There are many lighting styles photographers have at their disposal when capturing portrait imagery. A flattering light technique I use frequently is natural lighting with a slight fill flash to open up the subject shadows. This technique allows for a very balanced natural look with very soft shadowing. This image from a recent portrait shoot is a good example of using a long lens with a shallow depth of field to pull the subjects out of the background, then adding kicker flash slightly off angle to add about 1/3rd of a stop of light on the subject over the meter read background. This allows the scene to look naturally lit with just enough snap to open up the subjects. The resulting light quality is very soft and even. By increasing the power of my flash I can get the subject to become more prominent from the background. Light quality and blending of light sources is another set of powerful tools in creating pleasing portraits.