A comparison of three ways of using an external flash mounted on-camera. That's Emma in the photographs.
Flash pointed directly at subject.
Bounced flash: I actually like this the best, as I feel it is the most natural looking. However, the ceiling was high, so the flash ran out of power, leaving the bottom half of the photo underexposed.
Diffused bounced flash:
Flash was pointed straight at a high ceiling. The difference from the earlier photograph is that I added a small bubble wrap bag over my flash, such that it stuck out a few inches above like a little hat. I'm still playing with different flash modifiers. I don't like the coldness of the color balance, but the background is a little brighter due to the spread light of the flash and the lighting is softer on the subject.