I have always disliked flash, although I have occasionally used it when it was the only possible lighting available. I also used to own sets of light which I used for setups for my online antique shop. But I never used it for any of my personal photography. After I closed my online store, I gave away my lights. Every now and then, I wish I had a light, but usually, it doesn’t matter.
Lights can be very effective, but you need room to put them. Lighting is an art. It’s not just pointing a light at something and snapping a picture. I suppose that’s why theaters and movies have lighting directors.
Having a studio makes a huge difference. I have no place I can use as a studio, not even temporarily so if I can’t shoot outside or from window light, it doesn’t happen.
I feel obliged to mention that regardless of light, being young and beautiful helps improve any portrait!