Based on Syl Arena‘s recommendation, I picked up the ZebraFlash TTL cord for my Canon. It’s a monster 24 foot cable that plugs into the hot shoe of my camera on one end, and acts as the hot shoe for a flash on the other. The highlight to this is that it allows you to use E-TTL flash for a fairly cheap price. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a PocketWizard system, this is a single wire for less than $60. (I do have eBay triggers, but they are manual only.)
The problem is, I don’t do much in the way of portrait photography where I set up a shot, and then let the subjbects come to me. I spend most of my time photographing my daughter, who’s not quite two yet, and so never sits still. This requires chasing after her with a flash in hand and 24 feet of cable.
I came up with a solution to this issue: I keep the wire all bundled up, but I leave the four or five feet loose to the camera, and another five feet loose to the flash in my hand. The rest of the bundled up wire goes in my front pocket. This lets me move the flash anywhere I like, without tripping over cables.
They do make the wire in shorter lengths, and I might someday invest in one. For now, as a budgeted photographer, this is the solution that works for me. And it cost nothing extra.
Granted, it looks like you’re a PhotoGeek Dad and you don’t want to do it all the time, but it gives great looks to your photos. It’s something to try the next time you feel like running around after your kid in pursuit of the perfect photo that nobody else in the family will understand the brilliance of.