You’ve got a nice looking subject, with some fun accessories and an interesting blouse, and still you wound up with a really crappy picture. That’s because the background stinks. Although we’re focused on the subject when we’re taking the shot, our viewer sees the entire scene (ugly background and all), and busy, unattractive, distracting backgrounds like the one you see above can absolutely kill your shot.
Want to see your location portraits take a big leap forward?
Start being really concerned about the background behind your subject. Either put the background so out of focus that it no longer becomes an issue, or compose the shot to avoid as much of the background as possible (one thing you could have done here would have been to get down really low, and compose the shot so the clouds on the right side become the background, instead of the tin roof, and boxes and yard signs, etc..
When you start really paying attention to the background, and you position your subject, (or your camera) to get a clean background before you start shooting, then you can focus on the expression and emotion from your subject, knowing you’re not going to get stung later by a distracting background killing your shot.
I know when this realization hit me, it made a really big difference in my portrait work. I hope you found that helpful. :)