A very few of my experiments worked. I was trying out a range of freaky home-made diffusers on my flash guns. Sadly, some of them interfered with the infra-red beams—which I didn’t want—as well as softening the light source—which I did—so my hit rate was low and the results weren’t what I was hoping for, but that’s exactly why I didn’t feel I could charge anyone money for them. Worse, the scanner at the lab used to digitize the negatives introduced lots of noise to the (intentionally) dark originals.
I hate cigarette smoke, but smokers can make for great photos. Smokes are both excellent delivery devices for addictive drugs and wonderful props: They relax, distract, and sometimes illuminate—literally and metaphorically—the subject.
’m guessing he’s taking a digital point-and-shoot so this gives me an excuse to give some slightly different advice from my usual as well as to summarise some of my old favourites. Brian’s first commenter is right: you should take lots of photos and hope for some good shots, but if you do so with some simple rules-of-thumb in mind then your hit rate will be significantly higher. First of all, leave the set-pieces—cake-cutting, stiffs-in-rows—to the pros and the billion monkeys. If you want to come away from the celebrations with something different then do something different.