Sometimes, the environment needs a little help. I have always advocated pushing rules, understanding how photography works, and how that affects your photography. I know that sounds a little self-referential, but the idea is to understand the individual parts, and how that effects the whole photograph.
Take for instance the flash. The photograph above was taken in light rain at the North Lake in San Francisco's Golden Gate park. The rain was very light, more of a heavy mist. The light was flat and not very interesting. The exposure was running around 1/60 th of a second at f 5.6.
Turning on the little flash on top of the camera was not going to do much for the overall light. However, the flash will reflect in the eye, refract off the water drops on the coot, and generally making the image more interesting.
Follow the rules, and know when to break (or at least distort) them.
On a slightly side note, I am glad I don't do this for a living in some ways. I can take a break from photography without having it impacting my income.