Get an external flash unit with a diffuser instead of the built-in flash feature. These built-in flashes often make a picture look very harsh. An external flash unit gives a more natural aspect to your photographs and allows you to edit them without the noise you get when you use another kind of flash.
If you are having difficulty holding your camera straight, purchase a tripod. A tripod will go a long way in helping to keep your camera in place, so you can focus on other variables other than balance. Tripods work great if you are in the wilderness or on an uneven terrain.