In a Flash

I love taking photos, but was often discouraged because the image I saw with my eyes wasn’t always what ended up on the digital card. Often, lighting was to blame. The built-in flash on my camera delivered a lot of light, but the result was frequently bright-white subjects with harsh shadows and muted colors. I’d try taking the photo again without the flash, hoping just to lighten it a bit in photoshop, but it would come out blurry.
For Christmas, my parents got me an external flash, and it has made such a difference. I can pivot the bulb so that it bounces off the ceiling or walls, thus creating a diffused brightness that seems to lighten the subject just enough without overpowering the photo.
This is one of the first photos I took not long after I got the new flash, and it remains one of my favorites:
Of course I couldn’t go wrong with the subject matter, but I love how the lighting is so soft, allowing all the fine details to come through. The sharpness of her eyes, the softness of her toes.
Colors seem much richer, like these on her playmat:
I feel like the new flash helps me create an intimacy and warmth that was often missing before. And it makes the photography even more rewarding.