Using a flash is always something that I have tried my hardest to avoid, simply because I did not know how to use it well. Every time I tried, things would be blown out and there would be little to no depth within the photograph.
Being able to use a flash is a very important skill that I personally need to work on more. More often than not, the natural lighting is not perfect. Flash allows you to combat sub par lighting situations.
For the direct flash, it took me a while to dial in the power and aperture needed to get skin tones correct without under or over exposure. It was interesting how the flash truly overpowered the light in this situation. In reality, it was just about to be golden hour, there was still plenty of light, but it looks as though it is nearly dark out in this photo.