I hate flash photography, largely because it’s complicated and never gives me the results I’m after but also because it involves using very expensive equipment and that rather hurts after you’ve already shelled out on a heavy, expensive DSLR.
So, instead try something like the Ray Flash. It’s cheap, in photography terms, at $199 but utterly ridiculous seeing as there’s no moving parts or battery power.
It fits on the Nikon SB900 and Canon 580EX standard flash units which work on just about all of their models, with the idea that it evens out some of the nasty shadows that a single point light source throws up.
Of course, you could always invest in flash filters and start bouncing light indirectly onto your subjects but I’d need someone to show me how to do that properly before I even begin to tell you whether it’s a decent alternative or not.
In the mean time, take advantage of the slightly rallied pound and just be glad that the price quoted sounds much more affordable when not in dollars. Let’s forget about the shipping for now.