GORDON GOTTSEGEN, WIRED MAGAZINE:
"You just spent $750 on a fancy digital camera, so why does the flash turn your beautifully lit living room into a haunted cavern every time you photograph it?
"The culprit is most likely that cheap flash setup that came with your otherwise quality camera. The inexpensive built-in flashes on compact cameras are notorious for giving subjects harsh shadows, pale blue-white skin, and shiny faces. Even a really nice flash can cause problems if you don’t learn how to use one—few things scream amateur as loudly as 'flash-wash.'
"But don’t abandon flash entirely. It is possible to take professional-looking flash pictures with these tricks."
Learn how to do flash photography right, here.