Whether you use a digital camera or a traditional camera, there are some basic steps you can take to make sure that the party pictures turn out. The first thing you need is a functioning camera. If your camera runs on batteries, make sure the batteries are fully charged or that you have extra ones on hand. Taking party pictures works best when you can capture the moment and if your batteries are dead, the moment will pass.
You also need to have enough storage space for your photos. This means an extra memory card if you are going digital or extra film for the traditional camera. For people who do not use their cameras often, sometimes problems with the camera do not become apparent until they are at the party and ready to take pictures. This is not the time to find out that the lens is dirty or that the buttons stick. Check the camera out the day before the party so that you have time to clean it up and make sure everything is running perfectly. Most digital cameras have a built in flash. Make sure that you know how to use it. If you are using a traditional camera, bring your flash unit.
The most important hint for party picture taking is to safeguard your equipment. You will be partying too and it is too easy to set the camera down while getting a drink or something to eat. It is also too easy for someone to knock the camera off the table (or wherever you set it) or for someone to spill something on it. Either have a little carry case you can hang around your neck or a bag you store it in a safe place.