day), I use mid morning light the most because it is the softest. Overcast days work at times as will.
If you want to create a dramatic illusion photo in direct light you can use hanging drapes, bright fruit, flowers, etc. If you want no shadows still use the natural light just not direct.
close ups with no hands;
I have my son for help :) lol
I get everything ready and he will take the photo*
In all I have learned through trial and error that natural light is the key to original photography*
Cropped photo/ shadow to draw attention/drama
Add more background interest (candy) to aid in attention to Subject*