Outside the box, that is: Do not be afraid to think a little outside the box sometimes. Like here, me last night:
20s at f/7.1, ISO800. 50mm on Canon 1Dx.
The flash has a grid, leading to a circle of light, a spotlight effect. I am blown out by the flash, for an extra intense, eerie effect. The sky and houses have light due to a 20 second exposure. Post production made the saturation lower (“desat” effect). The “Dutch Angle” tilt gives it interest also. And although the flash would take 10 seconds to remove in Lightroom using the healing tool, I prefer to leave it in for extra mystery effect. 50mm lens gives this a realistic, undistorted look.
Key in this photo? Balancing ambient (start with it!) and flash (add it afterward).
Now, off to a CEO shoot, which although it will presumably look very different will use the very same principles. Photography is an amazing tool.