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I went to an event of the Cambridge Art Association recently and saw the photographs of Akos Szilvasi. They have a very direct quality. Akos said he often crops off the top of heads to focus more on the eyes and mouth were there is much more information. You see this in the four portraits on his opening page. He talked mostly about black and white and explained the digital process for black and white photography. With digital you have to start with color but then you can take the color out.
He puts his subjects in front of a white background to focus only on them. He takes the picture vertically to make the most of the pixels but then adds white on either side to create a horizontal format. Akos said he does this as we see the world horizontally.
Akos also has a blog, Invitation to discussion: Portraits: How Do We Photograph People? It is nice to see the complementary web site and blog with the blog providing more of the back story. He needs more entries in the blog as Akos has a lot of interesting things to say.