5. What can you do as an alternative to using flash?
Increase your exposure. But this brings another problem—increased exposures mean more camera shake. That may make your photo look even worse than using the flash. So use a tripod, or improvise one. Another thing you can do is soften the flash by holding a coffee filter over the flash, or even using matte scotch tape over the flash.
Your camera may have a setting for flash intensity as well. Turn it down to avoid creating that ghost effect on your subjects’ faces. The trade off is your range will also be reduced, so move closer to the subject.
Experiment with increasing your EV settings to compensate for less than ideal lighting situations.
You can also increase your camera’s ISO settings so the camera sensor is more sensitive to light. Just beware that increasing ISO also means increasing the amount of noise in your photos.