If you have a huge party like someone’s 60th or a graduation party that you want to take photos at, there are basically three things to remember whether you’re doing it for money or just to document a special time for the family and friends.
If You Can, Get Photos of the Preparations/Empty Venue
Once the people arrive, it will probably be a controlled chaos that you’ll be trying to capture. People often put a lot of thought into decorations and centerpieces. Take some time to document them.
Get Candid Photos of People Having Fun
In both this and the next category, remember to focus on the person or people being celebrated. But have a fun time documenting things. I recommend shooting from medium and far distances so people don’t notice you taking the photos and continue acting naturally.
Get Posed Photos
You might think that posed photos are boring and lead to stale-looking photos. I think that is not necessarily true (depending on who you are photographing). Additionally, by getting posed shots you ensure you get everyone and that there’s at least one photo of each person in which they aren’t doing something unphotogenic, like eating food.