Adventures in Portraiture

My next big goal is to learn how to do flash photography. I knew the basics and could get good shots of Otis, but beyond that, using my flash has been a bit of a white whale that I am desperate to capture. 

Here I was experimenting with distance. The top picture had the flash further away, which gave a more even light. The bottom had the flash very close, creating a more focused spot of light. I also used a smaller aperture so that the background would go darker. And the face I made was just to accentuate the dramatic effect.