If you want to work with off-camera flash, but don't have a built-in system like with the Canon T3i, there are affordable alternatives to expensive systems. A poplar choice on the cheap is the Cowboystudio 4-Channel Radio Remote Trigger and 2 Receivers Set($37). I've heard consistently good comments about Cowboystudio gear. One thing to keep in mind, if you go this route, is to properly set your expectations.
To help you with that, here's a good article, A Guide to Buying Cheap Wireless Flash Triggers, that lists key differences between expensive sets and their low-price counterparts.
Regardless of the gear you employ, off-camera flash is an important technique that's perfect for many portrait situations.
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