Can you tell I used a flash in this picture? I've stared at this picture too long, so now I don't know what I think...but I think I'm pretty happy with it. At least it's not a bright flash with a black background, right? :-)
I used my 580EX II Speedlite and swiveled the flash backwards, bouncing it behind me and over my head. I tried to split the difference between the ceiling and the wall behind me, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I was able to get pretty decent catchlights in Livia's eyes (a reflection from the ceiling), and not those yucky pinlights that you often see with flash. There is no natural light coming from the direction she is facing. She's actually standing on my bed watching TV. All the windows are behind her. Of course, this is only my 2nd attempt with the Speedlite (this year, that is), so I know there's room for improvement. Last year I didn't have a clue what to do with my flash, and the pictures were a bit of a nightmare. My Speedlite has pretty much been hanging out in my camera bag since last winter.
I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here, so instead of trying to explain it, I'm just going to link you to this extremely helpful post about using your Speedlite to get natural looking (non-flashy) images.
Using a flash is uncharted territory for me, but in a previous post I promised to share what I learn along the way. Be sure to check out the link; I think you'll find it very helpful! :-)
(Be sure to scroll down halfway through the post. That's where the Speedlite information begins).