This post could have been titled: "How do I photograph a black fuzzy hat with black velvet trim and not have it all look totally just...black."
Well, And gold and white.
Here's the No- flash version
That looks pretty good, but really very ...flat.
Here's the flash version, where you can see the hat's hairdo: but it looks sortof...over-flashed. Feathers aren't actually that shiny. Plus, the shadows in the hairdo, makes it look like the brim is bumpy, when it's actually perfectly smooth.
So I went back to no-flash, and here's an angle:
And a side view:
The white feather in that side view is acting funny - cause I have it all leaned over to get the dark floorish background. The feather doesn't doesn't stick up like that - it flops over all bouncy-like, as seen in this totally un-professional shot that we will call "in-context." Cause it's always good to have a cat tree, a bag of ouches, some printer ink cartridges, and a bobble-headed manatee. You know, for scale.
Final closeup - trying to show the black velvet in the trim, AND the beaver blank's "hairdo." I managed to do it by taking this with no flash and then lightening up the image afterward - which worked great, but washes out the gold, which is really quite vibrant.
All in all - a pretty thing, all ready to go to her new home.