This is what flash bomb photographs look like - you see the bomb of light hit and speckle the areas it is hitting (forehead, nose, cheeks, white shirt on chest, tip of nose, chin, etc).
You can improve this in many ways:
- angling the body wrt the direction of light to better manage this
- using more ambient and less flash (reduced speckled flash look)
- using less ambient and more flash (better color matching + kill background)
- more side bounce flash (increased shadow = more dramatic)
- less side bounce more direct (less shadow = more fashion shot)
Now back to reality
- you have to decide what kind of picture you want
- really natural - way more ambient with a touch of flash to give light to the eyes
- do you want the background in or out (doesn't look like this was thought about)
- you have a shelf (or something) that is running through her neck? (this is not good) - way less ambient, higher SS to kill the background
- before you put the camera in your hand and start with 'default type' settings to get some kind of Automatic image, stop and think what you want given the light and the space you have - your job is to create something with what you have
You are in a room with bad lighting and a terrible background. If this is the best you have then you have to do what you have to do. Do you own a white sheet you can hang from the ceiling? Not available - and must shoot now with what you have. Ok lets go.
Wall sucks and light sucks. Ideas:
- F1.4 - to F8 to blur background more
- move model as far as possible away from background
- position flash directly behind camera to avoid light spillage
- use longer FL
- use angle, above, below, whatever is required, to at least minimize awful distracting background (do something), have her go on her knees to have her face in a better position (do something)
- Shoot at F8 or smaller to kill light completely from room
- have a portable small softbox to soften the light
- gel your flash to match ambient
- shoot flash through a white reflector / bed sheet / umbrella to soften it
- light her from the side to avoid light spill on background (try it - maybe completely the wrong style)
- get on a ladder, shoot significantly downwards, use a video $30 video light to light her face and shirt to give context, up the iso and see what you get
There is always something that can be done. If all fails, and sometimes it does, use PS, cut her out and place her on a better background and fix the flash hotspots on her face.
Hockey and wedding photographer. Favourite camera / lens combos: a 1DX II with a Tamron 45 1.8 VC, an A7Rii with a Canon 24-70F2.8L II, and a 5DSR with a Tamron 85 1.8 VC. Every lens I own I strongly recommend [Canon (35Lii, 100L Macro, 24-70F2.8ii, 70-200F2.8ii, 100-400Lii), Tamron (45 1.8, 85 1.8), Sigma 24-105]. If there are better lenses out there let me know because I haven't found them.