Hey Joy, @joy-rushing,
you said you would like to improve your skills in photography … just check the video tutorial under resources here at the myFOSSIL website.
If you would like to digitize fossil plants like the lycopods from Alabama, which are more or less flat objects, very blackish and embedded in more or less black matrix, you will need to use a light that comes from the side (grazing light) and enhances the shadows (cast shadows), just like pictured at the jpeg I have attached. You also might want to move the light around the object and check what angle is best to get best contrast. You can also discuss your experiences here with us and step by step we will figure something out 😉 … ahhhh and please post your pics.